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Emotional cheating is an emotional affair which is most times referred to as an affair of the heart. It is the emotional intimacy between two people that bond closely in a romantic way but have not been physically intimate yet.
Most times, sexual feelings in emotional affairs are often denied to maintain the illusion that it is just a special friendship.
Although emotional affair tend to be very common like sexual affair, many couples and even singles in relationships have strong emotional involvement with other people without physical intercourse.
Emotional affair often starts as friendship, and it progresses towards intimacy and attachment. You start confiding more in each other, talking about deep secrets. You even have more intimate emotional feelings with your new partner than with your existing spouse.
You start to feel dependent on the feelings that come with your new relationship. Then you start anticipating phone calls, emails or text messages. This emotional attachment to another person may impact your marriage or relationship negatively.
Emotional affairs drain energy and fun from your primary relationship. You spend a lot of emotional energy on this new person that it may lead to an obsession.
While an emotional affair may not be physically sexual yet, sexual and emotional chemistry can present itself based on a physical attraction one feels for the new person. It can also be related to an increase in dopamine, a hormone that produces feelings of pleasure, and an increase in excitement. This feeling may lead to physical intimacy only if nurtured.
The time between the first meeting and the first kiss can often be very lengthy, but the time between the first kiss and sexual intercourse may be very short.
Sex happens quickly after the first physical contact because what follows next is usually quick due to the high level of intimacy and unspoken attraction already existing between the two people involved.
Sometimes, people in stable relationships find themselves thinking a little too much about a particular person. It might be a friend, a co-worker, or even an ex. You have never gone anything beyond a hug, but you still wonder if there’s something more about how you feel on the inside for this person.
An unfaithful spouse may spend inappropriate or excessive time with someone of the opposite or same sex on phone chatting. An individual who invests more emotionally into a relationship with someone besides their partner will cause their existing relationship to suffer.
Deception and secrecy takes over because those involved in emotional affairs are likely not to tell their partners about the amount of time they spend with the other person online.
It may lead to increased fighting and constant bickering because one partner is emotionally involved with a third party, perceiving the new person as good and their committed partner as not good enough, and this takes a toll on the relationship.
Often, people who become involved in emotional affairs feel something is lacking in their present relationship. So, an emotional affair makes them feel good because they feel understood and desired by this new friend.
For some people, finding out about an emotional affair can be worse than discovering sexual infidelity. Sexual acts most times do not necessarily contain affection or intimacy. It could be literally about relieving oneself of sexual tension.
But emotional affair is much more about being connected. It is about loving another person and having a sense of feeling wanted and protected when you are with them.
Unlike a platonic friendship, there’s sexual chemistry between two people in an emotional affair. Sexual fantasies play out in their heads too. They may even start sharing unflattering details about their present relationship with this new person.
If you find yourself fantasizing and having intimate talks and sharing things you should only be sharing with your spouse or partner, you are having an emotional affair.
If you keep sending late night flirty texts or missing your new friend even with your partner beside you, you are becoming more deeply involved with this person. And it’s no longer an innocent friendship.