Avoiding an Improper Relationship or Affair

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What exactly are the steps leading to an improper relationship affair? Is your relationship growing stale? Are you finding yourself attracted to others? Then you will want to read our dating coach's response to this reader's question.

Common Steps Leading to an Improper Relationship Affair

Reader Question

I have been with my boyfriend for almost four years. We have a mutual best friend and lately I am getting the feeling that our friend likes me. I think I might have a bit of a crush as well and I don't want to lose my boyfriend but I am curious about the friend. How would you suggest I go about exploring this?~~Megan

Expert Reply

Dear Megan,

One of the things that happens with long term relationships is they get stale; stale is boring. This might explain why at this time you noticed your boyfriend's best friend flirting with you. Getting extra attention from someone feels good and is very flattering. It makes us feel special and it's that special feeling you're trying to rekindle. Which is why it is tempting to pursue the flirting with someone who is familiar to you. Even if your intention is to keep things innocent, the possibility of hurting someone you care about - namely your boyfriend - is far too great a risk just to resolve your curiosity.

When a relationship gets stale, loses its excitement, or an individual within the relationship goes through a tough time, the relationship itself is ripe for an affair. Therefore, it is important to be aware that an affair in a relationship is not the problem; the affair is only a symptom of a problem. People often have a hard time with this concept. One reason is that when a partner is unfaithful it is easy to blame the one who is unfaithful and absolve ourselves. When we realize we have a part in the problem (within the relationship) we understand that to change the situation we have to do something.

So, you have to 'do' something to make your current relationship with your boyfriend more interesting, more fun and more exciting. In other words, you have to turn back to your boyfriend and not away from him and to his friend in order to resolve the problem. A stale relationship does not mean you don't love your boyfriend. It can mean that the two of you have allowed things to get predictable, routine or boring. Now is the time to talk about ways the two of you can liven things up.

A word of caution, you think you might have a crush on the friend; it's tempting to pursue this. Should you decide to act on this temptation, break up with your boyfriend first. This way the excitement of the investigation done in secrecy won't be confused with the excitement of discovering a new relationship.

~~Lori

Avoiding an Improper Relationship or Affair