As "the other woman," I can’t say that these emotional connections are less damaging to a relationship than physical affairs; actually, for me, they are worse. Physical cheating is more ingrained in the male psyche. Most men can have a sexual affair without developing emotional attachments. Sure, an ongoing affair isn’t justifiable, and only the other person can determine if even one incident is forgivable. However, for me, if one of my boyfriends gets drunk and sleeps with a girl who throws herself at him, I would be more likely to forgive him than if I discovered he was texting and calling a cute coworker on a daily basis to complain about our sex life and my crazy mother.
I can name at least three close, male friends who are cheating emotionally with me. We have talked for years with our emotional connection only growing ever stronger. Inevitably one of us admits that we have a little crush on the other person. This is usually brushed aside in favor of more flirting without any real action.
As time goes on, our emotional cheating only gets worse. These guys text while out with their partner, call when they are alone, and talk about all of their partner's flaws over lunch. The question is, when does this relationship cross the friendship boundary into a no-man's land where a jealous girlfriend will start ripping clump of my hair out? Am I supposed to sacrifice my flirtatious friendships even though I am the uncommitted one? Should I call and tell the girlfriend that I know how her man hates watching her TV shows and that sex with her is getting boring? When it comes to emotional relationships with the opposite sex, when are we meeting at the emotional version of a Motel 8?