Cheating in Relationships: Definitions

Man Caught Cheating

Cheating happens to many of us; I don’t know a single person who hasn’t been cheated on. When it comes to relationships, not only will couples have different definitions of what cheating means to them, but individuals within a couple may define cheating differently. You may have a special emotional connection with a co-worker that seems fine to you, but when your partner realizes this they feel betrayed and ask you to stop spending time with your work mate. So complicated!

How some individuals define cheating in a relationship:

  • flirting openly with others
  • exchanging flirty emails and/or text messages
  • avoiding telling new friends that they’re in a relationship
  • talking about sex with others
  • spending a lot of time with someone
  • sleeping (without sex) in the same bed as another
  • buying sentimental gifts for another
  • talking in dating chatrooms
  • emotionally involved with someone else
  • crushing or fantasizing with another person
  • discussing your relationship intimately with someone else
  • being best friends with the opposite sex
  • kissing, fondling, or oral sex
  • sexual intercourse

No matter how you define cheating, it feels bad when it happens to you. And what can make it worse is when one person in a relationship doesn’t feel that they’ve cheated while the other person is feeling rejected and betrayed. This is why it’s important when you do get serious about someone that you and your partner are both on the same page about how you will define cheating in your relationship. Not a fun conversation, especially in the honeymoon phase of a relationship, but it will definitely help to save heartache and misunderstandings down the road.

My take on cheating has always been:

If you’re in a good solid relationship, the idea of cheating doesn’t come to you… if it does, then it’s probably time to get out.

Read more about setting clear boundaries: Cheating in a Relationship

What do you consider cheating? If you’re in a relationship, do you and your partner define cheating the same?

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