This is the question Adole, married to Ray, her wonderful husband of five years, asked herself as she made her way to the café to meet her friend Eric for the second time that week. In recent months, the two have been spending a lot of time together. It’s nothing physical, just good conversation and laughter over a cup of coffee, and yet Adole can’t help that nagging feeling that twists her insides every time she finds herself heading over to meet Eric, her friend from college. The truth is that she enjoys Eric’s company. He makes her laugh. To her, he’s all the things Ray currently isn’t. She and Ray used to laugh, but they don’t laugh so much anymore. They have become complacent. Blah. Eric helps to fill that companionship void. Is Adole cheating on Ray, or is she just getting her laugh on elsewhere? Could she be having an emotional affair without knowing it?
To get to the bottom of her guilt, Adole needs to define what an emotional affair is and what the symptoms of such an affair are. An emotional affair is usually an emotional intimate connection shared between a man and a woman which does not initially involve physical intimacy. Some emotional affairs, if not stopped early, can eventually become physical.
How to Spot an Emotional Affair: There are several ways to spot an emotional affair and below are a few telltale signs that you’re threading on troubled waters.
Your Gut Feeling Says its Wrong: While an emotional affair is not always easy to spot for the person involved, the first sure sign you’re having an emotional affair starts with your conscience. If you feel guilty about it, chances are it’s because you know you’re wrong.
Your Meetings Are Kept Secret from Your Partner: Most often, Adole simply tells Ray she’s meeting a friend for coffee, she just doesn’t say who this friend is because she’s sure Ray wouldn’t approve. If you’re keeping your meetings a secret from your partner, then chances are high that the affair is an emotional one. You don’t’ want to have to stop seeing your friend.
You Anticipate Your Meetings with Too Much Excitement: Adole spends about an hour getting dressed for her coffee dates with Eric. This entails fixing her hair, making sure her cloths are just right to be sure she leaves an impression on Eric. During the drive over to the café, she can hardly contain her excitement.
You Think About this Person a Lot: This is a huge telltale sign. Once you’re committed, the only person you should be focused on is your significant other. If you find yourself thinking about the other person a lot, it’s time to back away. You’re walking on thin ice!
You Fantasize About this Person: Thinking about someone other than your husband or fiancé is bad enough. Fantasizing about a celebrity you know you will never meet is the beginning of madness, but fantasizing about the man you meet regularly for coffee is nothing innocent.
You Imagine You’re with this Person when you’re with Your Partner: This is another huge sign that you’re having an emotional affair. When you’re in bed with your man and you find yourself giving him your best moves whilst pretending he’s the other man, you have definitely crossed over from innocent coffee to having an affair.
You Get Jealous when Your Friend Talks About Another Woman: Eric just started seeing Patricia and Adole can’t stand it when he talks about her. She always finds a way to quickly change the topic. Once, Eric paid Patricia a compliment by saying she was the best thing to ever happen to him and Adole felt slighted. She secretly wishes things would end between Eric and his new girlfriend so he can go back to focusing on her.
While emotional affairs are usually not physical, they’re worse because the betrayal involves something bigger than physical contact. It involves contact with the heart which is the deepest way a woman feels and breathes and yearns. Once you have a woman’s heart, you practically have her body. This is not to say that women are the only ones capable of having emotional affairs. Men can too. It’s bad for both sexes, and the best way to stop it from becoming full blown is to stop the moment the guilt sets in and start some form of dialogue with your significant other.
Have you ever had an emotional affair or do you know someone who has? Share your story and thoughts below. We’d love to know what you think.