Cheating is probably one of the worst things that can happen in a relationship. But these days it’s not as black-and-white as you think. It doesn’t even have to involve physical sexual activity. Every person has their own idea of what constitutes as cheating, and each relationship should have clear boundaries of what is and isn’t acceptable. Keep yourself out of hot water and see what the truth is about cheating.
THE CHEATING PERSPECTIVE
Everyone has a different perspective when it comes to cheating. Some people’s definition includes holding hands, caressing each other’s faces, or arms, and in some cases, even spending too much time with someone else.
In order to avoid hurting someone or being hurt, it’s important for couples to sit down and be honest with each other, because one person may see betrayal in a conversation, or body language with a friend. But in reality, nothing bad really happened. So, it’s always best to start out by explaining in detail who your friends are, and the kind relationship you have with them, so there aren’t any misunderstandings.
DON’T HIDE THINGS FROM THEM
The path to cheating is paved with secrets, even if they seem innocent to you at the time. It might just be harmless online flirting, or it could be calling someone “Bae”, when the only “Bae” in your life should be your significant other. So, don’t hide things from your partner, and always be open about what you do and discuss with your friends, unless you’re planning a surprise party for the love of your life.
DON’T BE A FLIRT
Maybe innocent flirting is okay in your relationship, but if you were touching hands or hugging and you later felt guilty, then that’s a sign you crossed a line. Common sense will tell you that when you flirt, you’re really looking for something more like manipulating someone, making yourself feel good when they reciprocate, or trying to get them into your bed. Since flirting never leads to anything good, avoid it before things get bad.
YOU FEEL GUILTY
Guilt is an emotional cue, which rears its ugly head when you’ve done something that you shouldn’t have. If you feel guilty because you interacted with someone on an emotional or somewhat physical level, then that’s the logical side of your brain telling you to knock it off, stop lying to yourself, and examine why you did it, then learn from the experience, and don’t do it again.
IS A CRUSH INNOCENT?
Crushes might’ve been innocent back when you were 10 years old, but in the words of Britney Spears, adult crushes are “not so innocent” Of course, you don’t need a therapist to tell you that developing a crush is perfectly normal. It’s how you act on it that can make you lose control and seek out opportunities to turn a fantasy into a reality. But if you really can’t stop yourself from pursuing a crush while you’re in a relationship, then it’s time to re-evaluate whether staying in that relationship is even worth it.
Not only have our lives become digital, but so have our relationships. Connecting with people on social media has expanded people’s networks, but have also blurred the lines of what’s an acceptable connection. Liking someone’s Facebook cat video is very different from following and messaging a lingerie model. A recent study revealed that one in five people blame Facebook for ending their relationship.
OTHER FORMS OF CHEATING
Aside from physical contact, sexting, and webcamming makes you a cheater because you’re fantasizing or discussing an intimate act with another human being. Ultimately, it’s just a matter of time before you and the person you’re chatting up on your phone, or watching as they take their clothes off, hooks up.
You don’t have to jump into another person’s bed to cheat. Emotional infidelity involves connecting with someone other than your partner, and then spending most of your spare time with this special person, sharing thoughts and experiences. This can often happen when a couple starts to drift apart, causing the other person to look for someone they have more in common with.
LET’S GET PHYSICAL
Some people are very hands-on, touchy-feely people who like to give hugs and touch each other’s arms, shoulders, and backsides. When someone does this in public or in front of your partner, it can be very uncomfortable, and that includes those lingering hugs, which is a red flag. Most people don’t like having their significant others being touched at all. But who can blame them? This is why clearly defined boundaries need to be set, so that if you find yourself in a situation that’s physically too intimate you can distance yourself.