What’s emotional infidelity?
“Intimacy with someone besides our partner that’s emotional, not physical.”
It happens to many people, and in a world of hyper-communication and connectivity, it’s becoming an increasingly big topic. So, what do we do?
Let’s take this in two parts…
- Part I: Attraction
- Part II: What To Do With It
— PART I: ATTRACTION —
What it is, its power, and limitations.
Attraction sneaks up on us
Love is a choice, but attraction may not be.
It’s just there to navigate, leaving many flailing and trying to deny our basic humanness, like “I didn’t ask for this!”, at a loss as to how to safely indulge…
Attraction feels really good
Like most people, I have enjoyed the sweet, sodden satisfaction of crushes. I have obsessed over the way they smile, or sit, or stand, or the wrinkled folds in the hips of their jeans when they’ve done both. I’ve listened to songs they sent me —like Best Coast “Want You” or xx “Angels” — about a billion times. They’ve been the last thing I thought about before falling asleep each night.
It feels good.
An intoxicating rush, like chocolate cake or video games or a good book or [insert guilty pleasure of your choosing]; we often convince ourselves it’s “safe” if at arm’s length.
Except attraction is other people, often going on longer…
Attraction is chemical
And we have neural and chemical responses to infatuation.
Dr. Anna Machin, an evolutionary anthropologist at the University of Oxford, wrote, with “attraction,”
“The stress and reward systems in our brain are working overtime… Nerve cells in the brain release a chemical called norepinephrine that stimulates the production of adrenaline, and give us the…