Dr. Shirley Glass

Quiz: Just Friends or
Emotional Affair?

The Slippery Slope

In the new crisis of infidelity, platonic friendships and workplace relationships are turning into emotional affairs, usually gradually, often without premeditation. Parties cross boundaries of emotional intimacy, sharing intimate information with a friend that is usually appropriately the exclusive territory of a husband or wife. When emotional boundaries are overstepped, the partner has taken the first step onto the slippery slope leading to emotional and eventually sexual infidelity. Even if the infidelity is "only" emotional, it often leads to a double life of deception and sexuality, threatening once secure marriages.

If you recognize that your friendship or your partner's friendship may be in the danger zone of too much emotional intimacy, use this awareness to address concerns about your marriage. This quiz will help you see where you stand.

Quiz: Has Your Friendship Become an Emotional Affair?*

Directions: Check Yes or No to the left of each statement.

Yes No

1. Do you confide more to your friend than to your partner about how your day went?

Yes No

2. Do you discuss negative feelings or intimate details about your marriage with your friend but not with your partner?

Yes No

3. Are you open with your partner about the extent of your involvement with your friend?

Yes No

4. Would you feel comfortable if your partner heard your conversation with your friend?

Yes No

5. Would you feel comfortable if your partner saw a videotape of your meetings?

Yes No

6. Are you aware of sexual tensions in this friendship?

Yes No

7. Do you and your friend touch differently when you're alone than in front of others?

Yes No

8. Are you in love with your friend?


Scoring Key:

You get one point each for yes to questions 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, and one point each for no to 3, 4, 5.

If you scored near 0, this is just a friendship.
If you scored 3 or more, you may not be "just friends."
If you scored 7-8, you are definitely involved in an emotional affair.

*This quiz by Shirley P. Glass was first printed in USA Today (June 20, 1988) in an article by Karen Peterson, "When platonic relationships get too close for comfort," p. 6D.

Taken from the book NOT "Just Friends", © Dr. Shirley Glass