It usually begins with innocent intentions
They lock eyes across the room. There is a spark… and they both can feel it instantly.
There is a first date, second date, third date… until suddenly almost every night is spent at each other’s places. Things become official and the two people decide to be in a monogamous relationship, and life couldn’t be more perfect.
Rose-colored glasses are common at the beginning of a relationship. In the first six months to a year, there is a phenomenon referred to as the honeymoon phase where everything about your new partner and the relationship seems absolutely perfect.
After the honeymoon phase, things begin to change. The flaws that weren’t noticed in the two people begin to show, and a fight or two (or ten) is inevitable.
This is around the time that many people start to feel like they aren’t getting everything they need in the relationship. Small things that they want or feel like they need are missing… which can be the initial seed that sprouts into an emotional affair.
An emotional affair is when someone builds an emotional connection with someone else to the point where they are sharing part of themselves. It usually begins with a platonic and well-meaning friendship but it can lead to a much stronger connection.
What are some reasons why someone may be more prone to have an emotional affair in their relationship?
They seek outside validation
If someone has a lack of self-esteem they may need more validation then what is considered a “normal” amount.
If they are in a relationship that isn’t providing the validation they need then eventually they will seek it from outside sources.
This may include posting selfies or “sexy” photos to receive comments, responding to flirty messages from other parties, and just needing more than their partner’s compliments to feel “good” about themselves.
They don’t practice good and healthy boundaries
Often when someone lacks boundaries they will open themselves up to anyone and everyone.
Relationships can form because someone sees themselves as being essential to the well-being of another person either because they need to ‘rescue’ that person, or because they have a deep need to feel important.
This can start out with the best of intentions, but by not having boundaries it is easy to get very close to people… possibly too close.
There is a lack of respect
Two people can be in a relationship and have completely different beliefs and values.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but if one or both parties in the relationship don’t respect the opposing core values it is going to cause constant conflict.
Both of the people in the relationship are going to feel a lack of connection if what they value being understood by their partner.
They can’t express their emotions
If there is a natural tendency to avoid conflict and keep the peace it is going to be extremely difficult to have the hard and honest conversations a healthy relationship requires.
Because of this people will often seek out an easier alternative instead of dealing with their issues in the relationship that has gotten “hard.”
Instead of talking to their partner and resolving the issues they confide in everyone else which causes more distance due to the lack of communication in their relationship.
They long for the excitement of a new relationship
Long-term relationships usually come with a sense of feeling safe and content.
If someone is addicted to the honeymoon rose-colored glasses it can be unbearable to come to terms with their disappointment in the relationship. A healthy long-term relationship comes with security and confront but is going to be different than in the beginning stages.
At the end of the day, some people simply aren’t compatible. It doesn’t mean that anything is wrong with either part. It is no one’s fault if you are in a relationship that isn’t a good fit, but if that’s the case…
Instead of falling into an emotional affair just end the relationship so that both of you can find a better fit.