In terms of relationships, a topic that is often discussed is cheating. Men talk about the consequences of cheating, times that they were involved with a girl who was cheating on her boyfriend or husband, or methods of preventing their girl from cheating to begin with.
But a potential relationship-destroying force that is often overlooked in the rhetoric of men is the emotional affair.
Emotional affairs can be just as detrimental to your happiness and stability in a relationship as sexual ones can be.
So today I’m going to talk about the events and signs that often lead to an emotional affair and what you can do as a man to try to ensure that you don’t end up in this position.
What is an ‘Emotional’ Affair?
If you’re a man new to relationship dynamics or on the younger/more inexperience side of things, you may be asking: what is an emotional affair and why does it even matter?
Well, before we answer this question we must lay out a basic tenet about women. Women are driven by their emotions above all else. And he who directs her emotions directs the girl. So with that being said, if you’re not the man in her life who is the main mover and shaker of her emotions, then you could be in for a world of hurt.
So what is an emotional affair? An emotional affair happens when an attached girl starts getting her primary emotional validation and emotional investment from a man other than her boyfriend or husband. And as a result, she often starts to develop feelings – both romantic and sexual – for the second man who is not her significant other.
Why do emotional affairs matter? They matter because they could be a tell tale sign of some serious issues in your relationship. Moreover, although they may not start out as physical, if a girl is giving tons and tons of investment to a guy who is not the guy she is attached to, it is very easy for this dynamic to transfer from mere talking to something physical.
Even worse, if this situation does occur, because the girl is simply yielding to her emotions, she will find a way to rationalize her actions and find fault in the boyfriend/husband for forcing her to be led astray.
Just a Figurehead
Throughout the history of various republics that started off having a monarch or emperor, the emperor was in almost all cases steadily stripped of his power by a parliament or governing body until his only influence over the people was just that of a mere figurehead.
And this is exactly what happens to the boyfriend/husband when a new man comes along and monopolizes his girl’s emotions. He still gets to call himself her boyfriend, and take her out, and maybe even get physical with her, but in terms of her true desires and who has the real power in her life, the boyfriend is just a figurehead.
What is It Like on the Other End?
I’ve had a couple of serious girlfriends throughout my journey of seduction. And these were very emotion-driven, growth-driven relationships where each of the girls became very attached to me and to the relationship. This combined with the fact that girls consider me to be a high-value man and a man who is a good lover (an invaluable skill) means that these girls have stayed attached even long after our relationships were said and done.
Each of these girls is in a relationship in their own right, yet they constantly call me to tell me about how much they miss me, how they want to go on adventures, how I should be more invested in their lives, and how they aren’t sexually fulfilled. Sometimes they even try to sext me or have phone sex.
And their boyfriends carry idly on, not aware of any of the background actions that their “innocent girlfriends” are taking, all the while smiling as they think that everything is moving perfectly smoothly.
To be honest, it’s a bit of a strange feeling to be on the other end. It’s very validating and makes you feel like you’re doing something right, but as you might imagine, it makes you feel bad for the man on the other end. No man likes being made a fool, and I can empathize for the guys who will inevitably have their worlds crashing down on them in one way or another. Or even worse… never find out at all.
But the key as a boyfriend is to recognize the signs before it even gets to that point.
Emotional affairs don’t happen instantaneously. Like anything insidious, there are some clear signs in the beginning that build up over a period of time. So as the main man in her life, you’ll have to learn to look for these signs in your relationship.
1. She Talks About One Man Way Too Much
It’s completely normal for a girl to have other men in her life. However, if your girl starts talking constantly about some guy, saying:
- How great he is
- How he has a great perspective on life
- How any woman would be lucky to have him
- How he is handsome
- How he dresses so well
Now, any of these things by themselves shouldn’t be a point of concern. But when you start to hear two or three of them, and you start to hear them constantly, you should take note and pay attention.
2. She Spends Too Much Time on/with One Guy
Having your girl constantly talk about another guy should definitely be a point of concern. But if she starts spending boatloads of time with him, that should definitely raise a red flag. Even if you’re certain that she would never cheat on you, the fact that she’s spending large amounts of time with another guy could be an indicator of the weakness in your relationship, and her desire to get fulfillment – in one way or another – from another man.
And keep in mind: she doesn’t have to spend a lot of time with him in person to potentially be having an emotional affair. In fact, I’d say that in this digital age, a lot of emotional affairs happen when a girl starts spending a lot of her time on calls, texts, and messages with one guy.
What she needs, i.e., emotional validation, does not need to happen in person.
As a man in a relationship, it’s always tricky to deal with your girl spending time with other guys. In fact, I am of the belief that the way a girl handles the other men in her life is a huge indicator of the quality of girlfriend or wife she’ll make.
The worst girls hang out with scores of men without any regard for their significant other.
The mediocre girls reduce the time they spend with guys, but still go out to bars and clubs without their boyfriend or husband.
The good girls only spend time with their close guy friends and only rarely go out to bars and clubs without their man.
The best girls only spend time with their one or maybe two closest male friends. Otherwise they keep their one-on-one male interactions to business, work, community events, and service. They never go out to bar and clubs, unless it’s the sparing outing with their partner. They bring their boyfriend or husband whenever they have to hang out with casual guy friends or potential orbiters.
3. She Starts Being Cold or Unavailable
Women are certainly masters of deception, but if you’ve spent a good amount of intimate time with a girl, it’ll be pretty easy to notice if she starts treating you differently. And even if you don’t notice it on a conscious level, it’ll still give you a “weird feeling” that you won’t be able to articulate but know that you should pay attention to.
These are cases like:
If you reach out to her about something important in your life and she doesn’t even feign interest
If she starts to flake on you without giving a good explanation (or worse, no explanation at all)
If she starts responding less to your texts or calls
If she stops telling you about things that are actually happening in her life
The Trouble with Relationships in 2014
A topic that I like to think about fairly often is the nature of relationships in 2014 and in the years to come in America/the West. As women continue to have more and more and more sexual options and sources of validation, it’ll become increasingly difficult to lock down any one particular girl who is not either traditional or shies away from internet/technology over-use.
When I look at all of the guys around me, particularly the ones younger than I am – and not even that much younger, I’m just talking a couple of years – I’m starting to see that fewer and fewer of them are being able to say that they are in a relationship with a girl. Even if they are consistently hooking up with her and have some suspicion of exclusivity, they still have an underlying acknowledgement that she could sleep with someone else.
Furthermore, it seems that traditional dating is dying away in the younger generation. People are looking toward technology to facilitate their interactions, and girls are less shy about using guys for a simple hook-up rather than getting to know them.
This has impacted many areas in the relations between men and women, but I think that the biggest and most troubling area that has been impacted is women’s level of courtesy toward men.
What I mean by that is there used to be some basic actions that girls took out of a sense of responsibility toward guys. And even these basic actions are starting to become a thing of the past. Some examples are:
Girls used to answer phone calls, or at least call you back when you gave them a ring. Nowadays, the best you’ll get is a text with something to the effect of “You called earlier?”
Girls used to respond to texts in less than six hours. If it’s on with a girl and you’ve built up pretty good rapport, then she’ll usually respond in the half hour to two hour window. But if a girl is anything less than fully interested, you won’t hear from her for at least six hours. Sometimes more. And sometimes you won’t even hear from her for days.
Girls used to show up. Don’t get me wrong, flaking has always been a problem with this female generation. But what used to be an annoyance and sporadic occurrence is turning into a full-fledged epidemic. Nowadays if you make plans with a girl, you have to double or triple confirm with her. And even then, there’s still a 60% chance that she’ll change her mind or get distracted by a friend or a different guy.
Nowadays I have to double book girls for dates. And sometimes, even that isn’t enough and they’ll both flake! And the thing about flaking is it doesn’t matter how good you get with girls, it’s never going to stop happening. You can definitely reduce its frequency, and you can most certainly reduce how affected you are by it, but that doesn’t mean that it’s going to go away any time soon. In fact, I’d argue that just the opposite is true.
And last but certainly not
Girls used to actually break up with guys. Back in the 2000’s and earlier, if a girl was seeing a guy – even on a casual basis – she would tell him that things weren’t working out or that she no longer wanted to be involved in their situation. Even if it was over email or text message, girls took two seconds to tell you that you were 86’d from their life.
However, girls these days don’t even show that courtesy. I call it the Houdini. It seems like things are just fine, and then one day you contact her… and she gives you a one line answer. And you ask her to hang out, and she’s vague about her plans. Then she gives you one word answers. And then eventually… she just stops responding, and you never see her again, left forever to wonder what happened… before you see the next girl around the corner.
This is why there are so many problems with dating in America. And this is why it’s hard to even hold girls responsible for emotional affairs in 2014. Their levels of commitment are so dubious and nebulous that you may find it challenging to even get traction to hold her accountable.
As the old saying goes: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. And this could not be more true for preventing emotional affairs. If you set clear expectations in the beginning, you’ll save yourself a whole lot of fire fighting in the long run.
1. Set Relationship Goals and Expectations
It may sound weird or overly business-like to do this, but setting relationship expectations at the outset of a journey with a girl is an important aspect of finding success and happiness. Every relationship I’ve been in that I reflect on positively had an element of setting clear goals in the beginning.
This is especially important for casual hookups in the West. That’s not to say that you have to tell her you’re planning on sleeping with other girls, but if you like being single, make that clear so that she doesn’t get the wrong idea.
That way, no one has to be surprised when one person acts this way or that, and no one has to wonder where the lines are drawn and what does or doesn’t fly. Also, when you set expectations in the beginning, it gives you the ability to have a pretty clear idea as to when the relationship has run its course.
So if you want to cure an emotional affair – start by preventing it. This way, each party will get everything they need out of the relationship, and you won’t have to sit there with a dumbfounded look and hands on your head wondering what went wrong.
2. Keep Improving as a Man
It’s an unfortunate fact of relationships that a lot of girls engage in emotional affairs with other guys simply because they get bored with their boyfriend or husband. Maybe their sex life gets stagnant and repetitive. Maybe the interactions become mundane and uninspired. Maybe her view of her man changes to disappointment or indifference.
The only way to combat any of these feelings in a girl is to not only be a man of value, but to keep increasing your value as time goes on. The good news is that as a man, this feat really isn’t that hard to accomplish. As long as you keep setting goals for your life, keep exercising, keep reading, and keep acting, you should continue to be on an upward trajectory.
If you had to remember three things, just remember to stay:
3. Communicate and Stay Invested in Her
“You’re not the guy you were at the beginning of our relationship!” is the constant tune I hear many women espousing to their men. That’s because guys place themselves in a really tricky situation. Because they’re compelled by infatuation, new experiences, and the desire for sex, many men put a lot of effort into being with a girl when they first enter a relationship with her.
And without constant effort, it’s really easy for a girl to feel neglected or tossed by the wayside. And when girls feel this way, they look for a different man who will make them feel desired and put in the extra effort.
So make sure you stay invested in her well-being. That doesn’t mean that you have to do something over the top every day, but it does mean to do little things to show her that you do still care. And if your feelings about her or the relationship change in any way, it means that you have a responsibility to communicate with her and vice versa so that you can build bridges with one another.
What If She Is in an Emotional Affair?
Finding out that some other guy is the new focus of your girlfriend can be a really painful situation to be in. But the first step is not to overreact. Don’t let jealousy or frustration get the better of you. Especially mind the fact that if it’s an emotional affair, she actually hasn’t done any cheating. And make sure to keep your focus on the girl and not to make it about the guy. The relationship is between the two of you only.
Second, find out how she truly feels. Some girls enter emotional affairs because they are feeling hurt or underappreciated. Others do it because they have lost interest. And others still do it because they truly have feelings for the other guy.
Finding out which situation you are in is of the utmost importance.
If she’s feeling hurt, take steps to show her that you care and that she’s still an important part of your life.
If she’s lost interest, try to bring some spice back into your dates/interactions/sex life. If that doesn’t work, you may want to let it go.
If she truly has feelings for someone else, this can be the hardest spot. And in this situation I can’t really advise you on what to do. I often tell people that they already know what they should do – it’s just a matter of doing it. But do take time to come together and discuss your options with empathy and clarity.
Dealing with the prospect of an emotional affair can be confusing and maddening, but if you take the time to set up a good relationship foundation in the beginning, and understand what your girl needs, you won’t have to find yourself in this situation. But if you do, keep your frame as a man and know that it will all work out in the end.
It always does.