Friday, 15th January - Are you a little confused as to where the line is when it comes to cheating?
Whether you’re in a relationship now or hope to be in one in the future, you need to make sure you get that line firmly drawn as early on as possible…
…for the sake of everyone involved.
Being clear on what’s considered cheating and what’s not from the get-go can save a whole load of heartache.
If you cheat on your partner, or vice versa, it can inflict an awful lot of damage and pain, both on the two of you and on other important people in your lives.
If you’ve ever been cheated on, you’ll know only too well how devastating it can be, and, for some people, how hard it can be to learn to trust again in future.
No two relationships are ever the same and I am not going to judge any mistakes you might have made in the past…
But, if you have cheated on someone you loved, then, if you’re honest with yourself, the guilt of that might still be troubling you deep down.
Basically, when trust is betrayed, nobody involved comes out of it well.
Trust is the linchpin of absolutely every human relationship, romantic or not, whoever you’re attracted to and whatever rules you set with the person you love.
Even in polyamorous relationships, which can often be hard for strictly-monogamous folk to understand, lines are always drawn, and the people involved will feel hurt and betrayed if those lines are crossed.
But, for the purposes of this article, we’re going to consider what the ‘average’ person in a monogamous relationship in western culture might view as cheating.
We’ll try to establish a middle ground, as there are always extreme points of view one way or the other.
After all, there are people out there who’d accuse their partner of cheating on them just for looking at another guy or girl, and people out there who wouldn’t bat an eyelid if their partner kissed someone else.
In the interests of providing some kind of useful guide to those who aren’t sure how far is too far and what actually constitutes cheating, I’ll be drawing a line in the sand here.
Just remember that although you may not be able to label some things as full-on cheating, they could still be considered to be a betrayal of trust, which your partner may find difficult to forgive.
Of course, every couple needs to figure out for themselves early on in their relationship what is okay, and what is not.
5 Things That Definitely Qualify As Cheating
Now, let’s turn our attention to the things that could reasonably be called cheating in a monogamous relationship.
A peck on the lips with your best mate doesn’t count, but I think most people in monogamous relationships would agree that a passionate kiss with someone else qualifies as cheating.
It doesn’t necessarily have to spell the end of your relationship, but it is something you need to be entirely honest with your partner about.
You also need to be honest with yourself about the reasons the kiss happened, and if you’re truly happy in your relationship.
2. Sexual touching
If you’re in a monogamous relationship, then touching anyone else in intimate areas is not something you should be doing.
There’s no two ways about it.
Texting is one thing, but sexting is definitely crossing the line.
Even if you haven’t had any physical sexual contact with the other person, sending sexual messages is a betrayal of the trust your partner has placed in you.
It displays an emotional form of cheating whereby you shared an intimate experience with someone other than your partner.
4. Phone sex
Just as with sexting, phone sex with someone else is not acceptable if you’re in a monogamous relationship.
It doesn’t matter if it only happened once.
It doesn’t matter if you were drunk.
It doesn’t matter if it didn’t mean anything to you.
If you’ve had sex with someone else when your partner trusts that you’re committed to one another, then you’ve cheated on them, and you need to accept it.