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What is the difference between a strong platonic friendship and an emotional affair?

(12 Posts)
justpaddling Fri 14-Oct-11 09:09:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MadAboutHotChoc Fri 14-Oct-11 09:12:09

This link may help you understand the difference - basically an EA is when you have crossed boundaries:

Makiko Fri 14-Oct-11 09:14:06

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shakti Fri 14-Oct-11 09:14:12

I think the difference is one you would share anything about with your OH. All the little jokes misunderstandings and that you had a nice hug when you needed one. The other you would keep elements of to yourself, hide or just think carefully about how you phrased things.

These differences are behavioural, the emotional difference would be in your heart.

NeedABrew Fri 14-Oct-11 09:24:19

I've had both an EA and a strong platonic friendship. I think they can be different - they were in my case.

It's the intensity more than anything - sheer volume of phone calls, text messages and time spent together. When I had an EA - through work of course - it was coffee before work, lunch together and drinks after work. For a long time, I convinced myself it was just a friendship, but the amount of time together was much, much more than I would have spent with a male friend who was just a friend.

With my actual male friend, if he rang and it wasn't convenient, I would ring back when it was. With my EA guy, of course I would always reply to calls or texts. If my friend talked about dates etc. that would be fine, not so for my EA. With my friend, I might text or call occasionally if he was the only person that would get 'it' - eg. an in joke, past memory. For my EA, he was ALWAYS the first person I phoned. I would never think about my friend as soon as I woke up or before I went to sleep, whereas EA, I did. My friend and I would never discuss the idea of sex together (in fact I think both of us would think 'ewwwwwwww'), whereas in an EA, you might. A platonic friendship can be healthy; an EA not.

I think ultimately, when you have a close platonic friendship, and it is genuine, you manage to renegotiate when partner's arrive on the scene. For example, when my friend and I were at different uni's, it was commonplace for us to ring each other when we were drunk, no matter the time of day. However, when he had a girlfriend, I would take care not to do this as I felt a 3am phone call probably not acceptable to her.

Makiko Fri 14-Oct-11 09:33:27

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maleview70 Fri 14-Oct-11 09:48:06

An emotional affair for me is a friendship with someone you would like to shag.

A strong platonic frienship is with someone you wouldn't.

MamaChoo Fri 14-Oct-11 10:06:31

A platonic frendship has its own properties and does not detract from your relationship with your partner. It adds to your and your partners lives. In an EA you are taking away from your actual relationship - whether that is time, closeness, support.

Lostapieceofme Fri 14-Oct-11 10:19:13

What Maleview70 said. I have had both and that sums up the difference for me.

Makiko Fri 14-Oct-11 10:59:58

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garlicScaresVampires Fri 14-Oct-11 14:01:08

What MamaChoo said. You might be in denial about the lust element of your EA friendship, but you'll be spending time & having conversations with them that should really be with your partner.

This does not apply when you're in the other sort of EA - emotional abuse - with a partner who tries to cut all your support lines. But the fact is, you do know whether you're having a friendship or a budding obsession. Does it feel like a guilty pleasure? It's an affair.

justpaddling Fri 14-Oct-11 17:21:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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