13 Real Stages Of Emotional Affairs (And What To Do About It)

Today we will be looking at the stages of emotional affairs so that you can know what to look out for if your partner says they are “just friends” yet you have your suspicions. You know, if you have ever had a betrayed partner that the emotional scars do not go away easily. Usually, how emotional affairs work is different for each romantic partner.

For example, a committed partner in a marriage, let’s say, would probably have a lot to lose, especially if children were involved. On the other hand, a cheating partner who just had a short-term boyfriend might not worry so much about her sex life and having sexual infidelity with her partner. It really varies depending on the person and where they are in their relationship.

However, we will look at the different types of affairs and what they mean. If you think your partner is being emotionally intimate with someone else, you may want to have a heart-to-heart talk before they are physically intimate with this person. That would be a good starting point, anyway. Trust your gut feeling because the heartbreaking stages are tough!

Let’s get started talking about emotional cheating and what it does to a committed relationship.

Stages Of Emotional Affairs

1. Strangers

Strangers do not know one another, so there is no hint of an emotional affair at this stage. Two people may see each other across the store and have a flirtatious moment, but they are still strangers because they don’t even know the first name of each other.

2. Acquaintances

Acquaintances know each other a little bit. They might have exchanged names, be family friends, or know each other from a previous lifetime ago. It could mean that they are familiar with each other, but there is no friendship formed at this point. They just know of each other; that’s it.

3. Colleagues

Colleagues are typically people who work together or work in the same building. They may know of each other or may know each other rather well. Basically, at this stage, the two people just work together and do not have a connection that is stronger than that.

4. Casual Friends

This type of friendship is when things start to get a little hairy. Casual friendships usually mean that they know each other pretty well. They may be mutual friends or family friends. This means they have probably hung out as a group before. They might have gone to the same party or gone bowling as a group. This is pretty tame so far.

5. Social Media Friends

social media friends

Once you have exchanged your social media handles with someone, that doesn’t mean you will have an emotional affair with them, but it could mean that you will start up a conversation with the other person. You certainly have a way to reach them now if you are attracted to them and wish that the two of you could have something more.

With new social media platforms popping up left and right, it’s no wonder that wives worry their husbands are going to have an affair online. Instagram is focused on images and maybe the right place for men since they tend to be visual creatures. They might like looking at all the pictures girls post of themselves.

If your husband or partner has started talking to someone on social media, it doesn’t mean he will cheat, but you shouldn’t ignore his needs either. You should ask him who he is talking to in order to determine if he is forming a bond with someone of the opposite sex or what. It may be totally innocent, so watch it before accusing him.

6. Platonic Friends

Platonic friends mean that there are no romantic feelings involved. Friendships like this are usually pretty cool unless flirting starts. That is when you could maybe expect trouble.

7. Close Friends

Close or best friends are dangerous when it comes to male and female relations. It’s good to keep a close eye on this. You don’t want to ignore this relationship because it’s not far away from intimate friendships.

8. Intimate Friends

Intimate friendships share everything with one another, or they are starting to share a lot of personal stuff with each other. Intimate friends might even hold hands or hug each other, but this is not frequent in this stage of the emotional affair. We’ll get to that. Intimacy does not mean touching always; it can mean that two people are just close.

They share their thoughts and feelings with one another. They may even talk about their problems with one another and turn to each other for advice or wise counsel.

9. Intimate Connection

When a connection is formed between two people, there is a risk of an emotional affair. You will want to watch your partner closely if you suspect he or she is having an affair. You don’t want to accuse them of something they are not doing, but you also don’t want to be naive and have someone treating you rotten.

10. Emotional Bond

emotional Bond

Emotionally connected friends fit the bill here. A bond has been formed, and this couple may be able to have a lasting relationship with one another because they are now very close. They share problems and issues with each other. They may even rely on one another for support. Maybe they both go to a recovery group or need rides to work.

11. Mental Affair

A mental affair is when one partner thinks about having sex with the other person. They may not talk about this as it is just in one person’s mind, but it’s a dangerous road to walk. A mental affair can quickly lead to an emotional or physical one. It’s good to talk to your partner if you suspect he or she is having one of these types of affairs in his mind.

12. Lust or Pornography,

Lust or pornography is also a dangerous road to walk. You may have to get counseling if your partner is addicted to pornography. I have walked this road in my past. My old partner was addicted to porn and would sneak around behind my back to buy or look at websites or magazines when I wasn’t around. It was a very hurtful experience.

My problem was partly with what he was doing, but it was more hurtful that he felt the need to lie to me all the time about it. There was no reason to lie about what he was doing. He could have just said that he felt that he needed to do that and wanted me to know it. Maybe some need or curiosity was not being met that I could help with.

13. Emotional Affair

An emotional affair may take place when two people connect on the internet. Maybe they met online and began the affair that way. Many people meet via dating websites. If you wonder if your partner is on a dating website, there are many ways to check that. Plus, you can check the browser history on your computer to see what’s going on.

Another way an emotional affair may form is by two friends growing closer to one another. For example, if they work together, maybe they decide to start eating lunch together and talk a lot during that time. This could lead to them working late and eventually having close conversations that they cannot have with their partners.

In the example of the social media couple, if one person DMs (Direct messages) another person, they may get to talking and discover how much they have in common. It could be easier to talk to this person than their partner, so they continue to have this relationship, which easily can lead to physical infidelity – the ultimate betrayal.

What Is A Physical Affair?

With physical contact, a sexual affair may begin; it’s when physical intimacy has taken place with an affair partner and not in the sexual relationship they were committed to. Sexual intimacy is the final betrayal that takes place with emotional cheating. No one wants to be in a relationship when this happens because it is often seen as the ultimate betrayal.

Although there can be sexual chemistry in a cheating romantic relationship, often sexual affairs hurt just as badly as emotional ones. Let me explain. Often, a man who has a wife that’s had a physical affair will imagine what’s happened inside of his head – probably thinking something much worse than what actually happened between her and the other person.

However, with an emotional affair, the bonding is strong and can actually be more hurtful to some people. If a wife knows her husband had an emotional affair with another woman, she may feel hurt and confused. Why couldn’t he share what he said to her and felt? Why did he turn to someone else for emotional intimacy? She may be totally lost because of it!


How long do emotional affairs last?

An emotional affair might last about a year, but it depends on which stage of the emotional affair we are talking about. According to WebMD, the in-love phase lasts anywhere from six months to eighteen months, so you might base the amount of time on that.

What percentage of emotional affairs turn physical?

Some say around 70% to 75% of emotional affairs turn physical, but it all depends on the person having an affair. Often, an emotional affair won’t continue very long, and because it ended so soon, physical cheating never began. Every situation is different.

How do most emotional affairs end?

Many of them end with one person being very dissatisfied. Often, one partner in an emotional affair will have stronger feelings for the other person. That means that one person will be more hurt when everything is over and said and done. It’s not a great situation for anyone involved.

How do emotional affairs start?

Usually, an emotional affair will begin when one person starts spending time with another person and intimate connections begin. Once the first emotional connection has started, it becomes difficult to quit the emotional intimacy. This is because you feel so close to the other person and want to share everything!

Why do husbands have emotional affairs?

One husband may have an emotional affair because he feels like his needs aren’t being met at home. Maybe he forms a strong relationship with someone at the office, and they begin flirting. A close friendship starts, and they find it hard to spend time away from one another.


Are you dealing with an emotional affair? Does it make you feel sexually attractive or less so? If you think that your emotional needs aren’t being met, you should talk to your partner. Don’t let an emotional affair turn into a physical one! Nip it in the bud! Please comment!


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