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We admit it: we're totally hooked on Gossip Girl. Okay, Em admits it. Lo would rather watch 90210 reruns. Actually, Lo would rather watch The O'Reilly Factor. Perhaps it's because Lo was popular in high school, while Em was eating her lunch in the bathroom stall. Which meant that, back then, watching 90210 felt a little bit too much like real life (because real life at that point involved watching from a distance as the drama of pretty people unfolded). It took a few decades of distance to enjoy a glamorized version of teenage casual sex, drugs, and day-time boozing (teenagers actually like martinis?!). Whatevs, the addiction as is real as Blair's diet pill habit.

So anyway, here's our GG-inspired question of the day: is an emotional affair ever as bad as--or even worse than--a physical affair? We're not talking amongst high schoolers (who the hell knows what constitutes monogamy or fidelity with the kids these days) but amongst grownups. Or, rather, the Gossip Girl equivalent of grownups, i.e. people who look younger than us but somehow have kids in high school. (We've seen the results of Upper East Side plastic surgery and it's just not that good. In fact, it's downright scary.)

So, anyway, Dan's hipster-musician-artist dad, Rufus, is in a threeway argument with his wife, Allison (who cheated on him in a physical, slept-with-someone-else kind of way), and his former first love-slash-groupie, Lily (with whom he had a spiritual, we-just-gazed-longingly-at-each-other-and-kissed-once affair). "Nothing happened" says Lily, who also happens to be the mother of Dan's girlfriend Serena (still with us?). "Emotional affairs are worse than physical affairs!" says Allison (well, she would, wouldn't she, being a cheater and all). "Oh please, emotional affairs are how we get through marriage," says Lily. "And you've been divorced how many times?" retorts Allison. Meow!

So...is an "emotional affair" (minus the kissing) ever acceptable to get through the slog of long-term monogamy? If so, how far is too far?


5 Comments

Katy said:

It seems like a slippery slope, but it can also be nice to fantasize about someone who is not your significant other once in a while. Also, the name Blair still has strong connections to "The Facts of Life" for me; they might as well have named one of the characters on "Gossip Girl" Tootie!

Terra said:

Though I'll admit the thought of my partner fantasizing about other girls isn't particularly pleasant, it's also natural and necessary to give them the freedom to be humans with sex drives. I know a girl who doesn't even let her bf (now, her ex, natch) to watch any movies with actresses she deemed a threat! come on, now...

Sara said:

I guess an "emotional affair" can be acceptable, as long as the parties involved are clear on their boundaries. Sometimes you reach a point where daily routines, the onslaught of work, family, and friends can deflate the life of even the most committed, loving relationships - whereas a little emotional affair with someone else might help that person say to themselves, "yes! i'm desirable! i'm worth it. and someone wants me."

But then again, I've never had an emotional affair where things haven't led to more and more complications, and an eventual break up. So...maybe I just contradicted myself.

Liz said:

@Sara
On one hand, I hear what you're saying. Turning to someone outside the relationship to give you a little spring in your step can do a lot for a person's self-esteem. But it seems like such a scary precedent to set. Wouldn't it be better to just put that effort into some sexy moments that get you out of the daily grind rut? So in the end, I agree with you. Cause I think all emotional affairs lead nowhere good.

kristen said:

if you have to have an 'emotional affair' with someone other than the person you're dating there's a good chance that something in your current relationship is missing, so maybe you should bow out and find someone who fulfills all your needs before you get yourself into a messy love triangle (or quadrangle depending on how many parties are involved!)

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