What’s an emotional affair? Not a physical, face-to-face affair, but an online affair that involves you emotionally. With social media, it’s easy to get sucked into an online relationship before you know it. Even if you aren’t sneaking off to a hotel room, if you’re indulging in digital infidelity, you’re cheating. You’re robbing your partner of your time together, of your emotional intimacy. You’re damaging your relationship.
Social media has given us all sorts of tempting opportunities to be unfaithful, and because it’s easier to be clandestine online you may be indulging without realizing you’re actually cheating on your partner. Here are some signs that you may be having a digital dalliance.
- Obsessively checking someone’s status. Sure, you may check your ex’s status every once and awhile. That’s pretty normal. But if you are constantly looking for new updates and photos, then you have to question the intensity of your interest.
- Posting flirty messages and photos. It’s fun to be flirty, and a certain amount of it is harmless. So how do you know if you’ve gone too far? Ask yourself if you would want your partner to see your photo or message to someone else. If not, you know you shouldn’t be doing it.
- Using fake names. Why are you renaming some contacts in your phone or messaging people with fake names online? If you’re trying to hide who you’re communicating with, then you’re being unfaithful. Your partner doesn’t have to know every message you ever send, but if you go to lengths to hide who you’re talking to, it’s trouble.
- Commenting inappropriately on photos. So your ex posts a photo of him on the beach and you comment, “Wish I was there. Look at those abs!” That’s not innocuous. That’s you, trying to start something. Instead, say something like, “Have fun!” That IS innocuous.
- Confiding secrets. If you’re confiding something personal and intimate to someone who’s not your spouse, it’s a kind of betrayal. Because you should be telling your partner instead. And if you’d rather tell someone else and leave your partner in the dark, you’re cheating on him. Lean on your partner for emotional support first and foremost. Intimacy is more than being physical.
- Accepting friend requests from sexy strangers. Why are you doing this? It’s the first step on the slippery slope of infidelity, which continues when he asks to exchange contact information. Aside from the fact that you’re putting yourself in danger, giving out your contact info just because someone is hot is a betrayal to your partner.
- Deleting your search history. If you feel the need to do this, you’re trying to hide something. Erasing evidence of what you’ve been thinking about, or who you’ve been thinking about, probably means you’re feeling guilty. And why are you feeling guilty? Because you’re being unfaithful in thought, if not deed.
Nancy Travers is an Orange County Counseling professional. If you need safe, effective counseling services, please get in touch. You can reach her here: https://www.nancyscounselingcorner.com/contact