What you construe as harmless flirting could signal something deeper.
Despite conventional views of cheating as involving physical interaction, your close friendships could also be crossing the line. According to experts, emotion-based affairs are rooted in inappropriately close relationships between individuals—ones that revolve around deep conversation and emotional intimacy.
What’s more, psychologists and relationship experts alike note that high levels of emotional intimacy are likely to lead to sexual contact down the road.
Relationship expert Shannon Tebb lists the following as signs of an emotional affair:
- Discussing marital problems/frustrations as well as intimacies with another party
- Over-sharing details that you wouldn’t discuss with your partner
- Engaging in flirting or sexual banter
- Sneaking around your partner to speak to/see this individual
- Fantasizing about this person
If you believe you could be having an emotional affair, consider cutting contact with the offending party. What’s more, couples therapy—or individual, behavioural therapy—is an excellent idea. Getting to the bottom of your infidelity and its underlying cause is essential to repairing your relationship.