When Affairs Turn To Love
It’s easy to fall for someone you barely know. It is also easy to be attracted by someone who makes your heart flutter and your body tingle. But do these things really mean love? Do they mean that the other person will stick around when the initial feelings fade away? And if so, how do you know when it’s time to move on?
These questions have plagued lovers since time immemorial. The only difference now is that we have technology and social media at our disposal, which make infatuation easier than ever before. Online dating sites like eHarmony and Match.com offer millions of singles the opportunity to find their soul mate within seconds.
But what about those who prefer physical relationships over virtual ones? Are there any rules or guidelines to help them decide whether they’re falling in love with another person or just having fun together?
The answer is yes and no. On one hand, some couples can develop a deep emotional attachment without realizing it. However, it takes more than mere attraction to make a lasting relationship. There must be a strong emotional connection between two individuals to make sure this type of relationship ends well.
Emotional affairs are different from casual encounters. They involve two people who feel emotionally connected to each other. Usually, the participants don’t see each other often enough to form a real bond. Instead, they satisfy themselves through phone calls, emails, texts, instant messages, etc.
There are three ways emotional affairs can end up as something more serious. If both parties are physically present during the encounter, then the couple may start seeing each other regularly. This scenario is called “physical cheating.” Most women would agree that physical cheating is not desirable because it prevents the partners from developing a healthy intimacy.
If the lovers meet online but choose to stay anonymous, then they can progress to the next stage -“virtual cheating.” In this case, one partner gets too comfortable with the anonymity afforded by the Internet, while the other feels unable to tell his true feelings. As a result, he begins to act differently toward the other woman than he would normally act. He might ignore her calls and even delete her text messages. His actions could eventually become disrespectful and controlling.
Finally, if the couple doesn’t keep their emotions under control, they might consider meeting face-to-face. At this point, they should seek professional counseling for guidance and support.
In all scenarios, it’s important to remember that there are many reasons why people cheat. You should never take another man’s interest in another woman lightly. Even if your boyfriend isn’t cheating on you, you shouldn’t let him treat you disrespectfully unless you’ve tried everything else.
On the other hand, sometimes a sexual encounter turns out to be much more than that. When it does, it becomes known as an “affair,” which is defined as a romantic liaison between two unmarried adults. Affairs usually last longer than a single encounter, although there are exceptions. Some people call such liaisons “sexual infidelities,” which means that they were committed against the wishes of their spouses.
Most people believe that affairs happen between married men and women, but statistics show otherwise. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 22 percent of husbands had extramarital affairs, while 21 percent of wives did.
That said, most people who are happily married have cheated on their partner at least once. Of course, the question still remains: How do you determine the difference between an emotional affair and a sexual one?
As mentioned earlier, there are several factors that differentiate an emotional affair from a regular one. One big clue is the presence of emotion. An emotional affair always includes feeling. Sexual activity occurs after the emotional component has been fulfilled.
Another factor is the length of the interaction. A short encounter usually lasts less than 24 hours. Longer interactions tend to be more meaningful. That is why you should avoid getting too cozy with someone you met five years ago.
A third indicator is the level of involvement. While an emotional affair typically involves one participant, a sexual affair requires two. For example, a husband who engages in an emotional affair with a coworker may enjoy talking about her day over dinner with his wife, but he wouldn’t want to engage in intercourse with her.
However, there are cases where a man and a woman share their bodies sexually without being emotionally attached. Those situations are rare, though.
Although emotional affairs can easily evolve into full-fledged sexual affairs, most people don’t realize it until it’s too late. Don’t wait for your lover to initiate a sexual encounter. Take action yourself. Tell her that you want to explore your sexuality with her. Make sure she knows that you aren’t doing anything wrong, even if she accuses you of wrongdoing.
Even better, ask her to come along for a night of passion. Then you’ll be able to see for yourself whether your relationship is moving beyond mere lust and romance.
Whether you’re looking for love or simply seeking pleasure, here are some tips to follow to help you determine whether your new friend is actually the right one for you.
* Be careful with whom you share your secret identity. If you’re using online dating services, use fake information. Don’t give out your real address or cell number. Also, don’t disclose personal details such as marital status, age, height, weight, income, etc. You need to protect your privacy!
* Keep track of your dates. Note the date and time every time you meet someone new. Use a simple spreadsheet program to record the pertinent data, including location, duration, etc.
* Never send money to anyone who asks for it via email or text message. Your bank account numbers and passwords should be protected.
* Set boundaries regarding your expectations. Don’t expect too much from your dates. If you’re interested in hooking up with someone, ask about her plans. Likewise, if you’d rather have sex with someone, don’t pressure her to go further than what she wants.
* Ask yourself whether you truly trust your potential partner. Does he seem trustworthy? Is he honest? Would you feel safe sharing intimate secrets with him? Can you imagine telling your boss, mother or best friend about your latest escapade? Think before you click on the link.
* Know what you’re signing up for. Don’t assume that everyone who contacts you online is legitimate. Look carefully at profiles and photos. If you think someone looks familiar, contact the site administrator immediately. Report phishing scams and spam to the site administrators.
* Remember that cybersex can be addictive. If you experience withdrawal symptoms after spending too much time behind a computer screen, try taking a break from online dating and participating in offline activities instead.
You don’t have to look far to find stories of people who fell deeply in love thanks to a series of online exchanges. Such was the case of Jim and Pam, whose story appeared on the TV show “The Office.” Their courtship lasted six months without exchanging a word. After Jim confessed his feelings, Pam reciprocated with a heartfelt poem. She wrote a letter to him that ended up landing him a job at Dunder Mifflin Paper Company.
Of course, you don’t have to work at Dunder Mifflin to find true love. Thousands of people across America and around the world find it every year in places like bars, clubs, restaurants, bookstores, libraries, grocery stores, movie theaters, concerts, hotels, parks, beaches, malls, etc.
So why not join them? Go ahead and browse the Web. Meet cute guys and girls wherever you go. Start today!
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