Emotional Cheating – Signs that shows you have crossed the line
Are you really just friends? Have you crossed the line?
If you are asking yourself these questions, you may already be engaged in emotional cheating.
The glue of romantic relationships consists of physical, sexual and emotional attractions and attention. In a serious relationship, both partners often consider faithfulness as a core value or expectation. When a partner cheats by way of having sexual affair, it dashes a heavy blow on the foundation of the relationship. The person’s action may be forgiven but it may leave a lasting mark on the relationship. That is if the relationship doesn’t dissolve as a result of the act.
As dangerous as sexual affair may be to the continuity and health of relationships, emotional cheating can be more devastating. Most sexual affairs begin with emotional infidelity. In fact, some people may be more upset by emotional cheating than sexual infidelity of non-emotional origin (which is not uncommon). Emotional cheating kills trust faster than sexual affair because it is hardly excusable especially where a partner has always been emotionally available.
Emotional cheating often stems from friendship between opposite sex, sometimes making it difficult to discern when you actually cross the line. To assess the risk of friendship on your existing relationship, take an honest look at your feelings, intentions and actions. Consider also what you perceived of the other person’s feelings and intentions. A good approach is to ask yourself how you will feel if the situation were reversed. If you would be upset if your partner were to be in your position then you are probably cheating.
You will know if you have moved or are moving from friendship to something more. There are many indicators that signal that you are cheating on your partner emotionally. Just to be clear, here are some of those indicators which you should watch out for if you value your relationship:
1. You hide the relationship from your partner
Relationship thrives when both partners are open to each other. If you have nothing to hide, you shouldn’t have problems telling your partner about your friends. If you are afraid that your partner would not understand the relationship or will feel jealous, then he or she might actually have a reason to feel that way. How would you feel if you get to find out about someone your partner considers a friend only late in the relationship? It is a question of trust.
2. The time you spend together is increasing
If you find yourself spending more time with the person, so much so that your partner gets less attention, you may want to rethink the friendship. The more you spend time with that person, the higher the chances that one of you will develop intimacy for the other. This is especially true when you spend time in private spaces.
3. You share intimate details
Intimate information is usually reserved for our closest relationships. The more you share information with someone the closer you become. They may become your first line confidant instead of your partner. If your partner is suppose to know about something and you only tell it to your friend, it may be an indication that you are crossing the line.
4. You share frustration about your partner
It is unhealthy to discuss your relationship problems with someone else, especially someone who might be romantically interested in you. Such a person can even take advantage of your current difficulty to ruin your relationship. A better approach is to discuss your problems openly with your partner at the appropriate time.
5. You compare the person with your partner
If you find yourself comparing your partner to someone else, it may be that you are developing some interest in the person. It shows that either your partner is just a friend or this someone else is more than just a friend. Relationships are about accepting the other person weaknesses as much as you would their strengths. If you can help them grow past those weaknesses, that’s even better.
6. You dress up specially to meet with the person
When you start to plan what to wear or spend extra time on your appearance before you see a friend, it might be that you want to leave an impression. If you see yourself hoping that the person will find you attractive, you may want to rethink the friendship. This is not to say that you shouldn’t dress to look good. Sincerity of purpose is important here.
7. You can hardly concentrate when the person is around
This is a sure sign that you have gone beyond friendship with the person. It may not yet be a mutual feeling but it’s only a matter of time before the relationship goes from emotional cheating to sexual affair.
Once these signs are present and you do not take action to address them, the relationship will soon tilt from emotional cheating towards sexual affair. On that gradient you begin to notice you start thinking more about the person, spending longer time on the phone or social media with them. The height of this development is you begin to call them sweet names that you would rather call your partner, exchanging text message and photos, and even fantasizing about them.
At this point, it doesn’t matter whether or not you have had any sexual affair with the person; you are actually cheating on your partner in the worst of ways. Your primary relationship may begin to mean less to you at this point as you are overshadowed by the growing butterflies in your stomach. Your partner may soon begin to witness physical, emotional and even sexual deficiencies. Sometimes your intimacy with your partner may begin to decrease without you even noticing.
If you value your relationship, you would communicate with your partner when you find yourself on the verge of an emotional cheating. If you fear that the outcome of being open in this manner would be unfruitful then it is best you cut off from the friendship to save your relationship. Remember that it is easier to tell a partner before rather than after something happens. Carry out the conversation as early as possible, before the feelings become stronger and mutual. If that happens, you are highly at risk of having problems in your relationship.
A sexual affair may go unnoticed but a sustained emotional affair would hardly go unnoticed. In fact when it becomes obvious or gets discovered (which is only a matter of time), your partner may not believe that a sexual affair has not taken place even if you have not been sleeping with the person. And unless separated by distance, it is almost impossible to argue that no sexual act has been committed. More so, your partner may hardly trust that you would simply decease from cheating on them emotionally with this person or someone else in the future.
If your relationship is important to you, you would easily sacrifice any threatening friendship to protect it. You just can’t keep both. Moreover, you have a reliable friend in your partner so what more could you want. If you cheat because you feel that you are not in the right relationship, it may be better to end it and move on respectfully. Otherwise, a sustained emotional cheating is a sign of emotional immaturity or excessive need for emotional attention.
If your partner is emotionally unavailable, try discussing with them about your emotional needs. Cheating, no matter what forms it occurs, dishonors a relationship, betrays confidence and poses great risk to its survival. Watch your friendships and guide your relationship against the risk of emotional cheating.