What a tough question..
Ok, first of all it's not just physical, that's purely sex or gratification and hence has a different meaning to how I define affair...to me, an affair is one where mind meets mind, where you share beyond all reasonable doubt what you could share with your spouse....in other words, if you're going to risk your relationship, it had better be for a good solid reason because once you have hurt your partner with the words " I have had an affair" the mind ( the female one that is) will cunjure up all sorts of fabrication, some true....but probably for many people, it was really just a need....but a real affair, a damaging one, can only ever happen, when you supply something that hasn't or isn't being met...
We all have needs, sometimes, those needs go unnoticed or maybe we get caught up in habitual situations....but, those needs don't get lost they surface all the time and sometimes, the needs get supplied and everyone loses...the moral to the story, is to listen: learn to give and take...
Affairs are dangerous, someone, somewhere, will always get hurt....someone somewhere, will always give and someone, somehwere will always have a need that hasn't been filled....
For those that think an affair is harmless, it isn't...it starts by saying "we can handle this, it's only fun"...but the heart, is a living organism and just like the sun feels great upon your face so the cold of winter can make you perish!
HUGS and good topic..
[This message has been edited by RainbowGirl (edited 08-29-2000).]