We all know about physical cheating. But what do you know about emotional cheating? And what do the signs say about this low-key event? Here are the things to look for and the following steps to take.
Much is said about cheating with your body, but what is emotional cheating? And why does it feel like the end of the world to you?
Any kind of cheating is terrible. It rips apart the trust you put in it. It makes you think about every part of your relationship. It makes you think again about how you feel about yourself and love. Simply put, it has the power to destroy someone’s whole life.
The problem is that there isn’t always a clear line between what one person thinks is cheating and what another person thinks is cheating. You might think kissing is cheating, but your partner might think it’s fine as long as there’s no sex involved.
Emotional cheating is one of the most challenging things to figure out. What is emotional infidelity, and why is it one of the most hurtful ways to cheat?
Now, I want to clarify that I’m not saying that physical cheating isn’t as wrong. It is. It’s a bad thing. But when someone gets emotionally attached to someone else, it can make you question your love for that person even more. Someone can have sex and not feel anything, but when feelings are there, that’s when serious questions come up.
Please read about how affairs usually begin and almost always end to find out why people cheat in the first place.
What does it mean to cheat emotionally on a partner?
So, what does it mean to cheat emotionally? It is being really close to someone who is not your partner. I don’t mean a friendship or something else purely friendly when I say “bond.” It has to be something else.
For example, they might flirt, share secrets, talk about their partner behind their back, cancel plans with their partner to see the other person, and want to be around the other person more and more. When things like that start happening, you must ask yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing.
You can’t always trust your partner to meet all of your emotional needs. But they should be there for most things to help you. When you depend on another person as you depend on yourself, you start to feel something for that person. This could make you question how you feel about your relationship.
It’s hard to answer the question, “What is emotional cheating?” without giving examples. So, let’s look at some signs to understand better what’s going on.
When is the line between emotional affairs and friendship crossed?
What is micro-cheating, and how do you know if you’re already doing it without meaning?
The signs of emotional cheating that you should never miss:
If you want to know if your partner is emotionally cheating on you, use these clues as a guide. If you see these signs and rules in your relationship with a friend or the connection between your partner and someone else, it might be time to accept that a friendship might be turning into something more… emotional!
#1: Telling the other person a secret.
Talking to the other person about things you haven’t told your partner is questionable. Of course, you don’t have to tell your partner everything that comes to mind. But why do you want to share something with someone who isn’t your partner if you feel the need to? What keeps you from telling your partner?
#2: Getting mad at their partner.
If a person seems happy when they’re with the other person but gets angry when they’re with their partner, likely, they’re emotionally cheating. Simply put, they want to be with the other person, and spending time with their partner makes that more challenging.
#3: They back out of plans to hang out with the other person.
Plans get changed sometimes, but there should always be a good reason. Someone who cancels plans with their partner to do things with someone else should probably look up “what is emotional cheating” in a dictionary.
In this case, they’re putting the other person’s needs ahead of their partner’s. They should ask themselves why they think that’s okay.
#4: They get in touch with each other “out of hours.”
There are times when people should be with their partners. This could happen late at night, early in the morning, in the middle of the night, and others. If someone is constantly messaging or texting another person during those times, or if they try to hide their messages during those times, you have to wonder why. It’s a clear sign that they’re emotionally cheating on their partner because they aren’t “at the moment” with them.
#5: They talk badly about each other when they talk to the other person.
There is never a good reason to speak badly about a partner with another person. If you’re having problems with your partner, talk to them and try to figure out a solution. When a partner talks to someone else and “badmouths” their partner, explaining what’s wrong and why it’s not working, are they trying to make it look like they could be available?
#6: They are trying to keep messages from each other.
Messages shouldn’t be hidden if nothing is going on, right?
If someone is trying to keep messages from a specific person, something is happening between them. It doesn’t have to be physical, but they think their connection is important enough to hide from their partner because they know how it would make them feel.
#7: They start to think about how their partner is like the other person.
If you want a clear explanation of emotional cheating, this is it. Something has changed when a person compares their partner to someone they spend a lot of time with “just because.” It means they’re looking at the other person differently, which isn’t friendly.
#8: They are aloof and in a bad mood.
They just don’t want to be with their partner and would rather be with the other person. This is heartbreaking for their partner because they don’t know what they did wrong or what’s happening with the other person.
If they believe something is going on between the two, it can be even more upsetting because they start to put two and two together. Simply put, they have emotionally checked out, and as a result, they are very distant.
#9: They talk to their partner less and the other person more.
Less and less time is spent talking with their partner, and more and more time is spent talking with the other person. Again, they have emotionally checked out, which makes them turn to the other person for emotional support. They might not think they are cheating, but they are cheating in the most heartbreaking way possible.
#10: They start calling each other by pet names.
There’s no reason to call someone by a pet name if you’re not dating them unless it’s a joke with a friend. If someone starts calling a “friend” “babe,” “honey,” or something else that sounds just as loving, they are crossing lines that are already pretty fuzzy.
#11: They say there isn’t a problem, but they go too far.
Their partner may start worrying about how much time they spend with the other person or how close they are, but they will deny it. Not only that, but they’ll deny it so much that it’s clear there’s something fishy going on. Just a little bit too much denial makes their partner very cautious, which is the right way to be.
#12: They don’t discuss the other person with their partner.
They will go amazing lengths to ensure that their partner and the other person don’t meet and don’t become friends. This is because they want to separate their two lives, and things will get too complicated if they meet. But if nothing is really going on, the two of them meeting shouldn’t be a problem, right?
#13: They think the other person knows them better than they do.
It’s normal to feel misunderstood once in a while, and that just means you need to work on getting closer.
But if one partner feels like they’re not being understood and the other really does, it’s because their emotions are at play. What does cheating emotionally mean? Feeling like person gets you and telling them too much.
#14: They go on “dates” with the other person that aren’t right.
You should never do certain things with someone who isn’t your partner. If someone goes out to romantic dinners for two with someone they aren’t dating, why don’t they do the same thing with their partner? They may swear it’s not wrong, but in this case, it’s not likely to be true.
#15: Their partner feels very lonely and upset.
While all of this is going on, their partner is probably feeling left out and very upset. They will have a strong feeling that something is wrong, but the constant denials will make it difficult for them to decide what to believe.
What should you do if you think your partner is cheating on you emotionally?
Ah, the important question. Now that we know what emotional cheating is, what should you do if you think your partner is doing it? First, you need to know for sure that it’s happening and that you’re not just adding two and two and getting twenty-five. Trust me, it happens. But you should consider and go with your gut when it comes to these things.
Whether your partner has admitted to it or not, you need to sit down with them and talk it through if you have proof and are very uncomfortable with what is going on.
Make it clear that you don’t like their relationship with this other person, and tell them why. If your partner loves and respecst you and is committed to the relationship, and if they’re not actually cheating on you emotionally, they’ll realize they need to stop and spend more time with you. That’s alright. People don’t always realize what they’re doing, and they don’t always do it on purpose.
But if your partner doesn’t see anything wrong with what they’re doing and keeps doing it, you have to wonder if the relationship has a future. You don’t deserve to be second best or to be pushed aside for someone else. All of this isn’t your fault, and you need to take care of yourself first.
How to get back together after cheating without falling apart.
What does it mean to emotionally cheat on your partner if you don’t completely break their trust? Cheating hurts and breaks your heart in any way. But once the dust settles and you start to feel better, you will be able to see things more clearly and with more strength.
Related articles you might like: How to Stay in a Healthy Relationship: 14 Emotional Rules, 9 Warning Signs You Have An Emotionally Unavailable Partner, Emotional Affairs and How to Break it