What Counts As Cheating?

Written by on July 25, 2012 in Relationships - No comments | Print this page


It used to be so much easier to tell if someone was cheating during the pre-internet days.  Now there is “sexting,” skype, email, and smartphones to make it much easier for your partner to have more opportunities to stay connected to the people with whom he/she is having an affair.

So what exactly counts as cheating?  Everyone has their own definition, but the unanimous answer is physical sex.  However, there are so many other forms of cheating that can be just as hurtful.  Let’s take a look:

1)      Online relationships.  If you are logging out of your email as soon as your significant other enters the room or you try to cover up your tracks by deleting all steaming emails, texts, and logged cyber chats/sex, then you may very well be having an online affair.   These can be just as hurtful as physical ones because you are participating in a sexual act with the person.   Nowadays, you can have an affair with someone on the other side of the world, but they are affairs nonetheless.  The rule of thumb is if your sweetie will be hurt by all your correspondences with the other person if he/she knew, then you are cheating.


2)      Flirtation.  I actually read in a blog once that in order to keep a relationship/marriage alive, then one needs to flirt with others.  I could not disagree more.  You say that it is just harmless banter.  The more you flirt and get comfortable with the person, the higher the likelihood that you would be so comfortable, that it only seems natural that you can just slip in a kiss during one of the flirtatious nights at the bar.  You just end up building up the sexual tension and dig yourself into a hole.


3)       Kissing.  Some people only consider going all the way as cheating.  If you are swapping saliva and have enough physical contact to get oral herpes, then that is intimate enough to be considered cheating.


4)      Developing an emotional connection.  I was once told by an ex that emotional cheating is more hurtful than a physical one.  There are plenty of attractive people out there who can tempt you to their bed, but few can win your heart over.


5)      Pseudo-dates.  You are hanging out with a “friend” and you are trying really had to cover up your tracks.  You do not plan on telling your significant other about this friend, let alone the fact that you two spent one-on-one time together.  Does this sound familiar?


If you are unsure whether something qualifies as cheating, ask yourself if your partner would think so or not.

What do you consider to be cheating?  Share your comments below.



About the Author

M. Yu

M. Yu is a single, working professional who lives in New York City. She has eclectic interests, ranging from cancer research (her day job) to traveling to writing for the Relationship Category on QLR. She has an active dating life and views every life experience as a learning lesson. View all posts about healthy relationships.