6 Signs You're Having an Emotional Affair

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Could you be having an emotional affair? Unlike physical affairs in which a person is sexually intimate with someone else who isn’t his or her partner, emotional affairs don’t necessarily have a physical component. However, emotional affairs often involve a deep and personal connection with another person who isn’t your mate—and this connection can border on inappropriate. And since there can be a fine line between a close friendship and true emotional infidelity, it’s never been more imperative to be able to recognize the six signs of an emotional affair.

1. You’re Constantly Thinking About This Person

One of the telltale signs that you're having an emotional affair is that you can’t get this other person out of your mind. Rather than thinking about your partner and focusing on his or her wants and needs, your mental attention and energy are fixated on this other person. You may even daydream about being physically intimate with this person as well. And when you’re consumed with thoughts of someone else who isn’t your partner, you’re being emotionally unfaithful by prioritizing this other person in your mind.

2. You Want to Spend as Much Time as Possible With This Person

Another clear-cut sign of an emotional affair is that you seek out as many opportunities as you can to be with this person. And instead of spending time with your partner and carving out moments for the two of you to be together, you’d much rather be hanging out with this other person in your life who has suddenly become more important. Not surprisingly, you may end up neglecting your partner as a result. When you stop placing precedence on being with your partner and start having your free time revolve around someone else, you’re likely engaging in an emotional affair.

3. You Hide Your Relationship With This Person From Your Partner

An additional sign of an emotional affair is that you’re not totally honest with your mate about the nature of your relationship with this person. For example, you may choose to fib or be somewhat vague about the time you’re spending with this other person, and you don’t go into detail with your partner about what the two of you do or talk about when you’re together. And if you're choosing to keep your growing connection with someone else under wraps and aren’t honest with your partner about the depth of this hidden and often forbidden relationship, this constitutes an emotional affair.

4. You Divulge Your Secrets to This Person

Another key indicator of an emotional affair is that you share deeply personal and intimate details with this person—perhaps even more so than you do with you partner. For instance, you may open up to this person about your fears, your past, as well as your hopes and dreams. And in many cases, your partner doesn’t even know this deeper and more real side of you or these other aspects of your life. Instead of treating your partner as a confidante, close friend, and trusted companion, you seek out this other person for emotional support, guidance, and empathy. And when you choose to be vulnerable, honest, and open around someone who isn’t your partner, it’s clear that you’re engaging in an emotional affair.

5. You Want to Impress This Person

One of the other clear signs of an emotional affair is that you go out of your way to impress this other person. Whether you perform random acts of kindness for him or her, always want to look your best for this person, and make a real effort to wow and amaze at all costs, your focus is on captivating the attention of someone else who isn't your partner. And when your goal is to make this other person desire you rather than being your best self for your partner, you're being emotionally unfaithful. 

6. You’re Growing Distant From Your Partner

An additional key characteristic of an emotional affair is that you find yourself growing apart from your partner. You may no longer want to be physically intimate with him or her, aren’t truly interested in communicating or listening to him or her, and you may find yourself comparing your partner to this new person in your life—and your partner constantly coming up short. An emotional affair can drive a wedge between you and your partner because you’re not fully invested in the state of your relationship with one another. Your mate has less of a purpose in your life because someone else has captivated your attention and affection.