A lot of people think about having an affair, and many people act on that impulse. But there’s a difference between a fling and something more serious. So, what are the signs an affair is getting serious?
There are so many different factors that can lead to an affair beginning. It can be purely spontaneous or the result of a long-held mutual attraction finally coming out in the open.
But a lot of people start affairs on the understanding that it’s not going to be a long-term thing. It can be quite a shock when you realise it’s getting serious.
Signs an Affair is Getting Serious
It’s not always easy to spot when an affair is getting serious when you’re in the thick of it. It will be exciting and fun, and you will be getting something from it that you have been missing for a long time.
But there are plenty of signs that you can watch out for when your extramarital affair turns to love.
Let’s break down the biggest.
Increased Time Together
One of the most common elements of an affair is that your time together is going to be extremely limited. A couple of hours here, a night away there – it all needs to be done secretly.
So it’s a big sign that an affair is getting serious if you are making more and more time in your schedule to be away from your partner to spend with this other person.
That means that you prefer spending time with them.
Deep Emotional Connection & Intimacy
It’s a bit of cliché, but one of the classic hallmarks of an affair is that emotions are kept out of the picture. You don’t want it to get complicated, after all.
But emotions are always going to get involved eventually. That’s often when it starts getting serious when you start opening up and sharing something more profound.
Affairs can often come with a time limit, even if it’s an unspoken one. There’s an understanding that it’s not built to last and that you are committed to your partner.
The “in-love” stage of a love affair typically lasts six to 18 months, and occasionally as long as three yearsDenise Bartell, PhD via WebMD
However, if you start planning for things to do together in a few months or even a few years, that shows that the time limit has been removed. You want this to continue indefinitely, even if you haven’t said that yet.
It’s pretty normal to feel guilty when having an affair. You are keeping something from your partner unless you’re in an open relationship. There’s always going to be some level of feeling guilt.
But that sense of guilt diminishing is a sign that what you’re doing feels right and natural. Your brain feels more comfortable spending time with this other person, and that’s pretty serious.
Sending Gifts Regularly With No Real Reason
There’s definitely nothing wrong with sending gifts with no real reason. It’s a sign that you care and that you want to brighten their day. But this is not something you typically do if you’re not invested.
If you find yourself sending spontaneous gifts, then this is a classic sign that an affair is getting serious. It shows you’re thinking about this other person a lot more.
Change in Communication
Communication will generally be pretty limited at the start of an affair, probably just through the cheating website or app. You’ll both be worrying about getting caught, after all.
But communicating more often or on multiple channels suggests that you are both getting more comfortable.
It’s more spontaneous, and it’s more intimate, too. You might just want to know how their day’s going.
Changes in Physical Intimacy
It’s another cliché to say that affairs are purely physical. They are not, and they are often about fulfilling an emotional need as much as a sexual one.
Changes to the way that physical intimacy is expressed are a classic sign that an affair is getting more serious.
For example, a strict ‘just a physical affair’ might suddenly involve more softer moments like cuddling and hand-holding. An emotional affair might suddenly become sexually charged, leading to more physical and emotional intimacy.
“Research evidence tells us that the presence of intimacy in our lives — feeling understood, accepted and cared for — strongly influences our overall physical and emotional well-being.The Family Institute
Avoiding Home Life
Here’s one that is an absolute textbook example of an affair getting serious. An affair is a break from the normal routine; it’s something completely out of the ordinary.
Your home life is the ordinary that you return to. If you start dreading that and looking for reasons to avoid going home, it means that you want the break from the routine to become the routine.
Less Interested in Primary Partner
Having an affair doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re not interested in your primary partner. It can often mean that you want something different that they don’t offer.
However, you may start to find that your interest in your primary partner starts to dwindle, physically and emotionally. It’s because your primary focus has gone elsewhere.
It’s common for people to start extramarital affairs because they feel like they no longer see themselves as sexual or attractive in their current relationships.
Someone in a serious affair will find that they have an improved self-image. If you find that you’re taking better care of your appearance and enjoying doing so, then it might be getting serious.
The stereotype of affairs is that you’ll be meeting in hotel bars or places far away from anywhere that someone might see you. There’s not a lot of thought put into the ambience or the experience outside of the meeting.
Your affair might be getting serious if you’re finding that you’re putting extra effort into the date night itself, with fancy restaurants or experiences. You want to make the most of the time beyond the connection.
Everything is all about being in the moment when affairs start. You both have a need and a connection, and that’s what it’s all about.
Memory sharing is a clear sign that something deeper is happening. Whether it’s talking about memories you and your affair partners have made together or sharing more from your past, this is a sign of emotional intimacy on a more profound level.
Meeting friends is a sign that you are not only extremely comfortable with the person you’re having an affair with but that you want to include them in your life.
It is a huge risk to introduce someone to your friends when you’re having an affair. Doing so shows that you’ve thought about it and that you think it’s a risk worth taking.
Hidden accounts are the kind of thing that might not seem like a big decision in the moment, but are a lot more significant than you might realise.
It shows that you are creating room in your life for someone you’re not willing to tell your partner about. It’s an added layer of secrecy, but it’s also an added layer of structure.
Fantasising is a natural part of having an affair. To some extent, it’s what having an affair is all about: fulfilling a need that you’ve been fantasising about.
But it gets more serious when you find yourself fantasising about spending more and more time with the person you’re having an affair with. This means that you are not only dreaming of escape; you’re dreaming of someone specific.
Like setting up a hidden account, setting up code names is the kind of thing that you might do on the spur of the moment without even thinking about it. It might even seem fun or silly.
But it shows that you are thinking about seeing this person more and more and that you are thinking about your affair as a long-term thing. It can go from being a joke to being serious very quickly.
Secrecy is an essential element of having an affair, so what’s the problem with secret routines? Well, the clue is in the name. Routines come about because of necessity but also because of familiarity.
You are getting comfortable, and you are looking for the quickest and easiest ways to be with the person in question. It’s not about spur-of-the-moment anymore if you’re creating secret routines.
Along the same lines, risk-taking comes about because of familiarity and comfort. So much effort goes into minimising risks at the start of affairs because you don’t want to get caught.
Risks start being taken because some part of you wonders, “Well, what if we did get caught?” There’s an excitement there, and there might be a bit of complacency, too. But there’s also the feeling that it might not be the worst thing in the world to be found out.
Love affairs are as addictive as alcohol or drugs due to the good feelings they illicit in the cheater.”
Deep conversations are all about emotional intimacy. You don’t open up with someone you’re not serious about, not really.
You have deep conversations because you want to open up and be understood on an emotional level. And you do it because you trust the person in question to hold those feelings for you and to be the person who gets it.
Hidden photos are a classic risk for people who are having an affair. They can be so easy to find if someone’s looking, and people who are just starting affairs will rarely leave that kind of evidence.
But people keep them, generally speaking, because they can’t bear to delete them. You know it’s a risk, so it’s a huge sign that an affair is getting serious if you have hidden photos.
Making memories isn’t something you do with someone you’re not serious about. Anyone who’s been in a relationship knows that you have “our place”.
Affairs often happen in and around places that are convenient, and that are easy to keep secret. Having special places means that a deeper connection has been made.
You’re going to be spending time away from your primary responsibilities when you have an affair, which means that you’re probably going to be working extra hard to ensure that you don’t neglect them and arouse suspicion.
Neglecting your responsibilities means that your focus is shifting away. Simply put, you won’t be taking care of them because it feels like they don’t matter as much.
This is a huge one and a massive sign that this affair has got extremely serious. Sharing assets is a kind of trust and commitment that needs to be acknowledged.
It might come about quite naturally, such as one of you needing a bit of extra cash to keep seeing each other. But it’s not just a financial commitment; it’s an emotional one too.
Everyone has deep, dark secrets that they only share with the people that they are closest to. For most people, that’s their spouse or partner.
Your affair is getting serious if you’re opening up about these secrets to the person you’re seeing. Whether it’s about your childhood, life, spouse, or any other personal details this is an emotional connection that is very serious indeed.
We immediately think of partners when we think about people who make joint decisions. These decisions are serious, and they tend to be long-lasting.
It’s not just about deciding where to meet next time. Joint decisions could be about how much money to spend on a weekend away together. It could be about deciding what to tell your partners. It could be about your future.
Emotional affairs are just as common as physical affairs. A lot of people start affairs because they are not being emotionally supported at home.
However, there is a big difference between feeling you are having your emotional needs met and feeling like you depend on this person. Emotional dependency is often more profound and more serious than a physical connection.
Considering Ending Primary Relationship
And now we come to the final point, and arguably the biggest of them all. Nothing says an affair is getting serious, like thinking about ending your relationship.
This is a huge step, and it might not be something you ever considered at the start of the affair. You might not be thinking about it seriously, but it’s serious if you are thinking about it.
What To Do if Your Affair is Getting Serious…
The important thing to remember if your affair is getting serious is: What do you want from this? That might have changed from when the affair began, but are you ready to give up on your marriage?
You also need to consider what the other person wants. You might feel like it’s getting serious, but they might not be ready to commit. You need to have a frank and honest conversation with them about where you both stand and how you feel.
It is perfectly natural for affairs to become serious, but you can avoid complications by using a married dating site.
At Illicit Encounters, you can create a profile that details what you’re looking for and find people who feel the same. You can be honest about whether you are looking for something serious or not.
How Do You Know if Affair Love is Real?
There is always going to be a difference between infatuation and love. The important thing is to think through your feelings carefully. How would it be if you spent all your time with this person, giving up your marriage or family? Is this a commitment you’re ready to make?
How Do You Know Your Affair Partner is Falling for You?
Classic signs include increased emotional intimacy and future planning. There will be more focus on creating memories together and spending more and more time away from your primary partners.
Can an Affair Turn into a Healthy Relationship?
An affair can turn into a healthy relationship as long as both partners are open and honest about what they want. It’s not going to be easy, but communication is key. It won’t work if you are not on the same page.
Can You Fall Back in Love After an Affair?
You can absolutely fall back in love after an affair. Having an affair is often about fulfilling a need that isn’t being met, and a lot of people find that an affair helps them to be more present and loving at home.