Sharing Meals Easily Creates Intimacy
What relationships are you nurturing? Emotional infidelity can easily start over sharing a bite to eat with a fellow worker of the opposite sex. As a relationship coach, I believe each person in a committed relationship or marriage knows those internal warning signals which say to stop sharing so much time with particular individials. The harm is sharing a meal is the opening of the door to creating a non-work connection. It does not matter if you are grabbing a meal at a fast food place or an upscale restaurant, being alone when you are not available is not wise. It is natural to flirt with one another and simply being with a person who is single puts you in the mode of acting likewise. It can easily become an escape.
As a Christian relationship coach, I have spoken to countless individuals who never thought their marriage would get anywhere near divorce. Some can trace the distance back to the seemingly harmless habit of sharing a meal with a member of the opposite sex. Some of the repercussions are:
First, it is very easy to have your loyalties divided, sharing detailed, intimate information that should be reserved for your spouse.
Second, true openness and vulnerability will be at risk within the marriage when loyalties are divided between two people. You will start gravitating toward the person that allows you to escape life responsibilities.
Third, the connection will become a source of emotional validation. Instead of nurturing your marriage, you will find excuses to increase time with the other person.
Forth, even if you do not feel physically attracted to this person, you will rationalize that nothing inappropriate is happening.
Fifth, as the relationship progresses, you will desire to share life details with that person instead of your spouse.
Sixth, the relationship starts developing its own exclusivity and inside secrets.
When you hear that marriage is sacred, please trust that the connection does require nurturance, attention and exclusivity. No matter how long you have been married, it still can be fragile as it does not take much interference to steer a committed relationship off course. Protecting the specialness of the bond you share with your spouse must be a priority, knowing outer circle acquaintances should not have inner circle access to your life, emotions and feelings.