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Is emotional cheating real?

When it comes to matters of the heart, we are all beginners. However, some of us at least speak with authority. Introducing Shon Faye, Trans Issues (200) and the forthcoming Love in Exile (2025), their proposals are adopted our eyes. Get in touch with her at [email protected] for your own initiation.

Dear Shon,

I like to build a strong connection with a lot of people. I think emotional intimacy is something you should maintain with someone other than your partner because it adds a lot of value and depth to your life. I often meet my friends one-on-one, and I spend a lot of time having long discussions on WhatsApp. My boyfriend is totally fine with my female friends, but accuses me of emotional cheating when I do this with male friends. He was sure that all these people wanted something other than my friendship, and I was channeling them by approaching them.

am I wrong? Is emotional cheating real?

Confused Girlfriend

Dear Confused Girlfriend,

Emotional infidelity does exist, but like beauty, it’s in the eye of the beholder. It all boils down to the fact that we have many options in how our needs are met, yet lack confidence in understanding what those needs really are. “What does intimacy mean to you?” We don’t usually ask our partners directly in the process of developing a committed relationship. But it’s a question we should be asking because we think very differently about intimacy. Sexual monogamy – a relatively new expectation for romantic relationships (at least for men) in the past 200 years – has very clear benefits. If you kiss or have sex with someone who is not your partner, you are cheating. While it’s clear, I think it’s safe to say that it’s not the best sign of what a true commitment to a partner might look like for everyone. For some, oral sex may be more honest than many PG- acts of intimacy and caring. I’ve certainly had sex with a lot of people I didn’t know, but very few people took care of me when I was sick, for example. Which is more intimacy?

You ask yourself if you are wrong. It’s not a question of right or wrong. You and your boyfriend started the relationship with different histories and understandings of intimacy, as well as different expectations for love and commitment. There is no right or wrong. just different. It will make you better at dealing with the uncomfortable discussions you will have to have about it with honesty and an open mind. Telling your boyfriend that he’s all wrong because you don’t see these interactions with guy friends the way he does is your prerogative — but you have to be willing to deal with the possible consequences. He may find these ongoing friendships intolerable and choose to leave. On the other hand, you can simply stop forming such close friendships with men to please your boyfriend. The risk of doing this is that you will feel controlled and deeply resentful. If you don’t want an ending or resentment, you need to get into difficult relationships: communication and compromise.




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