To begin with, what is an emotional affair? Emotional infidelity, or emotional cheating, our research and clinical experience on the topic suggest that emotional affairs and physical affairs have a somewhat intertwined trajectory that is to say for the most part, both emotional affairs and physical affairs start in the same way, the only difference is. Physical affairs or sexual affairs take one step further after an emotional affairs. So then what are these stages of affairs, stage one is friendship and closeness. So this would be a stage where you would meet somebody that you feel comfortable and happy talking and sharing with other than your intimate partner. Of course you feel. Some people describe it as chemistry. It feels innocent and most people say that very much feels like a friendship, most likely no foul play is intended in this stage. It is simply an attempt to see comfort and solace. In the companionship of somebody else and being able to vent and talk freely and feel understood it can happen at work. It can happen in the gym. It can happen online. It can pretty much happen anywhere.
Protecting your emotional affair
Stage two is protecting your new relation at this stage. You would start feeling dependent on your new relationship and you start experiencing some level of anxiety of what would happen if your partner or if your family or if your friends found out about your new friends and disapproved of your friendship or threaten to make your partner aware of what is going on you therefore decide to keep it a secret. Likely you’ll find that you’ll comfort yourself with thoughts like I’m not doing anything wrong anyways. It is simply that you’re not ready to deal with the questioning of friends or family or your partner about this new relationship that you’re devote in a way keeping it secret like this makes it even more fun and more exciting. It makes you want to protect it.
Stage three is more than just talking in this stage. You start incorporating your new friend into your life in some way, shape or form. You might go out to lunch together, for example, or get in the habit of working out together three days a week. You simply find ways to spend physical time with and by that, I mean time in their presence, not necessarily being intimate in a way, it is like the beginning stages of dating someone, but of course you’re telling yourself that you guys are going out.
Stage four is physical intimacy. This would be the stage that separates an emotional affair from a physical affair at this stage. You have established a very strong bond and feel very, very connected to the person you’re having the affair with. It starts getting overwhelming and the only release you can think of is being physically intimate with them. It’s at this point. That an emotional affair would turn into a full blown physical and sexual affair. Sometimes these affairs can actually last for years and sometimes they even end up in mayor in other occasions getting to this stage is the beginning of the end for the entire affair in both its physical and emotional forms. Most likely, however. Reaching the stage ends the fantasy of this perfect relationship that you had conjured up in your mind as the relationship that you pin so much of your hope on becomes an endless source of drama, anxiety, stress, and heartbreak.