Screencap from Indecent Proposal/Paramount Pictures (1993)
Before, having an affair only meant being physically and sexually involved with someone other than your partner. But things are different now, and sometimes, being emotionally attached to another person you’re not in a relationship with is considered cheating. Here are the various kinds of infidelity you (or your man) may not be aware of:
1. Emotional cheating According to Sheri Meyers, a marriage therapist and the author of Chatting or Cheating: How to Detect Infidelity, Rebuild Love and Affair-Proof Your Relationship, emotional cheating is “essentially an affair of the heart.” Although you may not be getting frisky in bed with that co-worker you feel so comfortable talking to, it could possibly lead to something more serious and physical.
“All of this drains energy from your primary relationship,” Meyers said. “If you’re fantasizing, having intimate talks and sharing things you should only be sharing with your primary partner or sending late night ‘just thinking of you’ flirty texts, you’re not just having an innocent friendship.”
2. Physical cheating Being intimate and sexually involved is definitely cheating, but according to licensed sex therapist and couples counselor Megan Fleming, Ph.D., it’s still up to the couple on what they will consider as physical cheating.
There are couples who are okay with their partners being touchy with the opposite sex. While there are some who boldly cross the line of getting in bed with them, but opt not to kiss the “other man or woman” since they consider that as an “intimate” act.
3. E-cheating With the digital age today, it’s now easier to communicate with almost everybody. But can being too “friendly” on social media pave the way for a possible affair?
Whether it’s through “liking” a certain individual's posts or talking on messaging apps, if you’re getting too close with someone to the point that you’re hiding it from your partner, you have to stop and come clean about it. The both of you should set boundaries. 4. Mental cheating Now this is a tricky one. According to Fleming, fantasizing other people can be beneficial for your current relationship.
“It's about allowing oneself to use fantasy as a means to create novelty and possibility, which could be with one's partner or with another person. Fantasy doesn't equal reality. I like the idea of robbing a bank and never thinking twice about money, but I would never do that in real life. I think it's important to distinguish fantasy and that which turns us on from what would really turn us on and we'd want in reality.”
But, she also warns that you have to be careful when daydreaming, if you start to develop feelings for the other person and it becomes a distraction from your current relationship, ask yourself why you badly want to escape reality. It’s all about knowing where you stand and evaluating your feelings. If you’re not happy with the one you’re with now, talk to him about it instead of cheating on him–both of you deserve to be happy, even if it means not being together.