Just because there's no sex doesn't mean there's no affair.
Cheating has a whole lot of definitions, and you'd have to say they're pretty subjective. Some people think bringing another man a plate of food at a cookout is an unacceptable breach of trust. And others, or so t-shirts have proclaimed, feel like "eatin' ain't cheatin'."
However, a pretty good definition of crap behavior is "Would you be interested in your partner finding out about this?" If the answer is "no," then maybe rethink it, OK?
Yes, it's silly to think that one person can meet all of your emotional needs and there is a good chance that you may even spend as much time with a person of the gender to which you are attracted as you do your spouse (a la work wife ). But getting too close, even if you have an impenetrable Stark Industries Force Field separating your genitals, can be fairly problematic for your healthy, primary romantic relationship.
Some people (largely dumb-dumbs) think an emotional affair is actually more damaging than a physical one. But in the way that a broken clock is periodically right, those nimrods are right that an emotional affair may reveal something more broken in a relationship than mismatched sex drives and, god forbid, morph into one that involves nudity.
Well, what are you gonna do? You're gonna set up some damn barricades before it gets to that level. Here are ten signs your man may be having an emotional affair.
1. He has his own ringtone for her.
If it's a Bruce Springsteen song and the friend is Bruce Springsteen, OK. Otherwise, no deal. (Note: it's not a physical affair if her name is in his phone as her real name.)
2. His inside jokes with her are non-stop.
Listen, I have inside jokes with people I've met once but I feel like I can at least explain them better than "you wouldn't get it."
3. He compares you and her.
Even if it's to say that he likes something about you better than he does about her, maybe it's not great that you share the same mind space.
4. He accidentally said her name and meant you.
If it's sexual, you may as well start looking for a way to split up everything you bought together.
5. He's suddenly very interested in a new hobby/activity.
Adult-ass men don't spontaneously become interested in new things unless either DMT, lightning bolts or someone they think is really cool is involved.
6. He says he thinks you and her would be friends.
And then does his best to avoid making that happen. Any time you guys make plans to hang out either with or adjacent to her, it's canceled or somehow messed up. He's not interested in anyone comparing notes.
7. He has negative opinions about her love interests.
He wants what's best for her... and that may be him. Look, maybe there's some part of his brain that wants to pork her, but he's doing his best to shut those down. Have some faith.
8. He has known her less than five years yet refers to her as "like a sister."
Suspect, fella. Suspect.
9. He's been clothes shopping with her.
And not just some bullsh*t "Rent-The-Runway" pickup. Yeah, it's not 69ing with someone, but trying on clothes is pretty intimate with all the body issues everyone seems to have.
Look: almost any of these things in isolation aren't that bad. However, when you start adding them up, your emotional affair countermeasures best be on the ready.