Many people don’t realize that they’re venturing into dangerous territory. Understanding the signs of emotional infidelity is key.
It’s vital to understand the signs of emotional infidelity in a relationship. It can help you understand whether your connections are completely innocent and friendship-based, or whether you might be crossing over a dangerous red line.
Imagine how you’d feel…
How would you feel if your partner was emotionally close to someone else?
Everyone has friends and family members they’re close to and often share their thoughts and feelings with those people. That’s not what I’m talking about.
I’m talking about your partner forming a connection with another person, and they seem to share everything with them. Would you become jealous? Suspicious? Worried about why they were spending so much time together?
Maybe you aren’t even aware of it. It’s entirely possible that someone forms this type of emotional connection in a completely innocently fashion. Perhaps a close friendship that nobody has any intention of taking anywhere else.
12 signs of emotional infidelity that cross the red line
The problem is, emotions have a habit of running out of control occasionally and it’s sometimes the case that we don’t realize how far they’ve progressed before it’s too late.
#1 Your mind is always on the other person. If you find that you can’t stop thinking about the other person, you really have to question why. If this is just a friend, it’s not normal to be thinking about them constantly. We do this when we develop a connection that is more than just friends. [Read: Can you be in love with two people? Of course! But should you?]
#2 You compare your “friend” with your partner. If you compare the two people in your life, then you have problems. Your partner is a separate entity to your friends, family, and colleagues. You should feel differently about them and never feel the need to compare. If you’re doing this, it’s a huge red flag.
#3 You’re spending more and more time together. Sure, you spend time with people you’re close to, but if you find that the amount of time you’re spending with this other person is on the rise, question why that is.
#4 You tell the other person your secrets. There are some things you shouldn’t be sharing with anyone other than your partner, and there are certain things within your relationship which should never be told to anyone else. If you find yourself doing this, it’s one of the signs of emotional infidelity.
#5 You’re not completely honest with your partner about the other person. You might tell your partner that you’re going to see someone else, when in reality you’re going to see the person you’re starting to connect with. If this occurs, question your reason for hiding the friendship. If it was innocent, you wouldn’t have to hide it. [Read: Emotional affairs and the irreparable damage it can cause on your love life]
#6 You’re connecting less and less with your partner. It’s likely that your sex life is taking a nose dive because you’re just not connected in the same way anymore. If your mind is on the other person, you can’t be completely connected and present with your partner.
#7 You always try to look your best before you see the other person. Why do you feel the need to dress up before you see the other person? It’s because you want them to see the best version of you, so you can impress them and get them to like you back. That’s one of the signs of emotional infidelity in a big, big way. [Read: Micro-cheating – what it is and signs you’re already doing it]
#8 You can’t deny the connection you have. You probably feel like the other person really understands you in a way that nobody else does. That right there is one of the huge signs of emotional infidelity. Sure, you might have things in common with this other person, but if the connection is undeniable, think carefully about your motivation.
#9 Your communication starts to spread. If you find yourself texting each other when you’re at home with your partner, you’re arranging to meet each other at odd times, or you’re simply taking your communication to a totally new level, what are you doing and why? Is it that you’re starting to have romantic feelings?
#10 They infiltrate your dreams. Okay, so you don’t have total control over your dreams but if you’re thinking about this person more, especially before bed, the chances are that they’re going to pop up in your dreams. The more this happens, the more worrying it becomes. While you can’t totally control this, it’s certainly one of the signs of emotional infidelity. [Read: How to recognize an affair fog when you’re mesmerized by someone else]
#11 You have a reaction when you see them or hear from them. Think back to the time when you first met your partner. When you saw them or when they called you, did you have butterflies? If you’re feeling that way whenever this other person comes into contact with you, why is that? It’s probably because you’re building an attraction.
#12 If you thought about the boot being on the other foot, you wouldn’t be happy. Basically, if your partner were doing the exact same thing you’re doing, would you be happy about it? Would you be hurt and upset? Would you feel betrayed? If the answer is ‘yes’ you’ve come across one of the signs of emotional infidelity. Stop and assess what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. [Read: Do emotional affairs ever end? How to break the connection]
How many of those signs of emotional infidelity can you nod your head to? Even one of them isn’t the greatest of news, but if there are several then sit down and have a really good conversation with yourself.
What is it that is pushing you towards this other person? Are you missing something in your current relationship that you’re trying to get from somewhere else? How do you feel about your partner?
Emotional affairs are often far more damaging than sexual ones. The reason is because sex can sometimes be a mistake and emotions aren’t really involved. However, when you develop a connection, that’s pretty damning on the relationship you have. [Read: When does flirting become cheating? A guide to know for sure]
Take a step back and evaluate everything carefully. If you need to spend less time with the other person to see things clearly, do so. If you miss them desperately, then you really do need to ask yourself harder questions.
When emotions become involved, it’s even harder to break free, but if you’re dedicated to your partner and you love them, work out what the primary motivation was for you to start this emotional affair. Take time to break things down in your own head. [Read: Tempted to cheat? 15 reasons why staying faithful is so hard]
The single best motivation is to think about how you would feel if it was the other way around and your partner was the one having the emotional affair. You’d be heartbroken, no doubt. Use that to put things right, whether that means fixing things on a relationship level or deciding to leave.