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13 Common Types of Affairs and 20 Signs & Reasons People Get Into One

Cheating is something that is not easily definable anymore. So, you need to know why someone cheats, the types of affairs, and the signs of cheating.

types of affairs

Maybe you’ve had an affair, or you know your partner is having one. You want to understand what’s actually going on. Well, a good place to start is by knowing the types of affairs that can occur.

Once you know the different types, you can narrow it down and pinpoint exactly what led to this type of affair. But first, let’s take a minute to understand why people have affairs in the first place.

When you can understand the reasons that lead to people having an affair, you’ll be able to understand the different types of affairs easily as well.

[Read: Affairs in a marriage and the role of egos in it]

Why do people have affairs?

Some people may think that people cheat on their partners for sexual reasons – they just want to have sex. But there are many other reasons that people have affairs. So, let’s discuss the reasons behind a typical affair.

1. Anger

If someone is angry at their partner, this makes them vulnerable to cheating. The most temptation occurs when the anger is long-term. If one partner has a constant feeling of resentment toward the other partner, then their attention may turn elsewhere.

In this category, you also might find revenge sex. Maybe one person cheated on the other. The one who was cheated on would not normally cheat, but since they are angry, they want to get revenge – so they do the same. [Confession: Revenge sex – My own experience and everything I learned from it]

2. Low self-esteem

Let’s face it – when other people find us attractive, it boosts our ego. And many people have low self-esteem, so when someone other than their partner shows them attention, it helps them feel better about themselves. [Read: 10 signs of low self-esteem and 5 ways to increase it]

Cheating because you don’t feel good about yourself is not a good thing. It’s not a quick fix for your self-confidence, even though it may feel like it at the moment.

But eventually, that feeling goes away, and you are left to deal with the fall-out of your affair.

3. Commitment issues

Just because someone is in a relationship or married doesn’t mean that they are really committed to their partner in their heart.

Some people get pressured into getting married by their spouse or their family. Other people are just afraid to be alone.

So, if someone doesn’t really feel like they are committed – or that they have one foot out the door – then cheating is very tempting for them.

It is very easy to just “forget” about your commitment because you are getting immediate gratification from an affair. [Read: Fear of commitment – 47 signs, whys and ways to get over your phobia]

4. Lack of love 

Maybe a couple started out being in love, but the feeling has disappeared over time. It’s disappointing when that happens because you think you will be with your partner for a long time. And when that doesn’t happen, you feel uneasy.

So, if a person doesn’t love their partner anymore, they might purposely or accidentally find someone that they do love. And if that other person gives the love back to them, this could be a reason for a long-term affair.

5. Need for variety

A lot of people don’t want to admit this, but humans aren’t naturally monogamous. Just look at the animal kingdom – almost none of them stay with one sexual partner, with the exception of penguins *for some strange reason.* [Read: Non-monogamy – how to know if you and your partner are ready for it]

Humans are animals, so they want to spread their DNA, especially males.

From a survival point of view, men want as many genetic descendants as possible. Now, this is really just how the brain is wired. Obviously, society frowns upon this, but it is still a part of the primitive brain that we still have.

6. Neglect

When people are together for a long time, they tend to take each other for granted. No longer do they have date nights, make love, or do anything nice for each other.

In fact, their appreciation for each other sometimes completely goes away… sadly.

Sometimes, the neglect is one-sided. In other words, only one partner is being neglectful, either emotionally or sexually. This would cause the other one to become resentful and want to find someone else who does appreciate them. [Read: How to recognize the signs of emotional neglect in a relationship]

7. Sexual addictions

Just like alcohol, drug, or any other addiction, some people have a sexual addiction. This kind of addiction is very broad on the spectrum. In other words, it could be watching porn 24/7 or just not being able to resist themselves if an attractive person comes their way.

This is a very real problem that requires professional intervention. It is not only dangerous, but it is also very mentally and emotionally unhealthy for both partners.

8. Situational

This is a very immature reason – or excuse – to have an affair. When confronted with the cheating by their partner, they will say things like, “I was just really drunk – it doesn’t mean anything!” Or “I don’t know why I did it – I was in the moment and it just happened.” [Read: The 4 most common yet painful types of cheating in a relationship]

This is a terrible reason for an affair *not that all of them aren’t*. It’s blaming an outside circumstance for cheating instead of taking personal responsibility for your actions. [Read: Drunk kiss dilemma – So you drunk kissed someone – now what?]

13 types of affairs you need to know

We love to use the word ‘affair’ to describe someone who’s cheated on their partner. Most of us don’t know how layered the word ‘affair’ actually is. An affair can sprout from several different reasons and can be different things. This is just the first part.

[Read: 9 practical steps to rebuild trust in a relationship after one of you cheated]

Next, you both should self-reflect and understand the root cause of why either of you had an affair. Maybe it’s something you should overcome or maybe not. But it’s never too late to grow and develop, even after a mistake.

By knowing the different types of affairs, together you can address internal issues. It’ll be a hard process but will bring you clarity and understanding. So, let’s get started. There’s more than just one way people cheat.

1. One-night affair

This is an affair that happens when two people are sexually attracted to each other and have sex.

Maybe during a business trip or party where two people are unlikely to ever see each other again. It’s a one-time event that is, if anything, out of convenience. [Read: 12 signs of infidelity that can lead you to a real affair]

2. Revenge affair

Well, this is an intense affair. When someone has been cheated on, they’re angry. So, the revenge affair gets back at their partner for cheating on them. 

They seek someone to have sex with, only to hurt their partner. The person they sleep with is usually a co-worker or close friend. It’s “an eye for an eye” concept but with sex instead. 

3. Emotional affair

An emotional affair is one that most people refer to when they say the word ‘affair.’ This is based on an emotional connection with someone who isn’t your partner. 

They pick someone outside of the relationship to bond with. Though this isn’t always a physical affair, it usually leads to one. [Read: Emotional affairs and the irreparable damage it can cause on your love life]

4. Lustful affair

For people who engage in lustful affairs, it’s only about sex. There aren’t any emotional connections or attachments; it usually consists of rage or infatuation.

It can happen with different partners, not just one. These people must have sex right now, and cannot be satisfied any other way.

5. In-charge affair

When it comes to in-charge affairs, both or one person in the relationship is looking for the chance to exert dominance over the other. 

These people usually work in high-stress jobs where they have many responsibilities. It’s similar to role-playing characters such as the teacher and student, the doctor and patient, etc.

6. Pursuing affair

When we’re single and dating, everyone is looking for the chase, the game that brings the excitement of trying to be with someone. And this is a pursuing affair. 

They want to be chased or chase another person, feeling the thrill and excitement. Now, this doesn’t always end up being a physical affair; it can be purely emotional. [Read: The right way to handle a crush when you’re already in a relationship]

7. Compulsive affair

A compulsive affair isn’t one where the person wants to escape their relationship or falls for someone else. This affair is based on their need to engage with another person. 

Their thoughts are sex-driven, and they hunt for the opportunity to have sex with someone else, anyone else.

8. Opportune affair 

They didn’t necessarily plan to have an affair; instead, the moment came up, and they took advantage of it. 

This usually happens with close friends and family members, as these are trusted people, and the time spent together is relaxed and comforting. [Read: Are you – or should you be – worried about your cheating fantasy?] 

9. Escape affair

There are some people who can’t end a relationship. They feel the only way out is by having an affair. 

They’re unable to end things normally and feel their only way to end their current relationship is an affair as a gateway to freedom. Simply because they’re unable to confront the situation head-on.

10. Thrilling affair

These types of affairs happen when someone wants excitement and thrill in their life. Whatever’s going on in their life right now isn’t bringing them the satisfaction they’re looking for. 

They want spontaneity. They want adventure. And this affair brings it, but also comes with its fair share of drama.

11. Superglue affair

When you think of superglue, two objects are stuck together tightly, and that’s what this affair is. It is extremely intense and hard to break. 

Both people in the affair believe they were made for each other and feel they were destined to be together. Even when they end the affairs, they end up drifting back together. [Read: What is a karmic connection and how to recognize them in your life]

12. Fictional affair

Most people think affairs happen physically, but that’s not always the case. Some people live an affair that’s a complete fantasy. 

They imagine intimacy with this person and feel connected to them without any foundation. Typically, people who are obsessed with celebrities or porn have these fantasy affairs.

13. Naive affair

We all know those affairs. These affairs happen when someone believes the other person will leave their significant other in exchange for them. 

We all know this rarely happens in real life. Usually, what happens is one person in the affair gets strung along until they hit a breaking point. [Read: How to let go of your fear of being alone and find peace] 

Signs of cheating

Now that we know why people cheat and the kinds of affairs, let’s briefly look at the signs of cheating so you can recognize it if it happens.

1. Changed behavior 

If your partner used to be very predictable, but that has changed, that is a big sign of an affair. Maybe they are staying later at work now, or are going out with “new friends.” 

2. Change in appearance

Let’s say that your partner has lost a lot of weight and bought a whole new wardrobe of clothes. If this is out of character, then there is something very suspicious about it.

3. Lying

Believe it or not, lies are not too difficult to spot. If their words and actions are not matching, then they are probably up to no good. [Read: Why do people lie in relationship? 10 reasons why we fib]

4. Indifference

Maybe you have a new hot neighbor that just moved in who is showing you a lot of attention. When you ask your partner if it bothers them, they really don’t care. That’s a big problem.

5. Changes in your sex life

You might have had a regular, satisfying sex life. But all of a sudden, the sex has dried up. Maybe that’s because your partner is getting it from someone else.

6. Hiding their phone

This is a huge sign of someone having an affair. If you walk into a room and your partner jumps and hides their phone, then you know that they definitely have something to hide! [Read: Serial cheater – 14 signs, what makes one, and what you need to do next]

What to do now

You now have the chance to figure out what type of affair you or your partner had. From there, dig deeper and figure out what drove you or your partner to have an affair.

Then you can fix the underlying issue whether you stay with your partner or not.

[Read: Here’s how to survive infidelity without tearing apart]

It’s hard to overcome cheating in a relationship. Whether you stay with your partner or not, explore the root cause of these types of affairs to ensure it doesn’t happen in future relationships.

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The editorial team of LovePanky comprises relationship experts and real-life experts that share their experiences and life lessons. If you want the best love ad...