Therein lies the core of the issue, and it is what defines emotional infidelity as if not exactly the same at least the social equivalent of sexual infidelity.
Whether you are physical engaged with another person or not, when you absent yourself from your primary relationship you are taking your attention away from that relationship in a way that interferes with it. A great cinematic depiction of this is an interchange between Hilary Swank's character and that of her husband in .
In the case of interpersonal emotional infidelity, the same sensibility holds true.
Although not a new phenomenon, emotional infidelity is a notion that, in recent years, has come to some prominence at least as language, due mainly to the inescapable juggernaut of media convergence.
It is also, to some degree, a reflection on the generalized loosening of social mores that once would have kept button-down dads buttoned up and soccer moms carpooling, instead of "Seeking Friends" at or blogging on Facebook.
Moreover, if an ancestral woman bore a child with this extra-marital partner, she also increased genetic variety in her descendants.
Infidelity had unconscious biological payoffs for both males and females throughout prehistory, thus perpetuating the biological underpinnings and taste for infidelity in both sexes today.
Emotional infidelity is any situation that creates or causes some degree of emotional unavailability on the part of one partner that interferes with one particular aspect of the relationship, along with the quality of the relationship as a whole.
Obviously, and speaking to the thesis of Aaron's article, the most salient form of emotional infidelity is that which involves another person, and engages that person in a pseudo-romantic or pseudo-sexual relationship, whether proximal or at a distance.Stated plainly, it's a crush that's reciprocated, but not demonstrably acted upon. One is that the nature of communication and the ability to communicate with just about anyone anywhere has greatly increased opportunity.Human nature is such that if the opportunity for a behavior is increased, and the drive to engage in that behavior is for whatever reason unchecked, that opportunity will in all probability be exploited.Infidelity, whether extra-relational (see I Wasn't Looking for an Affair; It Just Happened), or emotional, is usually a matter of opportunity.The second truth is something of a twist on the old "absence makes the heart grow fonder" line; the constancy of current communication actually intensifies this type of relationship and promotes its distortion.I have proposed that during prehistory, philandering males disproportionately reproduced, selecting for the biological underpinnings of the roving eye in contemporary men.