Penelope Wilson
Penelope Wilson
June 8, 2023 ·  4 min read

8 Hidden Signs Your Partner Might Be Emotionally Cheating on You

Most people don’t realize how broad the concept of cheating in a relationship is. It’s already difficult enough to grasp the fact that someone you love might be in a romantic/sexual affair with someone else. It’s like adding fuel to fire when you understand that there are other ways to be cheated on without sex being involved.

Emotional cheating is often complicated and difficult to understand, but in reality, it hurts just as much as a sexual affair. It involves crossing the boundaries of your relationship and developing romantic feelings for someone else without acting on these urges. [1] It means to cultivate an intimate non-sexual relationship with someone else and become emotionally unavailable to your own partner.

Emotional cheating isn’t any less indecent or unfair. It’s not okay to be with one person while dreaming and fantasizing about another. A relationship requires physical, emotional, and even spiritual commitment to thrive, and you can’t just cut the links wherever you desire. 

Especially with secretive partners, picking up hints of an emotional affair can be quite difficult. Most people would argue that emotional affairs do not qualify as actual cheating, but you can’t mentally two-time someone you’re supposed to be in love with. Below are 8 hidden signs your partner is emotionally involved with someone else. [2]

They are overprotective of their phone

All of a sudden, you’d notice them angling their phones away from your eye line, using difficult pins and unlock patterns, and generally keeping their devices away from you. They are deleting texts consistently and when you ask about it, they bring up the, “I’m allowed to be my own person” argument. They make it seem like you’re being paranoid and overbearing to cover up their shortcomings.

They feel like talking a lot less than usual

The texts and calls become painfully shorter. It becomes too difficult to keep up the same energy with you when they are giving everything they’ve got emotionally to someone else. They don’t feel like telling you about their day, their new projects, their crazy stories or even listening to you talk. When they find spare time, they’ve got someone else to connect with and there’d be nothing to share with you. It hurts deeply to watch someone you love pull away from you.

They stop complimenting you

Emotionally investing in someone else means there’d eventually be nothing good about you anymore. They’d make you lose your self-esteem and confidence by acting like there’s something fundamentally wrong with the way you look, dress, walk, and your choices of everything. They act like you’re suddenly below standard because someone else has raised the bar for them.

They are staying out a lot longer

Work ends at 5:00 pm but you’re getting used to them coming home at 10:00 pm. When you inquire, they pull up the “we are really busy at work this period” defense line. They may be spending time connecting with this other person and may be only a matter of time before the affair turns physical.

They are canceling plans too often

It’s suddenly become a habit to cancel your dates and plans. They’d come up with flimsy excuses as to why they can’t make it and get upset when you try to complain. Sometimes, it’s not because they are trying to meet up with someone else. It’s simply because they just don’t want to hang out with you any longer.

They can’t stand the sight of you anymore

This is where it hurts the most. Where did all the love go? In the early stages of your relationship, it felt like a life with this person would be amazing. Somewhere along the line, they are yelling at you at every turn, abhorring the sight of you, verbally abusing you, and just staying away from you as much as they can. It hurts very deeply and no one deserves to put up with that.

They start making comparisons

When your partner starts measuring you up with someone else as the standard, they are subtly trying to tell you how much they don’t really care anymore. They drop hints about how their “new friend” is killing it in their career, how great they are at conversation, how they make time for you whenever you need them, and how much everyone simply just loves them. They’d probably use the words “friend” or “colleague”, but actually, they’ve become emotionally invested in this other person.

They stop making time for you completely 

Something has gone desperately wrong if your partner doesn’t even make out a bit of time for you anymore. They don’t want to go on dates, hang out with friends, and let you come over to their place or even be seen with you anywhere. They’ve simply relegated you to the background and you’ve become some sort of insurance policy while they get to know this new person. You don’t deserve any of this. They’ll deny it when you ask them about it and even when you identify the person they are emotionally cheating with, they’ll make you sound insecure and crazy. You deserve to be with someone who wants to be with you as well. There should be no compromise on that. You don’t deserve to be treated like a washed-up option. Your emotional wellness is extremely important and you must protect your dignity at all costs.


  1. People Are Defining Emotional Cheating & There’s Bad News If You Have A Work Husband/Wife.” Bustle. Laken Howard. Retrieved November 11, 2020.
  2. 6 Signs Your Partner Is Having an Emotional Affair.” Healthfully. Natasha Burton. Retrieved November 11, 2020.