There are some people that see nothing wrong with an emotional affair. They don’t see it as adultery. No one touched, so nothing “bad” happened. We spin it in our minds so it does not sound bad. “They are just a good friend;” “He/she understands what I am going through;” “Sure, we go to lunch - sometimes even dinner - but it is always in public.” We have become masters at rationalization.
Here’s my take. Any time we are getting needs met by someone else that should be met in marriage by our spouse, we are headed for trouble. An emotional affair IS an affair. Jesus took the definition of adultery up to a higher level.
The biggest problem that I see with minimizing an emotional affair is that we then do nothing to keep it from getting physical. I seldom see an emotional affair that does not turn physical. Given enough time, it will happen. Just because it is online and you live in different states does not make it okay. You are still investing in a relationship other than your marriage. I have seen way too many online affairs end up with one person flying across the country to consummate the emotional affair.
Bottom line. If you have never crossed that line, don’t. It is never, ever worth it. If you have crossed that line, do whatever it takes to end it now. You are playing with fire and a lot of people are going to get burned.