3 Clear Signs You’re “Pre-Cheating”
by Samantha Burns for YourTango

It’s a slippery slope…

If you’ve been cheated on before, you know how earth-shattering this experience can be. Apart from a loved one’s death, infidelity is probably the most emotionally painful experience.

An affair is a real threat that can destroy any relationship. The problem is, it’s not always so clear when you or your partner crosses that blurry line into inappropriate behavior.

For many people, cheating begins (almost) innocently with emotional infidelity, which can occur in certain friendships, flirtation with coworkers or even strangers. The straying partner might not mean to at first, but it soon crosses platonic boundaries that are damaging to a relationship.

Research has found that emotional infidelity and online relationships are considered a real act of betrayal and are just as damaging as physical cheating.

So, let’s get rid of the confusion.

Here are 3 clear signs you’re slipping into bad territory:

1. You tell your friend things that should ONLY be discussed with your partner.


Is the first person you think to share some big news with your partner, or a “friend”? Do you vent about your significant other to your cute coworker?

You and your partner need to protect your relationship with a “couple bubble”. Basically, you have to create safety, security and trust. By going to someone else with big news, personal information, or private relationship issues, you’re bursting that bubble.


2. You’re constantly thinking about the next time you’ll get to see your friend.


Are you dressing differently, wearing more makeup, or applying perfume in hopes of bumping into your coworker in the break room?

If you find yourself fantasizing about seeing a coworker or someone in your social circle, that’s a good indication you’re crossing the line. It’s natural to find other people physically attractive, but you typically know when it’s more than that – be honest with yourself.

Instead of straying, reflect on what’s going on in your relationship. Are you feeling disconnected? The answer isn’t to cheat, but rather to communicate with your partner about the needs you have that aren’t being met.


3. You find yourself keeping secrets or hiding conversations you had with your friend.


When communicating with a friend or coworker, do you hide your phone, message only in private, or minimize your email when your partner is around? This is a GIANT red flag that what you’re doing is inappropriate, and this relationship is not platonic. One thing we will say, is if this is apparent to your other half, then you either need to come clean, or keep an eye out for any software or apps that will catch you out. This pcTattletale Keylogger review will help you understand one type of software that could be your downfall if you plan to go for the long run.

Unless you’re talking about a work project on a big deadline, there’s no need to be texting with a coworker at midnight. Take responsibility and assert stronger boundaries. If you don’t feel comfortable with your partner overhearing or reading your private conversations, you probably shouldn’t be having them.
Ultimately, every couple has to define their own fidelity boundaries and get on the same page, and you shouldn’t agree to behaviors that make you feel insecure, uncomfortable, or in your gut feels like betrayal. It’s important to talk about these issues proactively in order to protect and prioritize your relationship.

Read Samantha’s other articles about infidelity on her website LoveSuccessfully!
This article was originally published at www.lovesuccessfully.com and YourTango.


  1. Emotional cheating is a big problem and I think one of the major reasons the divorce rate is so high! Lots of people emotionally cheat and don’t physically cheat. Good points 🙂

    1. Thanks Bella! As a relationship counselor I see this frequently, and want more people to be aware of how it can creep up on you if you don’t set proper boundaries.

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