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Friendship or emotional affair?

(105 Posts)
VioletValentine Wed 10-Jul-19 16:07:24

For context, I have been in my current job for less than a year and have struck up a friendship with a married colleague. I am single, if that's important. Nothing untoward has happened between us, but it feels like the relationship is intensifying somewhat in terms of the things he is choosing to share with me.

My head is starting to swim and I would really appreciate some advice about how to identify when a friendship crosses the line and becomes an emotional affair. I need to crystallise my thoughts. I don't want to find myself in this situation and am worried I could be inadvertently falling head-first into something dangerous. I care about him a great deal.

StarlightIntheNight Wed 10-Jul-19 16:15:33

If you are having feelings, I would distance yourself as this will not end pretty. He is married.

chocolateandpinkgin Wed 10-Jul-19 16:22:06

The fact you even have to ask the question means you know it's not appropriate. He's married. You need to distance yourself. Don't be an OW. It'll never end well and it's not fair on you, him, or particularly his poor wife.

LifesMystery Wed 10-Jul-19 16:31:55

If you’re having to ask this question the relationship has already crossed a line - certainly in his case.
Distance yourself.

VioletValentine Wed 10-Jul-19 16:34:30

You're right, I know. I have no intention of becoming an OW, rest assured.

I'm confused as I have several close male friends, all of whom have partners, and it doesn't feel this way with them. What makes this different?

TheStuffedPenguin Wed 10-Jul-19 16:35:47

There's something going on here for sure - either you are misreading the situation and building up a whole big potential romance around a stupid guy who is unwittingly leading you on when he just means to be friendly ( yes it happens ) or more likely he is feeling flattered and is enjoying playing with you . What kind of things is he sharing with you ?

TheStuffedPenguin Wed 10-Jul-19 16:37:03

I'm confused as I have several close male friends, all of whom have partners - ah you are one of those types.....

PaulHollywoodsSexGut Wed 10-Jul-19 16:37:35

I care about him a great deal

And that may be a result of manipulation on his part, or just bedazzlement on yours. Either way the boundaries are blurring.

All you need to ask yourself is would you be ok if you had a boyfriend and he was talking to a (attractive) female colleague this way? If the answer is no you’re there already.

letsrunfar Wed 10-Jul-19 16:37:58

To me emotional affairs don't exist. Friendships come in many different packages and on different levels.

If your friendship is not affecting your colleges relationship there is no problem.
People can have very intense platonic friendships and that's ok.

It sounds more like the the situation is starting to affect you. Are you worried you are falling for them or them for you? Which would/could be a problem.

TheStuffedPenguin Wed 10-Jul-19 16:39:56

To me emotional affairs don't exist - wtaf?

VioletValentine Wed 10-Jul-19 16:40:12

@TheStuffedPenguin

And what 'type' might that be?

TheStuffedPenguin Wed 10-Jul-19 16:42:51

Well I think you know....

VioletValentine Wed 10-Jul-19 16:44:08

@letsrunfar

I'm finding it very hard to nail down what I'm worried about, to be honest.

VioletValentine Wed 10-Jul-19 16:44:37

@TheStuffedPenguin

Not really. Please elaborate.

GreenFingersWouldBeHandy Wed 10-Jul-19 16:47:47

Ignore @TheStuffedPenguin; sounds like a thinly veiled dig.

I also have plenty of male friends who are either married or loved up. So what 'type' does that make me then?

letsrunfar Wed 10-Jul-19 16:47:57

@TheStuffedPenguin
To me emotional affairs don't exist - wtaf?

Yes wtaf ... friendships are not affairs in my opinion however emotional.

TheStuffedPenguin Wed 10-Jul-19 16:48:35

Nothing untoward has happened between us, but it feels like the relationship is intensifying somewhat in terms of the things he is choosing to share with me

Second time of asking.....what kind of things?

AnastasiaBeverleyHills Wed 10-Jul-19 16:51:41

@letsrunfar

Emotional affairs are very real and very painful. Intimacy comes in many forms, not all of them are physical.

TheStuffedPenguin Wed 10-Jul-19 16:54:12

@letsrunfar all these silly women on MN posting about their partners' emotional affairs - it's only friendship hmm

Aikaterina Wed 10-Jul-19 16:59:23

@TheStuffedPenguin Men and women can be friends without it being an ‘emotional affair’. I get that they are very real and hurtful, but calling a woman with married male friends ‘one of those types’ is immature and nasty

letsrunfar Wed 10-Jul-19 17:04:51

I don't disagree friendships can cause problems in people's relationships. I just don't believe labelling it "emotional affair" makes any difference.
If the friendship is causing a problem that's bad, if its not then, not bad.

MsDogLady Wed 10-Jul-19 17:14:17

Yes, it sounds like you are in EA territory.

Would he be comfortable with his wife hearing/reading these conversations?

You are developing emotional intimacy. You use the emotionally charged word intensifying to describe your connection, and it feels different from your other male friendships. It is more than platonic.

It is time to back way off.

Kaiylee Wed 10-Jul-19 17:19:06

The filter is. Would you be happy for his wife to see your messages/ behaviour? Would you be happy if you saw messages/behaviour like this from a boyfriend towards someone else?

Ferfeckssake Wed 10-Jul-19 17:20:54

ANY relationship that is kept secret from a spouse is NOT OK.
Are you trying to convince yourself otherwise?

Proteinshakesandovieshat Wed 10-Jul-19 17:30:01

I'm confused as I have several close male friends, all of whom have partners, and it doesn't feel this way with them

Then you arent confused. You have friendships with other men and this feels different.

That's how it starts, soon your feelings will be stronger. Then you will hope he will leave her. Then a physical affair starts and you think have leave her. And then you are the OW.

It's funny because I know no other women or other men who ever 'have the intention'if starting an affair.

As though they dont make concious decision it's just happens. It's amazing. Because I have never just happened to cross the line with a married man, so do most people.

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