Emotional Affairs: How Much is Too Much?
To start there was a basic disagreement about what constitutes an emotional affair. The men tended to believe that an emotional affair only evolves into infidelity when an agreement is made to consummate the relationship. Flirting, dirty talk and the like were all fair game as long as no one crossed the emotional-physical boundary. The women tended to believe that an emotional affair becomes an infidelity when it effects your committed relationship. The basic rule being if you don’t feel comfortable telling your partner about it then it’s wrong.
Before this conversation, I never thought about what would be an appropriate emotional affair. I have always considered any emotional affair inappropriate. I don’t think you should ever give someone else what should be reserved for your partner. That includes sharing the most innocent things, including your innermost thoughts, hopes and dreams. I have always believed that any (romantic) emotional energy invested outside of your relationship is an infidelity. I was surprised to find that I was alone in looking at it in such a rigid way.
Are we redefining what it means to be in a committed relationship? What does that mean for the institution of marriage? When does an emotional affair cross the line?