21 TV Affairs That Remind Us Just How Hot Forbidden Love Can Be

Let’s talk affairs on TV. Sometimes, our favorite characters find themselves in a messy, dramatic relationship that has so many flaws — and sometimes, it’s just downright delicious. We probably wouldn’t want to find ourselves in that position in real life, but watching it on TV is a total fantasy, an escape from real life. That’s what makes these imperfectly-built love affairs, like Carrie Bradshaw and Mr. Big’s dalliance between dating spells or Olivia Pope and Fitz Grant’s ongoing romance on Scandal, so compelling to watch. Will they get caught? Or will it turn into something substantial?

There are many ways for an affair to unfold, of course, and TV has done an impressive (and impressively hot) job of showcasing it these past few years. Two people can start at total odds with one another, then give in to an underlying attraction; they can be battling a tortured on-off dynamic for years; they can meet and feel so instantly drawn to each other that their other relationships are thrown into turmoil. On Mad Men, The Good Wife, The Affair, and so many more, the thrill of a hidden affair can turn someone’s world upside down in an instant — but again and again, the lovers are pulled toward each other like magnets.

That’s the other thing about watching these relationships play out on TV: in real life, people end up getting hurt by these relationships. On TV, we can enjoy the built-up passion of two forbidden lovers sneaking around guilty-free — and we recommend you do the same.

Take a look to see who made our list of the steamiest, most torrid affairs on TV.

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