In this day and age, most of us have friends of the opposite sex, whether they are co-workers, casual acquaintances or close confidantes. The question is: how close is too close when you're in a romantic relationship with someone else? Here are some signs that your so-called friendship may be entering the not-so-gray area of emotional infidelity:
1.You dress up for him. When you buy new clothes or change your hairstyle and wonder what he'll think (instead of how your partner will react) that's a danger sign. We all consider our audience when we're getting ready to go out, but doing so with a particular other in mind — not your significant other — suggests there's something more here than meets the eye. —Judith Tutin
2.You lie to your significant other about seeing him. Perhaps you fail to mention an innocent coffee you had with him. You consider it just a small omission, not to be confused with a real lie, when you don't share it with your significant other. Maybe you even tell yourself you just forgot. If this is the case, you must ask yourself what you're hiding from your partner and why. —Judith Tutin
3.You do special things for him that you don't do for others. You give him that cute card that perfectly captures how you feel about your friendship, or the little knickknack from your last trip which you imagine him placing on his desk. It seems innocent enough, but they are little reminders of you and invitations to reciprocate. What are your true intentions about this relationship and this person? —Judith Tutin
4. You're spending more and more time away from home and/or your significant other. Late nights at the office are starting to add up. Long lunches are becoming routine. When you really think about it, you can see you're trying to increase your opportunity to spend time with him at the expense of the time you spend with your significant other. What is all this time with him really about? —Judith Tutin
5.Your electronic communications are increasingly devoted to your non-significant other. You can't wait to surreptitiously check your phone to see the latest text from him. You're up in the middle of the night on Facebook. When the balance of who you communicate with tips away from your significant other toward someone else, it's a sure sign of trouble in both relationships. —Judith Tutin
6. You laugh more with him. You "always" have more fun with him than with your partner. You like being with him. In fact, you prefer it. —Charlotte Michie
7. You think about him all the time. Your daydreams include this person almost to the exclusion of your partner. You muse about what would it be like to be with him all the time. —Charlotte Michie
8. You compare him to your partner. Comparing is a judgment, and judgments leave us feeling either really good or really bad. You think of him and you really feel good, and then you think of your partner and you feel bad in some way. —Charlotte Michie
9. You anticipate your next encounter. You are checking your email, phone or Facebook hoping he has contacted you. You feel excited and you are hoping he has contacted you. —Charlotte Michie
10. You feel understood by him, unlike by your partner. A really big red flag is when your thoughts wander towards "he really gets me. He knows exactly how I feel." Then you think of your partner and how he doesn't get you and he's a loser when it comes to your feelings. —Charlotte Michie
11. You tell others, "we are just friends." A big sign that you are more than friends is when others bring it to your attention what they are seeing. Don't ignore what others are saying. If you are defending your relationship with him with your friends, that's an issue to look at. —Charlotte Michie
12. You feel uncomfortable when your partner says something about him. Many times these relationships are made at work and your partner does know about the "other" because of project work together. Pay attention if you feel uncomfortable when your partner (or spouse) comments about your work partner. It's important to explore your own conscience and be truthful to yourself about the relationship. —Charlotte Michie
13. You tell him things about yourself that you haven't told your partner. As a relationship develops, so does the depth of the feelings. One way to go deeper in a relationship is to tell things about yourself that you have not even told your partner. It's important to ask yourself, "why haven't I told my partner this?" —Charlotte Michie
14. You tell "little white lies" to your partner. There are "little white lies" because there's nothing going on and you don't want to upset your partner needlessly. Search your conscience and be honest with yourself about your motives. If there's nothing going on, then telling your partner should not be a problem. —Charlotte Michie
15. You find it difficult to concentrate when he's around. This is an ordinary part of human sexual arousal. When you are aroused, your mind is absorbed by erotic cues. Other things become, well, less important. You lose track of time when you're with him. When the two of you are alone, you don't want to be interrupted. Nothing else seems truly worth the fuss. —Stephen Snyder
16. You show off for him. You smile more brightly. Your voice is more musical, more husky, more inviting. This is an ordinary part of the human mating dance. If you catch yourself doing it, that's okay, but be careful. You may want to sit out the next dance, until your capacity for rational thought fully returns. —Stephen Snyder
17. Your emotions seem more powerful and intense. Your mood can swing wildly, depending on whether you're getting positive signals from him or not. It's normal during courtship for your emotional controls not to work so well. Your job is to know that feeling a little out of control is a natural part of the early mating process. Time to take a deep breath before things get any more out of hand. —Stephen Snyder
18. You feel more alive. This is one of the most dangerous elements of emotional attraction. The intensification of feeling and sensation that accompanies new love can be a powerful turn-on. Want advice? Try this: don't fight the feeling, but don't nurture it either. Just enjoy it as a pleasant reminder that you're still alive. Chances are you'll see the feeling fade over time. That's the good news and the bad news too. —Stephen Snyder
Want to learn more about infidelity? Tune in now through June 29 for the YourTango Experts intensive event, The Truth About Infidelity, featuring all kinds of advice and insights from our experts about cheating.
"From my mom and dad, because they're happily married for a long time: Just listen. Listen to him. I'm so independent and driven and stubborn. Just let him talk. It's about not being so stubborn and having to win every argument. My parents set a great example. They love each other and take care of each other so much."
"It's kind of cheesy, but my mama, who you all have seen on the show, says to cook for your man. She's Southern, so when he comes home, be pullin' a pie out of the oven. That's always been her advice, and you know what? It works. Your man wants to see you in the kitchen, puttin' some love into some food; it works for Eric, that's for sure."
"The best advice I've ever been given is being handed a Bible. That's the blueprint for marriage that we go by, and that's what our marriage is grounded in. We also have other married couples who are examples in our lives. My parents have been married over 40 years, and both sets of grandparents for over 65 years. When you see couples in long-term relationships and you see them go through good times and bad times, you realize it's about being committed enough and loving your partner enough to hang in there regardless."
"My mom told me, "It shouldn't be that difficult." My parents had their moments for sure, but the majority of their relationship has been really great. It shouldn't be that much work to make love work."
"You've got to be good to each other … it really comes back to respect. I was raised in a very Catholic, Italian family and it was all about respect. Don't talk badly about [your partner] the second they walk out the door; really preserve your relationship and be good to each other. Treat it like gold."
"Don't lie to your partner. Ultimately the expression on your face gives you away, and they feel betrayed by the lie. If this is the person you're going to be with—forever and ever, for better or worse—they will love you for all of your good and all of your bad. They'll love you for you. So open communication is key. I have no secrets and no skeletons in my closet with my husband, and I love that. I feel comfortable and at ease with myself when I'm around him. I love the woman that I've become with him."
"I think the best love advice I've ever received is really about understanding that communication is key, of course, but also that there's not one perfect person for you. You kind of have to accept what are the things that are negotiable for you and what are not."
"My mom always told me, "Whatever happens, will happen" or 'Whatever is supposed to happen, will happen." I've learned you'll know when you find the right person. When I found the right person, I knew it immediately."
18. The Five Love Languages Author Dr. Gary Chapman
"Before I discovered the concept of the 5 love languages, a bit of advice I was given was to become a student of my wife and to take time to learn what makes her feel loved. I soon learned that what makes her feel loved may not always be the thing I want to do because it may not come natural to me. But learning to love her in the way that makes her feel loved is a greater demonstration of my love for her, because I've chosen to do it with a goal of pleasing her."
"Pay attention to the girl, instead of myself. A bunch of people [told me that]. It's terrible. I'm very into myself, so people are always like, "Pay attention to the other person. Don't ever separate yourself." It's a good lesson. I'm learning. I'm doing good."
"Don't get divorced after your first argument! I have a lot of friends that have one fight and that's it, they get divorced. I go, 'Wait a minute! Oh my gosh, you guys! Calm down! You'll forget in three days what you were fighting about. I promise. So just let it marinate a little bit—that's my best love advice."
21. The Real Housewives of Miami's Adriana de Moura
"When I was about 15, [my grandmother] said something I will always remember: 'Love comes before money.' I will never let anything like greed come between us when it comes to love. She was married to my grandfather for 70 years. It's very hard to have a long-term relationship and if you're not sure, it's not going to last. Make sure that you truly love."
"If you're looking for love, focus on something you love to do and work hard. Love will find you. Basically, love yourself before you love anyone else. A lot of girls have such insecurities nowadays that you have to be comfortable with who you are before you can really have a good relationship with someone else."
"Love advice is like life advice, so there are so many elements of that. I think humor, patience, admiration are really important love elements. Love and respect. You have to respect the person that you're going to love, and you have to be confident in yourself and love yourself."
'Think about how much you'd miss that if he were gone tomorrow.' This is my senior producer's advice in my ear during our news show if I'm grumbling about my hubby, whether about his habit of leaving dirty clothes around, or the way he goes into la la land while I'm talking with him, or that he wakes me up being loud overnight. How true! Heaven forbid, but if something ever happens to our loved ones, oh how we'd long for them to be back, and their little aggravating habits would be something cherished.
"On the other hand the best love advice I've ever given is: Gals, don't marry someone for their looks. Sooner or later we all age and start to droop. Don't marry someone for their position and don't marry someone for money. Money comes and goes, and since when is that love? Marry someone because they make you laugh. Humor is always sexy. Besides, it's awfully hard to get mad at someone while they're making you laugh."
30. The Real Housewives of New York's Heather Thomson
"Well, it's one of the oldest. It really is paradoxical, but it's true: You just can't go to bed mad. You have to make up, because there's only one alternative, and that alternative is not being together. So, my husband and I always decide we might as well make up, whether we agree to disagree or not. We understand we are individuals and that together we're unbelievably powerful and that we have a family that is the most important thing, and that I wouldn't trade him for the world. So, love is about give and take, and love is about understanding that you're individuals and together as a couple, you're the strongest there ever is ifyou're in the right couple."
"I was going to say, 'It's work, relationships take work,' but that makes it sound like relationships are hard, that they're work. Rebecca and I have always gotten along really well. We've always had a really strong connection. I'm the last guy that should be giving people advice on love, that's for sure. But I have a great marriage. I just got lucky, I guess."
"I lost my dad back in the fall, and my dad said something to me a long time ago. He said, 'Are you happy with who you are now?' because we just had a real serious talk. And I said, 'Yeah.' He said, 'Then you can't regret what got you to where you are. So whatever you do and whatever mistakes you make, learn from them and grow. And just always treat people with kindness,' which I've tried to do."
"My mom always used to say, "You can't say I love you before you can say I." And I think that sort of makes sense."
Dr Snyder is a New York City sex + relationship therapist, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Mt Sinai School of Medicine, and a New York Magazine Best Doctor. Be sure to follow Dr Snyder on Google+ and Twitter.
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