What Counts as Cheating

A friend of mine recently discovered that his girlfriend of 2 years had been cheating on him. He found out in the usual way that most people discover unfaithful partners; he heard from a friend of a friend of a friend that she had a dude on the side.

After numerous days of scoping out her apartment he saw her creeping in the building at 2am with the culprit. To say the situation turned out badly is an understatement.

Another friend of mine discovered that her man was on the verge of cheating. Although she had been a model girlfriend and put all of her energy into the relationship he decided that her efforts weren’t enough and attempted to seek another party to satisfy his desires.

“Oh, it never got to him cheating though,” she told me with a sigh of relief. Once she got the feeling that something was up she put all of her energies into discovering the password to his emails and social media accounts.

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Once she gained access she promptly shut him down by contacting the girl with whom he’d been speaking to and outing him. Initially her boyfriend was angry about the fact that she violated his trust to gain access to his accounts. But when up against the fact that he had been about to cheat that complaint was neutralized.

“He didn’t cheat because he didn’t have sex or kiss the girl. So I feel comfortable that we can go on. Sex is cheating. Talking about sex is not,” she quickly explained.

And yet another one of my friends broke up with his girl because she accepted the phone number of several guys while they were in the club. She tried to explain to him that she only took the numbers to be nice and to not cause a scene by outright refusing them. But when he saw that she had actually spoken to one of them on her cell phone he promptly dumped her.

“If she even thought about another dude, that’s cheating to me,” he said.

Infidelity is a complicated thing. For some cheating begins at the point in time where the nipple makes its appearance;  when two people bring to reality the desire to physically connect.

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Sex, nothing more and nothing less.

But are things really that simple when it comes to cheating? Does it really stop there?

Cheating is a complex problem that can’t be so simply explained. It can be sex but it often has very little to do with it. Cheating means taking a piece of what has been promised between two lovers and giving it away to someone else. It’s a violation of a pact between you and whoever you’ve promised to love exclusively. It could be emotion. It could be sex. It could be time. It could be energy.

Here are 5 Most Common Ways People Cheat:

  1. Sex: This is the oldest and most common benchmark for infidelity. Sex. Unless you have a relationship in which you agree to share your body with individuals outside of your relationship, it is viewed as cheating.
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    The reason it is considered cheating to most people is because of what it represents. The body is supposed to be something that is valued more than money. It brings forth life into the world. It’s as intimate a gift a person can give. And when a man or woman allows someone other than their partner to enjoy, it’s a major violation that goes at the heart of every emotional issue in their relationship (marriage, child birth, future commitment).


  1. Emotional: Emotional cheating is kind of strange because it can be masked as friendship and usually allows the perpetrator of the crime to use friendship as a defense against discovery. But make no mistake; this is cheating at its worst. It often occurs in places people frequently speak (your job, school). It starts out with light talk and then moves to that person being a confidant. They hear the complaints about their girlfriend or husband and that other person usually presents problems in common. Soon it moves to one person crossing the line on a verbal level and attachment is formed. Instead of talking to your lover about your problems you’ve started giving that info to the other person.
  1. Social Media: This one isn’t new but with all of the ways that people are communicating now, it’s becoming more complex. Basically if you’re speaking to others via social media you can engage in conversation that otherwise should be reserved for your partner.
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    People create whole other personas online just to get the attention they feel they should be getting at home. They’ll reach out to their little online communities and engage in sending inappropriate messages and pictures just to fill that void. They often neglect their mate just to do so. If you’re giving blocks of your time to others and neglecting the person under the same roof, you’re cheating.

  1. Adult Activities: Movies, video clips, and DVDs. If you spend an extraordinary amount of time involved in adult entertainment, you’re cheating. Remember, anything that you do that takes away large blocks of time and energy from your mate is cheating. Using the excuse that your mate doesn’t like what you like is kind of dumb. You’re together because you have so many things in common. Involving that person in what you like HELPS the relationship. It doesn’t hurt it. But if you’re downstairs in your briefs with a jar of petroleum jelly at your computer and your woman is upstairs on soft silk sheets engulfed in solitude, you have a problem. And it’s called cheating.
  1. Work: Yes, I said it. You can be cheating on your partner with your job. But it really can be a lot of different things. School, music, friends…. It doesn’t matter. Anything that takes away large blocks of your time and energy is depriving your mate of what they should be guaranteed. Time. Now everyone needs to make a living. That’s understandable. But it shouldn’t be so much that you don’t see your lover but for 3 hours in one month. Yes, that’s cheating.