Are You Really “Just Friends”? 11 Signs You’re Having An Emotional Affair

If you’re in a relationship but finding yourself wondering if your male (or female!) friend is a little bit more than that, read on. Here are 11 signs you’re having an emotional affair.

You confide in them about your relationship. When does complaining to your friend that your partner doesn’t do the dishes as often as you’d like begin to cross the line? Right about the time you start to tell your friend more than just the normal nuances of your relationship, I think. There’s a difference between both of you joking about how your husbands can’t find the hamper and you telling your friend about the intensely emotional fight you had with your partner the night before. Your relationship business needs to stay between the two of you. If you need to vent, find a therapist who’s a more neutral party. When you start describing your problems in detail to a friend, you run the risk of betraying your partner’s trust.

You confide in them about things that you don’t tell your partner. If you’re going through a tough time personally, career-wise, or with your family and you find yourself talking to your friend about all of it and not your partner, you may want to reconsider. Although your partner can’t provide all the support you need in life, they should really be your main person. Maybe your friend just understands the issue you’re currently going through better, but take a closer look. Is it just this one issue or is it every issue? If your friend can write a novel about your life in more detail than your partner, you may have a problem.

You go to them first with good news. You just got a raise—time to celebrate! Are you texting your friend first or your boyfriend? If your partner isn’t the first person you think to tell about your good news (and the first person you want to celebrate with), you could be on your way to an emotional affair. Your partner should be the person you celebrate your joys with as well as the person you go to when you’re down.

You’ve thought about what it would be like to be with them. If you find yourself imaging a scenario where your current significant other is out of the picture and you’re with your friend instead, take a pause. It may be time to re-evaluate your feelings. It isn’t fair to your S.O. if you’re spending your dates daydreaming about being with someone else.

Your friend and your boyfriend don’t get along. Obviously this doesn’t always apply, but too often, if you start confiding in your friend about the issues you’re having with your boyfriend, your friend is going to start viewing your boyfriend in a negative light. This can lead to conflict and jealousy issues between them.

Your friend tells you that you should leave your partner. If your friend is telling you that you deserve better or that your current partner doesn’t treat you right, this may be a sign. Take some time to reflect on whether your friend is truly looking out for you—maybe your partner doesn’t treat you right!—or if they’re beginning to feel some jealousy.

Your boyfriend asks you to stop spending time with your friend. If your boyfriend is starting to feel jealous about the time you’re spending with your friend or questioning what you’re talking about, he may be starting to pick up on signs that you’re having an emotional affair. He may be feeling left out, jealous, or confused. If he asks to spend more time with you and you want to save your relationship, consider spending less time with your friend.

Your friend is an ex-boyfriend or ex-FBW. If your friend used to be your boyfriend or your friend with benefits, proceed with caution. It’s often hard to transition from lovers to friends, especially if there were unresolved feelings before the relationship ended.

You cancel or avoid plans with your partner to spend time with your friend. If you’re prioritizing spending time with a friend instead of spending time with your boyfriend and it happens more than just a few times, you may not have your priorities straight. This is definite emotional affair behavior.

You leave your boyfriend on read but never your friend. Is your boyfriend sometimes boring to talk to and so you leave him on read until your conversation with your friend is done? You may want to think about what that means for you, your relationship, and your friend. If your boyfriend isn’t holding your attention or you don’t feel the need to reply to him in a timely manner like you do your friend, you might be putting him on the back burner—and that’s getting into emotional affair territory!

You have feelings for your friend. The most obvious sign is that you know you have feelings for your friend. If you’re in this position and you want to stay in your relationship, you need to end your friendship immediately. Remaining friends is not going to work; you’ll only get more emotionally involved and make things harder for everyone. Otherwise, it may be time to leave your partner and let them find someone who only has eyes for them.

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