Emotional Affairs; what are they? Are you having one?

emotional affair

Emotional Affairs; what are they? Are you having one?


Affairs don’t have to involve physical contact to have a devastating effect on a partnership. Emotional affairs are to blame for many breakups and can be even more distressing than a physical affair due to the intensity of the emotions felt. It can be very upsetting to realise that your partner has been confiding in another person or getting some kind of “high” from simply having conversations with them and swapping their innermost thoughts.


The closeness and bond which a loving couple share, is partly due to the effect of their physical contact and partly due to the effect of their emotional ties and when you are in a loving relationship, sharing hopes, dreams and fears is one of the biggest aspects of that. An emotional affair occurs when one half of a couple take their emotional needs elsewhere and begin to confide in someone else.


The Boom of Online Emotional Affairs
In today’s digital age, it is possible to have contact with many people without actually being in the same room as them and this has contributed widely to an epidemic of emotional affairs occurring. Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites which allow users to message one another privately are a common place for emotional affairs to begin. All it takes is for an old friend or an ex partner to make contact and before too long, a flurry of exciting messages are pinging back and forth.


Signs of an emotional affair are not always clear cut and sometimes you can find yourself conducing one online without having realised what was happening.


• Messaging an ex or a friend of the opposite sex regularly
• Hiding the messages from your partner
• Telling the ex or the friend secrets which would usually be told only to your partner
• Sending flirtatious messages or risqué pictures
• Thinking about the person often
• Feeling like you can’t wait to read their next message


The simple habit of messaging the other person can morph into an addiction if you find that you are gaining a lot of emotional support from them. Equally, another person flattering you can lead to a need to retain the emotional affair as it makes you feel good about yourself. The danger lies in the fact that emotional affairs must eventually lead somewhere else…usually a meeting and that’s where the real problems can begin.


Emotional Affairs in the Workplace
The workplace can be a stressful environment and is often a place where emotional affairs begin and grow into full blown affairs. If you work in a stressful profession or one where employees socialise often, then it can be very common to begin to confide in a colleague. This is usually a healthy relationship but the lines can become blurred if your discussions begin to grow more personal in nature.


Sending regular text messages is one of the warning signs of a workplace emotional affair and most especially if the text messages are happening in the evenings and at weekends. It’s easy to fall into a routine of confiding in a colleague and the flirting which can result from this is a real flashpoint for full blown affairs to start. The warning signs that a workplace friendship has crossed the line can be obvious to observers but less so to those involved.


• Many text messages being exchanged even on weekends
• Plans to meet up for drinks or meals without other colleagues
• Exchanging hopes, dreams and worries about personal lives
• Discussing relationship problems


If you have fallen into the danger zone with a friend, ex or colleague then it must be addressed if you do not want your relationship to suffer. Emotional affairs can be destructive and once the high has gone, people are often left feeling disappointed and dissatisfied. Take control of the affair by asking the other person to stop messaging you. Break any habits which you may have formed such as regular meetings or picture exchanges.


An emotional affair will burn out pretty quickly if it is not taken to the next level!

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