You are cheating on your partner, and the most tragic thing is that you don’t know it. Sure, you think that your relationship is built on a foundation of granite: immovable, solid, unshakable. Your partner trusts you and you trust them and everything is going great.
I have bad news for you: you are cheating on them!
It’s true, you haven’t been caught in a seedy hotel with your pants down, or they haven’t walked in on you fornicating in the bed you two share. You have not propositioned anyone else except them and you are sure you love them. Nothing even remotely sexual has happened.
But you have been texting with your “work crush”. you call him when you are feeling down, and he cheers you up. You two go on lunches together, innocent little outings that lifts your spirits. you come home to your partner cheery and cheered, but they are not the source of your good mood.
You are having an emotional affair.
We focus too much on the sexual aspect of affairs that we forget the root. Emotional attachment leads to developing feelings, and those feelings could then grow into a sexual affair.
So, before you let things get out of hand with that cute girl at work that always laughs at your jokes, ask yourself: “am I crossing the boundaries of platonic friendship in my interactions with her?” You need to make sure that you act in an approved, appropriate manner with your friends. If you start questioning whether your partner can or should know about any aspect of the conversations you are having, then it has become suspect.