Emotional Cheating Vs Friendship: What's The Difference?

Emotional Cheating Vs Friendship: What's The Difference?

What is friendship emotional infidelity? Have you ever had a friend of the opposite sex that you felt closer to than your partner?

If so, then you may have been guilty of emotional cheating. Emotional cheating is often challenging to define, but it can be just as damaging to a relationship as physical cheating.

Are you still not sure if an emotional affair is s such dramatized issue? Many people won't take your side on this one. In fact, 56% of men and 73% of women believe they would be more shocked to learn their partner has just friends emotional cheating than if they found out their partner was physically unfaithful.

So, is he cheating or am I paranoid?

The fact is, we are social creatures that need companionship and intimacy to survive. When we don't feel like we are getting enough attention from our partner, we may start to look for it elsewhere. This is where emotional cheating comes in.

This article will explore the differences between emotional cheating and friendship. We will also discuss the signs that your relationship may be in danger of emotional cheating.

Emotional Affair Vs Friendship: What You Need To Know

My clients frequently ask me about friendship emotional infidelity and if it's worse than a physical affair. While I ask them not to blame themselves for being attracted to someone else, I do think it's important to understand the difference between an emotional affair and a friendship, so you can decide what's right for you.

Here's the colorful story of Sue and Max to help explain the difference.

Sue and Max had always been close. They bonded over their love of science and soon became good friends. But as time passed, Sue found herself drawn to Max in a way she hadn't been with her boyfriend. (Looks like just friends emotional cheating, isn't it?)

She would talk to him for hours on the phone, telling him everything about her day while ignoring her boyfriend's texts.

Max was oblivious that he was causing any harm and thought Sue was just a great friend. But one day, when they were both at a conference, Sue kissed Max impulsively. It wasn't anything serious, but it made her realize how much she had felt for him.

She broke up with her boyfriend soon after that and started dating Max. It was difficult to tell him how she felt. Sue had the hardest months in a relationship, compared to their "friendship."

How do you think, where is the point the emotional affair vs friendship started? Was it when Sue started talking to Max more than her boyfriend or was it when she kissed him?

There is no definitive answer, but I would say that emotional cheating can start long before anything physical happens. Suppose you find yourself confiding in someone other than your partner about things that are important to you. In that case, you might be crossing the line into emotional cheating.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with having close friends of the opposite sex. But if you spend more time with them than your partner, or if you hide your interactions with them from your partner, you might want to reconsider your relationship.

I've got a questionnaire that can help you figure out if you're crossing the line into friendship emotional infidelity. Check it out and see for yourself!

- Do you confide in someone other than your partner about significant things in your life?

- Do you spend more time with this person than your partner?

- Do you keep your interactions with this person a secret from your partner?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might be emotionally cheating on your partner. Don't worry; there is still time to save your relationship!

How To Save Your Relationships From Emotional Cheating?

If you think about whether it's an emotional affair or friendship, don't panic! While it's definitely not a good thing, it's something that can be fixed. The first step is to take action back and assess the situation.

What are you getting from this other person that you're not getting from your partner?

Once you've figured that out, you can start working on addressing the problem in your relationship. You can do a few things to get your relationship back on track.

This article can also provide you with valuable insights into an issue.

Think About Your Bond With A Close Friend

How to tell the difference between an emotional affair and a friendship?

Take a step back and consider your relationship with your close friend. Do you confide in them about things you don't tell your partner? Do you share intimate details of your life with them? If so, then it's time to start rethinking your friendship.

It's not necessarily bad to confide in someone outside your relationship. Still, ensuring that person is not taking up more emotional space than your partner is essential.

If you're uncertain whether you're crossing the line into emotional cheating, ask yourself this question: would I be comfortable if my partner did the same thing?

If the answer is no, then you're dealing with friendship emotional infidelity.

Here are some other signs you may be emotionally cheating on your partner:

- You constantly think about your friend, even when you're with your partner.

- You compare your partner to your friend and wish your partner was more like them.

- You go to your friend for relationship advice instead of talking to your partner.

- You make plans with your friend without including or telling your partner.

- You keep secrets from your partner that you share with your friend.

- Your friendship feels more intimate than your relationship.

If any of these statements sound familiar, then it's time to have a conversation with your friend – and maybe your partner.

Set Up Boundaries With Your Friend

If you find yourself in any of the "emotional affair vs friendship" situations above, it's essential to have a conversation about setting up boundaries.

It's possible to have a close friendship without crossing the line into emotional cheating, but it does require some effort.

- First, talk to your partner about your concerns. They may be feeling just as left out as you are and could be open to the idea of you spending less time with your friend. You also will be less concerned about who is he snapchatting, as trust in a relationship is a two-sided issue.

- Next, talk to your friend about what you're comfortable sharing with them. It's okay to set boundaries in a friendship – you don't have to share everything with each other. It's essential for preventing "emotional affair vs friendship" problem.

- Finally, include your partner in more activities with your friend. Invite them along to lunch or include them in group events.

Remember, having close friendships is possible without crossing the line into emotional cheating. With a little effort, you can ensure that your friendship is healthy and beneficial for everyone involved.

Invest In Your Relationship

How to solve "emotional affair vs friendship" problem? Instead of spending all of your time with your friends, make sure to invest some quality time into your relationship.

First, set aside some time each week to spend with just your partner. This can be as simple as going on a walk together or cooking dinner at home.

Second, discuss things that are important to you – both the good and the bad. It's significant to feel like you can share anything with your partner without being judged.

Finally, take time to do things you know will make your partner happy. Whether planning a weekend getaway or taking care of some household chores, little gestures can go a long way in making your partner feel loved and appreciated. And you won't face a friendship emotional infidelity in your relationship.

Find that you and your partner are struggling to connect on an emotional level. It may be time to seek professional help. A relationship counselor can help you and your partner learn to communicate more effectively and work through any underlying issues.

Work On Your Insecurity

Just friends emotional cheating stems from a place of insecurity. If you're feeling down about yourself, it's easier to turn to someone outside your relationship for validation. This is why working on your insecurities is important before they ruin your relationship.

What do guys think when a girl compliments them? The same as you do - joy and self-confidence!

Habits like self-reflection and positive affirmations can help you build up your self-esteem, so you don't need to seek validation from others. Ask yourself: what are the things that make you feel good about yourself? Make a list of these things and remind yourself of them often.

It's also essential to communicate with your partner about your insecurities and emotional affair vs friendship issues. They can't help you if they don't know what's happening. Be open and honest with them, so they can support you through this tough time. They'll be more than happy to help boost your confidence.


Emotional affair or friendship? There's a big difference between emotional cheating and friendship. If you feel like you need to cheat, it's time to take a step back and reassess your relationship. It's not worth ruining something good for a fleeting moment of attention.

Work on building up your self-esteem and being honest with your partner so you can have a healthy, happy relationship. I hope this article helped clear things up for you. Thanks for reading!


Your Friendly Neighborhood Relationship Consultant