Particularly with the introduction of online dating and social media, the lines of what can be considered ‘cheating‘ have been blurred – not to mention that they can vary drastically from couple to couple.
A recent Reddit thread asked people what counted as “cheating” to them, and the answers are varied.
1. Secret conversations
“If there’s a conversation you’d be unwilling for your significant other to hear/see, that’s a red flag,” suggested one user.
This could be a conversation on inappropriate topics, about your partner to another person or even planning an activity involving another person that you hide from your partner for the wrong reasons. Often this can fall under the category of an ‘emotional affair‘.
“When one engages in a physical affair, a person knows that they have overstepped their relationship boundaries and committed sexual acts outside of their relationship. With the constructs of emotional affairs being plagued by blurred lines and boundaries, in general it makes it easy for people to justify to themselves that they didn’t do anything wrong by their partner,” explains Faustino.
“In addition, the person may not even be fully aware that they have engaged in an emotional affair and simply brush it off to ‘just being good friends‘.”
2. Flirtatious texting
“Text flirting is the worst because of how private and sneaky it can be,” says the_kids_laugh.
“A workmate that’s getting married next weekend started texting me a few days ago. He asked where I was spending my weekend so he could come join me. I am still mildly shocked and don’t know how to react. He’s always kept a safe distance. I responded to the first few messages because I wasn’t sure that he was OK, then froze a soon as I found out he wasn’t going to stop texting. And now I’m wondering if I’m overreacting. Don’t know what happens when I see him at work tomorrow.”
3. Using cam girls
“Something my wife and I just discussed due to a friend’s marriage ending over this: Using cam girls. My wife and the friend who’s getting divorced view this as cheating since you are actually interacting with someone in a sexual nature,” said one user.
Cam girls involve usually paying for webcam time with an individual.
While some believed using cam girls are more likely to be considered cheating than actual porn due to the individual interaction, others argued it was the equivalent of stripping.
“As a camgirl, I find it hard to see it as cheating? I always thought of it more like a stripper, you know, look but can’t touch? So I guess if someone thought going to see strippers was cheating then yeah, cam girls would be too,” wrote user EmMeo. (Post continues after gallery.)
4. Deleting messages
If you feel the need to delete something for fear of your partner seeing, it should send alarm bells.
“Anything you do with the intention of deceiving your SO is cheating. Cheating means breaking the rules, and the rules are different for every relationship,” wrote rottinguy.
“My rule is ‘if you wouldn’t do it with me sitting next to you, you probably shouldn’t be doing it at all’. I follow the same rule. Exceptions for surprises and gifts of course,” concluded user Annie_M. (Post continues after video.)
5. Breaking “rules”
Because every relationship is different, anything that goes against the rules or boundaries you’ve set yourself should ring alarm bells.
“Cheating is when you knowingly and willfully betray your significant other. Everyone jumps to ‘sleeping with someone else‘ because it’s almost universally forbidden. But if you and your significant other agree to a polyamourus relationship in which you won’t watch porn, then porn is in fact cheating and fucking someone else isn’t,” wrote user Then_he_said.
“So if – as a condition of your relationship – you agreed you wouldn’t do it, and you do it, you cheated – no matter what ‘it’ is.”
6. Having feelings for someone else
For some users, just developing feelings for a person other than your partner - and continuing your relationship with them - was considered cheating.
"As soon as you have romantic feelings for another person, you are being unfaithful. I don't mean finding someone attractive, that's obviously fine, but if you're in a relationship and you have feelings for someone else, and continue to communicate with that person, and entertain those feelings, I think you've already crossed a line," wrote endlesssleeper.
"Personally I would rather my partner had a meaningless one night stand than had a friendship with someone else that meant more, even if they never acted on it. I think that's far more hurtful."
7. Watching an episode of a TV show alone
For one user, watching an episode of a TV show that you've committed to watching together alone is definitely a no-no.
"This is true for so many couples I know it's part of the reason I laugh when they act like it's sad I'm single. I watch all the shows! Whenever I want! And then I repeat them at random!," agreed SkySeaSkySeaaa.
While it's probably said in jest, it's definitely something we'd be mad about.
What do you consider to be cheating?