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Can An Emotional Affair Be One Sided?

Is it possible for an...
Is it possible for an emotional affair to be one sided, especially when one person is single with no interest in the married best friend?
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Answered in 57 minutes by:
1/4/2013
A. Schuyler, NP
A. Schuyler, NP, Nurse Practitioner
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 16,345
Experience: Board Certified NP, MS, RN. 25 years private practice & hospitalist
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If one person is not interested in an emotional involvement with another, then it isn't an "affair," it is a crush or whatever you want to call if by one person on another. An "affair" whether emotional, physical, or both, is a reciprocal relationship.

Yes, it is quite possible that one person may feel an attachment to another without that feeling being reciprocated. In fact it is the norm. Otherwise, everyone would wind up in a long-term relationship with the first person they ever developed feelings for. Learning that not everyone reciprocates ones feelings is tough, since rejection is always difficult to deal with.

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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

I have a friend who has been my friend for 8 years. She is married and she has always portrayed her husband doesnt mind our friendship, but deep down I know it has bothered him before. I have never been attracted to her at all (she is 350 pounds) and to me our friendship has always just been a friendship. We talk on the phone like sisters (used to all the time) and sometimes she shares things with me about her husband that I do not want to hear and I tell her this. I have come to the conclusion that over the years she has maybe felt more for me than friends and not told me. I always tell her if her husband doesnt know shes on the phone with me or if he doesnt know she is over at my house to hang out then she is not welcome. I recently heard the term "emotional affair" and this is what sparked these thoughts. So it is possible then for her to feel things and me not able to interpret her feelings thus being one sided?

Sure, it is possible that she has inappropriate feelings for you. People are sometimes dreadfully unable or unwilling to delve into their emotions about another person.

If her behavior is making you uncomfortable (which is what it sounds like), it would probably be wise to put some distance between the two of you. Make yourself less available when she telephones (no one says a ringing phone has to be answered), or be "just heading out the door to meet someone for lunch/dinner/a movie/shopping" if she drops by unannounced. Remember she can only use you as an emotional crutch if you allow it.

A. Schuyler, NP
A. Schuyler, NP, Nurse Practitioner
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 16,345
Experience: Board Certified NP, MS, RN. 25 years private practice & hospitalist
Verified
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

I always relied on this friend ( who is married), for support morally, emotionally ( like if I was sad about something, I would seek her advice), and someone to just keep me company on the phone. She was always there for me as a friend, but I never thought of my attachment to her as a best friend more than friendship. Does this friendship attachment constitute "emotional involvement", or just a codependency of a friend?

It just means you have relied on her as a friend, and that has probably been reciprocal. However, even the closest of friends need boundaries, and it sounds like she isn't understanding that you don't want her closer than a platonic friend. She may be hurt as you try to explain it, but that happens in even the closest firendships.

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A. Schuyler, NP
A. Schuyler, NP
A. Schuyler, NP, Nurse Practitioner
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 16,345
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Experience: Board Certified NP, MS, RN. 25 years private practice & hospitalist

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