At some point in life, you might meet someone who is a breath of fresh air.
But if that person is your colleague at work, takes up space in your head, and creates a gap between you and your partner, it is one of the signs of emotional affairs at work.
An emotional affair is a close and emotionally intimate relationship that is not sexual in nature but that still harms the primary relationship.
It can happen between two people who have a strong emotional connection but do not necessarily have a romantic relationship.
It is not unusual to have emotional affairs at work.
Many affairs begin at the workplace, but they never started that way.
The origin of these affairs is deep-seated in a pure, platonic friendship that evolved into a deep connection that led to emotional infidelity.
It is only natural to develop an emotional connection when you spend a large part of your day with a co-worker.
However, if one or both of you are in a committed relationship, you need to know the signs of emotional affairs at work and stop before you hurt yourselves and your partners.
So, let’s look at some obvious signs of emotional affairs at work.
10 Surefire Signs Of Emotional Affairs At Work
1. You become very secretive
Having emotional affairs and texting go hand-in-hand.
When this texting becomes more frequent and secretive, it is one of the signs of emotional affairs at work.
You keep everything about that your colleague away from your partner.
When your partner asks who you are messaging, you reply ‘nobody.’
You delete your chats with that colleague before putting your phone down.
While you try so hard to convince yourself that it’s not emotional cheating, I want you to know that since you’re spending so much time and energy on getting rid of the evidence, accept that something wrong is either happening or is about to happen.
2. Your behavior changes
If your behavior towards that colleague changes in the presence of your partner, you could be having an emotional affair.
You’re usually pleasant to your colleague, but the both of you give yourselves some space whenever your partner is around.
The conversations with your colleague become formal and awkward whenever you’re with your partner.
Why is this so?
Will there be an alteration in your behavior if you have nothing to hide?
That is a sign of emotional infidelity.
3. You try hard to create a good impression on them
Can you recall the early days of a relationship where you put in extra effort to impress your crush?
Is it happening again with your colleague?
You might not see it as anything, but you always want to look your best and be on your best behavior whenever you’re around them because you want them to have a positive image of you in their head.
Every step you take to get a note of approval from your colleague is a step in the direction of emotional infidelity.
4. You feel their absence greatly
You think of your loved ones when they’re not around you.
One of the signs of emotional affairs at work is when you think a lot about your colleague, even when you’re with your partner.
Is that how you think of your platonic friends all the time?
If you can’t wait to be around them again the moment you’re apart from them, you’re gliding on the path of emotional infidelity.
5. You feel jealous
Jealousy has a funny way of being a mirror that lets you see your emotions.
Do you feel a pang of jealousy whenever your colleague mentions their partner?
And you’re still doubting that you’re not having an emotional affair?
You might not have done anything yet, but you’re getting there gradually.
6. You defend your relationship with your colleague
One of the signs of emotional affairs at work is when you become defensive about the nature of your relationship with your colleague to your partner.
You become triggered whenever your partner asks about them.
Even an innocent inquiry about their well-being can set you off because you’re already on edge.
You only become agitated and lash out because you know you are doing something wrong.
Being defensive is your subconscious trying to protect your emotions from being exposed.
7. There is sexual tension between you and your colleague
If there’s sexual tension between you and your colleague, you might be on the path of emotional infidelity.
Are there sparks flying whenever you’re in the same space with them?
While it’s normal to be sexually attracted to people who are not your partners, it’s not normal if the sexual attraction makes you question your relationship.
It is a sign of emotional infidelity.
Check it fast before it blows out of proportion.
8. You downplay the importance of your colleague to your partner
Do you sound like they’re not important whenever you make mention of that colleague to your partner?
You either try to avoid bringing them up in conversations with your partner or paint your colleague in an irrelevant light.
For instance, when your partner asks about the well-being of your colleague, you put on a straight face and try hard to prove that their life means little or nothing to you.
You won’t be acting that way if you have nothing to hide.
9. You avoid mentioning your partner around your colleague
You not only avoid talking about your colleague to your partner, but you also avoid talking about your partner to your colleague.
Both of you try to avoid talking about each other’s partners.
Even if any of you mentions your partner briefly, the conversation shifts back quickly to other topics, such as how nice it feels to be in a lovely, platonic relationship.
It’s a subtle way of making excuses for each other that your emotional connection is as essential as your committed relationships.
It’s a sign of emotional infidelity.
10. You have inappropriate conversations with your colleague
There are some boundaries you create in a professional environment.
One of the signs of emotional affairs at work is the disappearance of these boundaries.
While you may not have cheated physically, having an emotional affair can lead to many inappropriate situations.
If you use endearing terms such as sweetheart and baby to refer to your colleague, your ‘friendship’ with them has risen to a new level.
You’re no longer in the stage of harmless flirting if you’re already doing this with your colleague.
You now regard them as an essential part of your life, and if you do not take care, you start seeing them as one of your romantic partners too.
Having emotional affairs can be just as damaging as having a physical affair.
It is a common type of cheating.
In this type of cheating, someone else meets your emotional needs instead of your partner and this can create feelings of betrayal, jealousy, and insecurity, and can erode trust and intimacy in your primary relationship.
While one person cannot fully meet your emotional needs, ask yourself why you feel connected to your colleague.
Scrutinize your romantic relationship and try to discover why there was space between you two that let one colleague into the picture.
It’s normal to feel a connection with someone who is not your partner but respect your partner enough to stay within your boundaries if you’re in a committed, monogamous relationship.