5 Signs Your Innocent Friendship Has Turned Into a Full-Blown Emotional Affair

Emotional affairs often begin as non-sexual friendships.

What is an emotional affair? How did your innocent flirting with someone you claim to be just good friends with turn into emotional cheating and infidelity?

I cannot count how many couples have come into my life with their relationships in shambles — with one spouse saying that their partner had an affair, with the other denying an affair occurred often proclaiming that they are “just really good friends” and that they “never had sex”.

So…was it an emotional affair?

In a monogamous relationship, people share both emotional and sexual information that is exclusive to their partners. They expose their weaknesses, mistakes, and innermost feelings.

We build trust with the other person because we make ourselves vulnerable. These conversations are valued and treasured by us because we know this information is reserved for us and only we have access to these aspects of our partner.

Emotional affairs often begin as non-sexual friendships. We confide in our friends perhaps because we feel our partner lacks understanding or they are unavailable.

This is particularly common with couples where one or both partners is a busy executive. When we lack access to our mate and need an outlet to talk to, we turn to our friends. And there are the always available social media, where platonic relationships can easily take root as deep and emotional friendships.

One important point here is that a majority of the emotional affairs begin as harmless friendships without any intention or plan to develop the relationship beyond that of a platonic friendship.

Unfortunately, we all have limited time, energy, and emotional resources available — and when these finite commodities are expended on the “friendship” rather than your partner relationship, there is a disconnection where the partner has cheated, emotionally.

An emotional affair is one where a person falls in love with another person but the relationship is not sealed with a sexual act. Over time, if the emotional affair continues (perhaps you flirt without realizing), it often leads to a sexual affair.

Emotional affairs can be devastating and destructive to your current relationship and family. In fact, emotional affairs can cause as much (or more) damage as physical affairs, but be more devious since they are less obvious.

Why? Because it leads to secrecy, deception, and is established primarily to gain an emotional high or to run away from negative experiences within the actual marriage itself.

One of my clients recounts, “I was so much more shattered by my husband finding solace and love with her. I could have more easily forgiven a one night stand because she wouldn’t have meant anything to him but as an object for sex.”

When someone falls in love and seeks such intimacy with that other person, when the time spent with the partner is superficial because their heart longs to be with someone else, the underlying trust is shaken.

Casual flirting or a crush don’t even begin to cover the irreparable damage such kind of “affairs” cause.

So, are you having an emotional affair or are you just friends? Are you on the path to an affair, even though nothing has physically escalated…yet?

Here are 5 signs you’re having an emotional affair (and you need to stop).

1. You have conversations you’re not too comfortable with your spouse knowing about

Do you find yourself hiding your phone (or getting a separate one), making sure your email and phone passwords are secret? Maybe you’re thinking “I’m glad my partner isn’t (reading, watching, finding) this (call, text, picture).”

These are signals the “friendship” boundaries have already been crossed.

2. You find yourself daydreaming or making plans with this person

Examine your mindshare. Does this person occupy your thoughts unceasingly? Are they on your mind when you go to sleep, when you awake in the morning, and during most of the day? Whenever you are alone, do you think about them and seek opportunities to speak with them?

In a way, you begin to idealize this person. You may become more discontent with your partner and share concerns and problems with your friend while becoming more distant with your spouse. At times, you may even have disappointment that your spouse doesn’t do things like your friend does.

You, then, begin to find faults in your spouse for habits, beliefs, or approaches to situations that were never an issue and have always been present in the relationship.

Your tolerance for your mate is then less and they begin to irritate you leading to the belief that this person understands much better you’re your spouse ever did or could.

If you find yourself feeling more connected to your friend rather than your own spouse, then clearly some changes need to be made.

3. You’ve lost interest in being intimate with your spouse

It is a fallacy you think that affairs begin in the bedroom. Affairs actually begin in the mind.

First, emotional involvement often leads to our seeing our friend as having few, if any, flaws. This leads to our partner’s flaws becoming considerably more obvious leading to our being critical of our spouse and their habits and mentally comparing them to our friend.

While looking your best for work or going out is not an issue, the action of doing so for a specific person is entirely different. The action of being visually attractive to another person begins in the mind.

Expending considerable emotional energy and thought into dressing up for a friend is a signal that the relationship has a deeper meaning than that of traditional friendship.

Once you dress the part do you let your imagination play out romantic fantasies about your friend? Daydreaming and planning a new life with our friend is often the next step in the progression of an emotional affair.

This mental scenario with our friend is beginning to evolve into a relationship that we feel would be far superior to that of our partner. Directing your energy into cultivating a fantasy is not far from the fantasy transforming into a reality.

4. You’re spending less time with your spouse

Are you spending less time with your mate since the relationship with your friend has become a more significant part of your life? Are you are sharing personal problems, feelings, and thoughts with your friend instead of your partner?

Do you create ways to talk with or be alone with your friend? Do you stage opportunities where it is probable you will run into your friend and then the opportunity to speak with them appears organic? Do you find excuses to talk with them?

Whenever you have something exciting in your life or anything good or bad happens, do you rush to this person to share?

Whether it is communication, your daily life stuff, affection, thoughts, time or focus, does your spouse get less of your mind share while your friend gets more?

While there is nothing wrong with having a good friend, the problem comes when you begin to share less with your mate.

If everything that you used to give to your partner has become considerably less or completely transferred to this new person these are warning signs that an emotional affair is in the works.

5. You keep secrets and lie

Are you keeping the friendship with the other person a secret? Do you minimize the amount of time you spend with your friend to others? Do you omit details about meetings, private lunches, or phone calls?

Do you guard passwords, access to your phone and social media accounts from being seen by your partner? Do you delete evidence from your phone, lie about your whereabouts or deny having communication with your friend?

These are also hallmarks of an emotional affair.

Now that you’ve realized that you’re on the brink of an affair without meaning to, what should you do next?

It is important to remember that even when such affairs do not cross the line and reach the physical stage, the impact is equally damaging and could put your marriage in a danger zone.

The intimacy and chemistry that is the core of an emotional affair have a deeper emotional intensity because you happen to be emotionally invested in it.

An emotional affair is bad, it can slowly disconnect you from your partner and you won’t even realize it. If you have such a kind of friendship with the opposite sex, cut the relationship ASAP. Otherwise, it will take you down the road of a physical affair very soon.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Signs A Girl Wants You To Make A Move

When I was in high school, I went to the movies with a girl who clearly liked me, but I was clueless and hesitant. After giving me all sorts of hints in the dark theater, I still wouldn’t make a move.

Afterwards she was frustrated and told me that we should just be friends. I look back on that story and cringe, but, like many guys, I didn’t know the signs a girl wants you to make a move. You can learn from my mistake!

Even though we live in the age of independent women, guys are still expected to make the first move. So, typically she’s going to drop the hints and you’re going to have to make the first move.

However, you don’t have to be clueless like me. While there aren’t crystal clear guidelines, there will be strong signs a girl wants you to make a move. If you get the vibe, then by all means, make your move.

Body Language Signs

Women can be difficult to understand partly because they can play hard to get or want you to prove that you’re interested. So, she might be giving you mixed signals with her words. This is where body language can be helpful.

Body language is done mostly subconsciously so she might be testing you with her words, while her body tells the tale of attraction.

Open and Engaging

The first step of seeing if she likes you is to look at her behavior when she’s around you. If she’s open, as in open arms, uncrossed legs, and relaxed, then she’s clearly comfortable with you.

Look for a high level of open and engaging body language, like leaning in, making eye contact, and not slouching when you’re talking to her.

Pointing

When a girl likes you, she will orient her body towards you, a phenomenon called “pointing.” Typically girls will point with their navels, their legs, and their feet in this situation. Both men and women will point towards people they find attractive.

Pay attention to pointing when you’re in a large group. If she is pointing her hips and/or legs in your direction, even while engaging everyone else, then her subconscious body language is gravitating towards you.

Touching and Proximity

couple holding hands in a fieldIf she gets close to you a lot and touches you, that’s a major sign the girl wants you to make a move. Keep in mind the touching will be more subtle.

Does she touch your arm? Does she massage your shoulders for a few seconds? If you’re showing her something on your phone, does she lean in closely, getting almost inappropriately close?

These are all subtle, but clear indicators that she is interested in you in some capacity. If she comes out and kisses you then you don’t even need to make a move! She did it for you.

Remember something about body language, though. It often indicates comfort and liking which isn’t always romantic. You’ll have to make sure other signs line up before assuming she’s into you sexually.

Gives You Permission

When I was talking to the girl I took to the movies, she told me how a friend of hers wanted her to model for him. He joked that he wouldn’t mind her doing some clothes-free photos. She laughed it off, but told me she’d happily let me take those photos of her.

Yes, I was a total idiot. Even with that gigantic sign that she liked me, I still held back from making a move, second guessing myself!

You’re probably laughing at my cluelessness. But, you know that in the moment, it’s easy to doubt, overthink, and second guess yourself. Knowing the signs a girl wants you to make a move isn’t always easy in the moment.

If she drops hints that she could see herself doing something romantic and sexual with you, that’s a huge sign she wants you to actually do it. Yes, she’s basically giving you permission to make a move on her.

Flirting

Flirting is the silent language of sexual attraction. On a basic level, flirting is joking around and having fun with someone you find attractive. Women will typically smile a lot, giggle, touch their hair, and touch you when they’re flirting.

If your conversations are fun and flirty with sexual tension, then it’s a good indicator she is attracted to you. Keep in mind, however, that some women flirt with almost anyone just for attention. So, if she does it with everyone, you might not be special.

Time And Attention

Whenever my clients ask me if a girl likes them, I always ask the level of attention she gives them. If it’s a lot, the signs are good she likes them. If they get her scraps and leftovers, then not so much. We pay attention to what we like. It’s that simple.

Of course, giving you attention could simply be a sign of friendship. However, if you’re getting her best time and attention, then it probably means she likes you more. This not only includes attention in real life, but also social media.

For example, when you text her does she text right back? When you ask her out does she say “yes” instantly? Is she always laughing at your jokes and taking interest in your activities and hobbies? If you’re getting that level of attention, she almost certainly likes you as more than a friend…and wants you to make some kind of move.

Compare Yourself To Her Guy Friends

If you’re looking for signs she wants you to make a move, compare yourself to her guy friends. Look at how she interacts with them vs. how she treats you.

If she treats you and them the same, then there’s little chance she finds you romantically attractive. But, if she treats you differently, interacting with you in a more sexual, flirtatious manner, then you can be pretty sure she is after you…and wants you to take it to the next level.

One good sign is also that her guy friends seem jealous about you. They are clearly picking up on her feelings towards you at that point. It’s further confirmation.

Making the Move: What to do?

couple kissing in snowIf you see the signs she wants you to make a move, read the situation carefully. If you barely know her, your “move” might just be to put your arm around her or grab her hand. From that point, you can escalate to more, like kissing or making out.

Just remember, that some women will want to move more slowly. So, if she lets you hold your hand, but rejects your kiss, don’t get upset. Go back to holding her hand and get to know her better. Maybe later in the evening or at another time, she’ll let you kiss her or do even more.

The key is to build comfort with her never try to push yourself on her. If you’re attractive, she trusts you, and she gives you the signs, then you can make your move comfortably and securely knowing that you both clearly want it. Above all, if she says “no” then you have to respect that.

So, don’t be a fool like I was in university. If you’re getting the signs she likes you, then make that move! You’ll both be happier for it. And, if she rejects you, then get better at reading the signs. There are other fish in the sea who will like you.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

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Why People Cheat Even When They Know It’s Wrong, According To Psychologists

If you were to walk up to a random stranger and ask how they feel about cheating, chances are they’d say it’s not OK. In fact, 90 percent of people believe infidelity is unacceptable, and acknowledge the negative impact it can have on a relationship. And yet up to 40 percent of folks do it anyway.

Clearly, the math doesn’t add up. So why might someone go behind their partner’s back, even though they agree it’s wrong? “For some people, they appreciate the extra attention,” Dr. Christopher Ryan Jones, PsyD, a clinical psychologist and sex therapist, tells us. “This doesn’t mean that their partner at home is not giving them attention, though that is sometimes the case. But for some people they need validation from others.”

They might seek out another person’s time or attention — or even look for a hookup — as a way of feeling connected and seen. “This could be due to an improper view of self, low self-esteem, or self worth, etc.,” Jones says. “By cheating, they receive the validation they need and feel better about themselves.”

Other folks don’t set out with the goal of cheating, but instead see it happening little by little, especially if their needs aren’t being met. “Perhaps they’ve tried to communicate these needs with their partner but don’t feel heard or understood and, over time, and over multiple seemingly insignificant events, they start to fantasize about [meeting] certain needs (sexual and/or emotional) outside of the relationship,” Jaclyn Lopez Witmer, a licensed clinical psychologist at Therapy Group of NYC, tells Bustle.

Some people cheat on their partner as a way of boosting their self-esteem.

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This might mean flirting with a friend or being way too open with a coworker, and building an affair from there. “Perhaps an opportunity presents itself for a connection with someone else and, as the expression goes, one thing leads to another,” Lopez Witmer says. “This might start with ‘emotional cheating,’ [or] sharing intimate moments or vulnerable feelings with someone who is not their partner.”

Because it isn’t happening all in one fell swoop, it’s easier to get used to what’s going on, and later justify it to themselves. “There’s the moral piece to that, and also factors at play like length of time in relationship with [their] primary partner, quality of relationship, how one defines ‘cheating’ (e.g., emotional, physical, only involving sexual contact, etc.), among others,” Lopez Witmer says.

If they view their relationship as somehow flimsy or flawed, emotional cheating might not feel like a big deal — or it might even feel like it’s somehow OK due to the circumstances. “Usually, before cheating occurs there’s a shift in how the cheating partner feels about their partner and the relationship, and they (consciously or unconsciously) choose to step away from their partner,” Lopez Witmer says. “This usually happens first in their mind before any other person is involved.”

Cheating in all its forms can also be used as a way to end relationships. So while someone might not endorse cheating, they might be OK with using it as a way to break things off with their partner. “For them, its easier to just find someone else,” Jones says. “In this situation their partner breaks up with them, so they don’t have to do it, and they already have another relationship so they don’t have to be single.” In such a win-win situation, cheating can be tempting.

Expert say some people cheat, even though they know it's wrong, as a way to end a relationship they no longer want to be in.

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While someone might agree that cheating is wrong, they could find themselves doing it anyway for all these reasons and more. But it’s far less likely to happen if a couple is willing to talk it out. “This means expressing emotional needs and difficult emotions to your partner and also being open to hearing what your partner feels and needs in return that you may not be adequately providing,” Lopez Witmer says.

And this is true even if it feels tough or uncomfortable. “Often we choose not to share how we are really feeling out of fear that we will hurt the other person or that it will become a big, intense argument,” Lopez Witmer says. But the more often couples share these types of things, and support each other, the easier it becomes.

It can also help to chat about what constitutes cheating, “both emotional and physical,” Anita A. Chlipala, LMFT, a licensed marriage and family therapist, tells us. “It’s a lot easier to cross a boundary when the boundary is blurred,” she says. But if a couple agrees on what’s OK and what isn’t, and is willing to talk about how they’re feeling and what they want on a regular basis, they’ll both be way less likely to resort to cheating.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!