18 Tell-Tale Signs You’ve Crossed the Emotional Affair Line

Has your flirtation gotten out of hand?

In this day and age, most of us have friends of the opposite sex, whether they are co-workers, casual acquaintances or close confidantes. The question is: how close is too close when you're in a romantic relationship with someone else?

Here are some signs that your so-called friendship may be entering the not-so-gray area of emotional infidelity:

1. You dress up for him.

When you buy new clothes or change your hairstyle and wonder what he'll think (instead of how your partner will react) that's a danger sign. We all consider our audience when we're getting ready to go out, but doing so with a particular other in mind -- not your significant other -- suggests there's something more here than meets the eye.

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Transference in Therapy

I dreamed of giving him my bone marrow. I offered him poetry, homemade cupcakes, passionate sex and a basket of Honey Peanut Balance bars, his favorite. I even proposed to repaint and decorate his waiting room -- at my expense.

I was in love.

His name was David. David was my therapist.

I started treatment with him after my mother’s death from a six-month bout with cancer. Her death left me broken open, bereft. My three-year-old marriage hadn’t quite found its footing and I felt alone in my grief. So I began therapy with David expecting a psychic sanctuary.
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Loneliness within a Marriage

Many of my clients discuss a feeling of loneliness within their marriages. Often their spouses look at them with confusion or contempt. They ask how it’s possible to feel alone when they are in the same house or even the same room much of the time. Mr. and Mrs. Just Not Feeling It may also be helpful in explaining how you feel.

When you feel lonely within your marriage, you don’t feel like you’re part of anything bigger than yourself. You feel alone, and there is no “we,” only you and your spouse, completely separate entities. You may or may not seem to be a happy couple to others, and you may or may not be able to keep a united front for the kids. Either way, when it is just you and your spouse talking to each other, you don’t feel close, connected, secure or safe.
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Is Masturbation Bad for You?

Masturbation is a funny word. It might make you giggle thinking about the first time you got caught by your parents or caught your little brother in the act. It can be a great way to release tension, or a way to stay satisfied when you can't be with a partner. For most of us, it's simply a part of life and a component of healthy sexuality.

For others, however, this harmless behavior crosses the line into a compulsive activity that is anything but benign. Some become so dependent on the behavior that they lose hours and hours of their day, unable to leave the house. Others masturbate to the point of injuring themselves.
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Hang On, It Does Get Better: On Leelah Alcorn’s Suicide Note

Before dawn on Dec. 28, 2014, a transgender 17-year-old in Ohio allegedly wrote a suicide note on her blog, walked to Interstate 71 and stepped in front of a tractor-trailer.

"Please don’t be sad, it’s for the better. The life I would’ve lived isn’t worth living in … because I’m transgender," Leelah Alcorn wrote on her blog.

Leelah's story has gained worldwide attention with Twitter users under the hashtag #LeelahAlcorn calling for acceptance and an end to the stigma surrounding gender nonconformity. But there is another group out there, the younger members of the LGBT community who need to know definitively that life does get better. It will get better.

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Anxiety and Panic

Studies Show We Find Stressed Out People Less Attractive

Your libido, appearance and more things that take a hit when you're feeling too overwhelmed.

If being stressed out of your mind didn't feel bad enough, there's a study that will make you want to chill the eff out even more: Researchers discovered that men find stressed out women less attractive.

After men rated women's faces for attractiveness, the study found that the prettiest faces consistently belonged to the women with the lowest levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.
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Children and Teens

4 Tips for Teens Who Are Dating

Recently, a mother asked me for advice on how to keep her teenage daughter, who just started dating, from getting hurt.

First, I assured her that her daughter will get hurt. I don’t know anyone who has loved without pain.

Even more important than trying to avoid pain is helping our sons and daughters (and ourselves) to know that they are strong, capable, and powerful -- and that they can overcome hurt.

Resiliency, self-respect, self-esteem, confidence, perseverance, and wisdom are the things to focus on instilling in your children, as these things will both help them to avoid pain and to recover from it quickly.

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Activities for Couples to Get Closer

It’s normal to feel disconnected from your partner from time to time. It happens to the healthiest of couples.

We are all busy. We all have things that should’ve been done yesterday. We may be parents, which adds an extra layer of hectic. We may have demanding jobs or several jobs. We may have completely different schedules from our partners.

So we asked two relationship experts to share several activities couples can do to reconnect and get closer.
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How to Determine Whether It’s ‘Love’ Or ‘Lust’

Not sure about your feelings? Here's how to know if what you are feeling is really love.

Moving from "like" to "love" is one of the most important transitions a couple can make. Unfortunately, it's also one of the most misunderstood ones. Too many couples think that love is the same as lust. This equates love with the ooey-gooey excitement and breathless anticipation that usually occurs at the beginning of a relationship.

Defining love this way makes it into a feeling and the down side is that feelings come and go. If you don't want your love to wax and wane with your emotions, you probably don't want to define love solely as something you feel. Our culture doesn't give us a lot of other options for a definition of true love, though. If it's not just a feeling, then what else is it?
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Single? Here Are 9 Ways to Enrich Your Own Life!

Just because you choose to live a single life doesn't mean you have to feel alone!

There are a lot of reasons to remain single these days, and many women are happy to do so. Unfortunately, other people often view single women with pity or misunderstanding. They think single women sit home every night eating Ben and Jerry's by the gallon, feeling lonely and miserable.

But studies show that single people actually have more active lives than married people; they're more likely to go out, be involved in their communities, join groups, have more friends and be more social!
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Early Signs of Love Addiction

As I strengthen my relationship with my wounded child, I realize that my childhood showed signs of a developing love addiction. There were aspects of my home life that primed me for neediness and a tendency to define my value in the eyes of others. Deprivation played a key role. Here are some of the things I recall:

My mother was a perfectionist. She was ruthless in her oversight of our household chores. I remember one event from when I was a young adult. My mother had made a big issue about no one helping her. So I stepped in to help.
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Why Real Love Is Hard Work

A month into our relationship, my now-husband asked me, “Where do you see yourself in five years?”

I didn’t hesitate.

“As a nun in a third-world country doing missionary work,” I said.


Somewhere around that time I also told him it would be five years before I slept with him. It was the quickest five years of my life.
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