Can someone cheat without ever having physical contact? According to recent reports covering the David Petraeus’s affair those close to him during his final tours of battle were not surprised at all. One of the reasons is that most affairs happen long before there is any physical connection, so just how do we avoid going down the path of infidelity?
1) End Personal Conversations
a. Emotional Infidelity is rarely planned. It often arises from innocent friendships that became too personal.
b. It is best to avoid emotional and personal conversation with the opposite sex. If you catch yourself discussing personal information or you realize someone is sharing personal information with you, change the subject gently or end the conversation.
2) Meet In Groups
a. Have business or planning meetings in groups of three or more. Even one extra person can minimize emotional intimate conversation from happening.
b. Don’t compromise this standard. Once others come to know this is your standard, they will respect it. The first time you let down your boundaries, it will make it easier to do in the future which can lead to compromising situations.
3) Avoid consistency with the same person
a. Familiarity and comfort with the opposite sex opens the door to emotional connection.
b. This does not just mean in personal conversation but with the ease that technology affords, it also means in texts, instant message, Facebook, etc. What may seem like just fun texts can create a familiar spirit that opens the door for deeper connecting.
4) Avoid friendly hugs or kisses
a. Research show that hugging someone for 20 seconds is how long it takes for the release of oxytocin, a powerful “bonding” hormone.
b. Once the physical boundary is crossed or physical interaction is discussed, it is almost impossible to stop. Some feel it is best to leave this area off the table with the opposite sex so there is never confusion or temptation.
So is it possible to cheat without having physical contact? Ask yourself how you would feel if your spouse, partner or significant other was sharing personal, flirtatious, or intimate details with someone else. Where is this going to lead and how will this impact your current relationship? Too often it leads to a stronger connection, going farther than you ever intended and ultimately hurt for all involved. Rather than get into an unhealthy situation, look for ways to get those emotional needs met in healthy ways through safe friends of the same sex, support groups, or counseling.