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Think you’re immune to emotional infidelity? Even the strongest of relationships have ups and downs. Friends are invaluable during these times and can help get your ideas and attitude back where they need to be.
But what if you begin to have feelings for your friend? Do you know how to stop yourself from having an emotional affair? Here are some tips to help you out.
Know the Signs of an Emotional Affair
The best way to prevent an emotional affair is to stop any inappropriate friendships before they start. Understand the boundaries between what’s okay and what’s not. Do you email or call your friend and then keep it from your partner? Do you have romantic feelings for your friend? Are you closer with your friend than you are with your partner?
Rather than constantly walking the edge when it comes to your relationship, keep your behavior in the safety of the middle ground.
Grow Your Pool of Same-Sex Friendships
Sure, men and women can be friends. But there are many times when other things like sexual tension and relationship stress manage to complicate friendships.
For example, a platonic friendship can change if you have an argument with your partner and suddenly believe your friend understands you better than your partner does. Or perhaps you haven’t had time to connect with your partner as you normally would and suddenly feel attracted to your friend. These types of scenarios aren’t going to happen with a same-sex friendship, but they might between pals of the opposite sex.
Strengthen the Friendship You Have With Your Partner
Unlike physical infidelity, emotional affairs can start under the most innocent of circumstances. Many times one partner simply wants someone to listen to them, so when a friend lends a sympathetic ear, additional feelings can occur.
If you feel disconnected from your partner, communicate your needs to him or her rather than a friend. Don’t settle for having one part of your emotional needs fulfilled by your friend and the rest filled up by your partner. Start with your partner first, and know that in the end he or she should be your best friend.
Be Cautious of Attention Seeking Coworkers
Emotional affairs often start at work, and it’s easy to see why. When people work in close proximity for many hours together, the passion they feel for their work can be transferred to their friend. Suddenly their work life can seem more exciting and complete than their personal life.
Not only that, but some people simply don’t respect the relationships of others. What may start as a need for attention from one individual in the office may easily turn into problems for someone else in a committed relationship. If you see someone trying to get attention where they shouldn’t, be extra careful to keep your professionalism in check.
Trust Your Gut
If you have an urge to start hiding the details of your friendship from your partner, take note. Emotional affairs often start because their boundaries seem hard to analyze on the surface. Your head and heart may be conflicted. It’s these instances where you need to trust your instincts. If it feels wrong, it probably is.