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Define Cheating

I have always said that dating can be like getting a Ph.D in human behavior. When you are trying to find common ground with people, you will discover their views and outlook on little things, and big things. Such as cheating.

You would think that this would be a pretty simple thing to define. I have not always found that to be the case. I was on a date recently and the guy said something about an ex-girlfriend who dumped him because of dirty text messages he had been sending to a former hook-up. That led to a discussion on when someone crosses the line and steps over on to the inconsiderate jerk who cheats side.

I have had this discussion before with men whose definition of cheating vastly differs from mine.  I always like to get a man’s perspective about this fairly early on. His opinion about what constitutes cheating tells me a lot about how he handles his business in a relationship.

Everybody has a different idea on what cheating is and it is easier to define when you aren’t being cheated on or are cheating on someone. What is your definition?

Do you bring up the topic of cheating when you are dating someone new? Do you ask if they have ever cheated in a relationship? If they answer yes, do you give them credit for being honest with you? Does it change your perception of them?

What if they have been in a relationship with someone who is married? Do you question their character and morals? Would it be a deal breaker?

541 comments Add your comment

Raqi

October 8th, 2009
9:04 am

The short answer…

Cheating is doing anything with someone that you would not do with that person in front of your s/o nor would want your s/o to find out about.

IMO cheating can also be pegged when a party seeks comfort, even if just emotionally, from an outside source that is not a doctor or licensed individual to offer it. If you can open to an individual but not your mate, then that could be cheating.

There is cheating as well as inappropriate behavior. Both are wrong. Inappropriate behavior behind your mate’s back, such as the exchange of text message and/or emails with another party, especially an ex is disrespectful to your relationship.

ImAPeach404

October 8th, 2009
9:06 am

Morning all

I’m “seriously” dating someone now but we aren’t in a committed relationship – but we both choose not to date anyone else right now. I went out Saturday night and I gave this dude my #. After talking to the guy Sunday evening, then Monday BBM convos… he asked if he could take me to dinner. I felt a RUSH of guilt. I knew I couldn’t go to dinner with this guy and I knew I had to tell my friend about it. It was the weirdest thing… I honestly felt I’d done something wrong, felt like a cheater, and a bad person, lol.

I told him and we’ve moved on. I think…

For me, that teetered on “cheating” even though we are not in a relationship. I can’t explain it. But, to me, cheating is defined as any activity you wouldn’t want your partner to do.

I would give someone credit for being honest about their indiscretions in previous relationships but it wouldn’t make me trust them any more or less. And, it wouldn’t change my perception b/c I think most people have cheated at some point in their life anyway so it’s not like its a revelation.

Raqi

October 8th, 2009
9:12 am

I think the word I would like to dwell on today is “Intimate”. Any form of intimate exchange between you and an individual that is not your is cheating. Intimacy covers a lot of areas of interaction between couples. From the mental, to the emotional, to the physical.

Raqi

October 8th, 2009
9:15 am

any activity you wouldn’t want your partner to do

Oh yeah that too. And you are correct. If you get that feeling in your gut, then you know it’s not right. Also I am of the belief and practice of if my mate is uncomfortable with it no matter how innocent I feel it may be, it has to cease.

Dream_n

October 8th, 2009
9:16 am

Good Morning All (I had to take Ms. Main’s advise and get some darn work done… thanx chica!!!)

On topic…

Cheating to me is anything SEXUAL point blank… I am not going to catergorize everything in the book as cheating….

Now anything else is just plain out disrespect or inconsideration for your mate….

ImAPeach404

October 8th, 2009
9:18 am

Cheating is doing anything with someone that you would not do with that person in front of your s/o nor would want your s/o to find out about.

Well stated Raqi

ImAPeach404

October 8th, 2009
9:20 am

@Dream – What about emotional? A lot of times, women open up to another man on an emotional level. It doesn’t have a lot to do with sex most times. Getting the D from your man isn’t a difficult thing, but sometimes affection is…

Wings -() (Human and Divine)

October 8th, 2009
9:22 am

Do you bring up the topic of cheating when you are dating someone new? Do you ask if they have ever cheated in a relationship? If they answer yes, do you give them credit for being honest with you? Does it change your perception of them?

No, I don’t bring it up when dating someone new…it’s the kind of topic that surfaces on it’s own…if they are a new interest..they will initially get the benefit of the doubt, but certainly as the relationship progresses ( mostly because if its new, I’m in observation mode anyway) that topic is sure to surface.

Nobody gets credit for being honest…it’s expected. I don’t know that I would hold something that they might have done in the past(bw-before wings) against him…especially if he was forthcoming about it and expressed remorse/growth.

I’m with you WD….the whole cheating thing continues to bring up new and more boundaries to think about. Is it cheating if you are emotionally(Not physically) tied to another?

Have A Great Day:)

Dan

October 8th, 2009
9:23 am

@Raqi

That “intimacy” is betrayed constantly. Maybe not the physical, but the emotional intimacy. Esp. when the members of a relationship seek advice about that relationship from parties outside that relationship.

@Peach (see above)and,
If you want it (affection), ask for it.

Professor

October 8th, 2009
9:23 am

Shot through the heart and your to blame
Darling you give love a bad name. ~Bon jovi

Ok, if you are using any kind of deception, trickery, deceit, lies etc. you are cheating. Saying “s/he is just a friend,” and you know there is more to it than that well you are cheating. Not to mention you have the ones that are using deception to gain sex, money, player status etc. I just feel that anything you are doing behind your SO back that is depleting the relationship whether physically, mentally, emotionally, financially etc maybe defined as cheating.

Gheeghee

October 8th, 2009
9:24 am

Raqi – you stated this so well. I will add that different definitions of cheating has to do with different moral compasses. When I am in a realtionship and I confront someone about suspected cheating, at my definition level, I also ask myself: what is my tolerance level for being with this person who supposedly cares about me yet rationalizes and justifies their behaviors/decisions that impact the value of our relationship? If you choose to be in an intimate but non-committed relationship, be clear about what the agreed upon boundries are for “cheating”. If those definitions either live with it or move on.

Raqi

October 8th, 2009
9:27 am

You are correct ImaPeach. You have to include the emotional relationships because that is usually how it starts. The entire dance leading up to an actual physical relationship is embedded in cheating. You were cheating the whole time.

I am not saying that all emotional infidelity leads to a physical relationship, but I am saying it is wrong all the same.

Dream_n

October 8th, 2009
9:27 am

@ ImAPeach404

If I found out my mate was talking or opening up emotionally to another woman… I wouldn’t characterize him as cheating. Is he being blatantly disrepectful to our union, then yes!!!

I think about it like this… If I found out my man had any kind of sexual relations with a woman, whether it be oral, kissing, or the actual act, that would be grounds for termination. No discussion no renewing the contract.. (as would most women).

If I found out that he was opening up to another woman emotinally, then there is room to talk and figure out what the problem is and why he feels that he can’t talk with me….

Raqi

October 8th, 2009
9:28 am

Dan I disagree. Seeking advice is not intimate betrayal. It’s just seeking advice. If it’s a matter that you have addressed with your S/O or will address after getting the needed advice then it’s not betrayal.

Professor

October 8th, 2009
9:29 am

I will say this I believe cheating goes well beyond the physical. When I was on a LOA, I was watching this talk show where the husband would go and watch hardcore porn for hours each day. He was no longer physical with his wife and he had detached himself from the relationship emotionally too. While he was in the basement choking his chicken time passed them by and they no longer communicated like they used to. Well he did not consider that cheating because he was there in the house and no one was physically involved. However to see the wife in tears…she was hurting and it was cheating. He was cheating her out of the physical and emotional relationship that they once shared.

ImAPeach404

October 8th, 2009
9:32 am

@Wings – so when is a good time to bring it up? Just asking b/c their definition of exactly what constitutes cheating is necessary to understand.

@Dan – oh, just ask for it eh? It’s that simple huh?

I just feel that anything you are doing behind your SO back that is depleting the relationship whether physically, mentally, emotionally, financially etc maybe defined as cheating. Well stated Prof

Professor

October 8th, 2009
9:34 am

@Dan I see where you are coming from with the advice thing. However I do not see it as cheating, maybe a little disappointing because you want your SO to come to you. I make it a habit not to seek advice from friends and family about my relationship issues, because there loyalty is with me and although they will tell me if I am wrong I like to think things out myself and go to that person with my own thoughts and feelings.

M. (pronounced M dot)

October 8th, 2009
9:34 am

Morning all.

I really don’t bring up the topic of cheating. I think everybody is honest but also sometimes people don’t wont to jeopardize their chances with someone, so they won’t necessary be 100% with them because fear of judgement. That is just part of the business. It’s like if you ask someone about their number of encounters, you really aren’t going to get a straight answer so it’s probably good to NOT ask. So I think as far as cheating history, it’s probably best NOT to ask and just realize the past was the past and you just hope if you guys build something that it is firm from here on out. Also you have to be observant and pay attention.

Chink

October 8th, 2009
9:35 am

I kind of a agree with Dream…to me “cheating” is physical activities with another person.
Emotional intimacy falls under the disrespect clause. I would also feel hurt and it would be grounds for possible termination. I just call them different things and some just lumps them all together.

I have only cheated once and I was about 17 so that really doesnt count. I am a pretty faithful gal. I draw strong lines when I am in a relationship.

Professor

October 8th, 2009
9:39 am

ImAPeach- nah it is not that simple asking for affection. That is like encouraging your SO to say you look good in those jeans, or I like your smile, baby you are beautiful tonight etc….for some reason it seems like you are fishing for something that is not there. Some folks are naturally affectionate and lubby dubby while others are not. Early on I always ask are you the affectionate type and do you display it in public…usually the convo will flow and I will ask those questions.

If the person is an affectionate person and he stops being affectionate with me I will ask what is going on.

Raqi

October 8th, 2009
9:40 am

Every woman that I know personally has her physical attached to her emotional. So a guy getting emotional with another woman is considered cheating. Maybe not to the guy but definitely to a woman. Or rather myself and the women that I deal with.

Most committed relationship are more emotional than physical. The physical is just that, physical with emotions. But the emotional frame covers a great part of how the couple interacts.

Wings -() (Human and Divine)

October 8th, 2009
9:41 am

@ IAMP – The question WD posed is would you bring it up in a new relationship – NO …for me the time to bring it up would be if we not only were moving toward a more committed, if at all.

Hey M.dot……..what you said!

East Point's Own

October 8th, 2009
9:42 am

@Raqi Sooo if a couple are in a relationship and the woman opens up to one of her girlfriends about things before she addresses them with her man is that cheating? I am with you on the part about you should be able to open up to your mate before anyone else… but how do “girlfriends” factor into that mix if a woman runs things by them before addressing them with her man, or if she relies on her girlfriend’s advice about how to handle certain situations?

ImAPeach404

October 8th, 2009
9:42 am

@Dream – My pastor once put it like this… cheating usually results from a series of bad decisions.

A decision to start a new friendship, a decision to exchange contact information, a decisions to start hanging out with your new friend, a decision to open up emotionally to your new friend, a decision to be out late with your new friend, a decision to hug your new friend, a decision to kiss you new friend…

And before you know it, a series of “blatent disrespect” has slowly turned into cheating.

Raqi

October 8th, 2009
9:43 am

Affectionate? That’s another good word Professor.

Dream_n

October 8th, 2009
9:44 am

I just call them different things and some just lumps them all together.

That statment just about sums it up or me .. thanx Chink :)

I’m not condoning any activity that takes away from the respect of you/your mate… not at all. I just don’t put everything in the category as cheating.

M. — your post..true

czBrat

October 8th, 2009
9:44 am

GM All

To Raqi’s point, the fact is that emotional betrayal will quite often eventually lead to the physical, so why accept it or not look at it as cheating?

Dan

October 8th, 2009
9:44 am

@Peach

Yep. When you’re involved with someone, your happiness within (and independent of) that relationship should be as important to you and to your partner. If it’s not, that’s a problem.

For me, a lot of confusion is solved by just “saying the words” and talking about what is bothering me. If I can’t talk to my SO about what’s bothering me (even when it’s her), then why am I with her? The converse is also true, if she can’t communicate her needs to me and expect me to comply, why is she with me?

This love thang is a 2way street, played with the cards up.

@Raqi

How is that not a betrayal?

In order to get accurate advice, you have to reveal intimate details (violating your mate’s privacy), otherwise you’re presenting a self-serving diatribe – which ultimately creates more problems than solves them.

East Point's Own

October 8th, 2009
9:46 am

ImAPeach404 WHat about if there are things you don’t mind if your partner would do, but they would mind that you do. HOw do you handle a situtaion when you have no problem with your mate doing XYZ, but they don’t want you to do XYZ, and they have non desire to do XYZ…

One example would be, flirting with folks when you are outt with your friends. What if you did not mind if your man flirted when he was out, but he chose to never do that, and he expected that you not flirt, while you on the other hand enjoyed it, and saw no harm in it??

Dream_n

October 8th, 2009
9:46 am

@ ImAPeach404

I definately get waht you’re saying.. you’re on point today with your logic…

Let me just put a question out there to the ladies…

Would you continue dating your significant other if he cheated on you?

Raqi

October 8th, 2009
9:47 am

No EastPoint that is getting advice. And really unless she is bi-curious there is no risk of emotional bonding that could lead to physical exchange or sexually charges thoughts.

I don’t know what I was thinking, but I purposely omitted putting the phrase “of the opposite sex” in every comment because I thought it to be assumed. I forgot that you have be literal and very plain on this thing most of time.

czBrat

October 8th, 2009
9:48 am

and i’m sure we’re all aware there is a difference between opening up to someone you trust for advice on your relationship and whining about your relationship to someone you’re interested in, because that will most certainly lead to temptation.

Dan

October 8th, 2009
9:49 am

@Chink

Were you not responsible for your decisions at 17?

What makes that situation you referred to different from the days before and the days after it?

Did you abdicate your responsibility for that time period? Did you give up being Princess of Zmunda for that person?

Professor

October 8th, 2009
9:49 am

I will be honest I have never cheated on anyone physically, but I have cheated emotionally, mentally etc., and I can still hear the hurt in their voices when they found out, it was cheating. At the time I was pretty young and thought it was ok because it was not physical. I was wrong…when you cheat people out of quality time, and trick them to think you are studying or need some me time, and you are out having fun with someone else (doing things that you should be doing with your SO)…it is cheating. I have learned that those conversations, dreams, gentle kisses, smiles, goals, quite moments, etc. are moments that your SO wants with you and s/he if they care at all becomes stingy when they find out you have shared those things outside of the relationship. Ok, it is not confession time yet…sorry.

SexyCool

October 8th, 2009
9:49 am

Three Words Daily – Everyday, I’m smiling.
Because everyday, he gives me something to smile about.

East Point's Own

October 8th, 2009
9:50 am

@ImAPeach404 Your 9:42 post is is the truth, but sooo many people refuse to understand how true that is, folks look to some excuse to blame things on, but before you cheat there are a whole series of decision that one makes, and at each of those decision points one could decide to do the other thing.

ImAPeach404

October 8th, 2009
9:50 am

On what Professor has stated @ 9:39… I’m always drawn to the teachings of the book “The 5 Love Languages”. If my Love Language is Affection and my SO doesn’t recognize that… there will be issues in the relationship.

I draw strong lines when I am in a relationship.

Strong lines are good!

@EPO – I don’t think girlfriends/guyfriends factor into the cheating aspect. Some people seek advice, some people don’t. But I don’t believe it’s cheating.

Raqi

October 8th, 2009
9:50 am

ImAPeach404 is the truth and nothing but the truth. It has to start somewhere. If junky had never taken the first puff,pill,stick they would not be a junky today. That first exchange is where the indiscretion begins.

East Point's Own

October 8th, 2009
9:50 am

OK I see Dan has covered my first point.. I’ll try to read other posts before commenting.. LoL

http://hispointofview.com

M. (pronounced M dot)

October 8th, 2009
9:51 am

@Wings -() (Human and Divine)
@Dream_n

Just my thoughts…!

Is it possible that someone can be a habitual cheater? Like it’s in their DNA?

czBrat

October 8th, 2009
9:51 am

@Dream_n HE!!Z NAW!!

Dream_n

October 8th, 2009
9:51 am

@ czBrat

Not always true…. You can feel a disconnect from your S/O… whether it be them working to much or their energy is being put towards something else… You may lean to someone else to express the feelings you’re feeking about the situation, and other things that are bothering you… That isn’t necessarily cheating on your S/O…
Not all emotional relationships turn into physical ones…. Does it make it right?? Heck No!!

SexyCool

October 8th, 2009
9:54 am

I know when I’m all in with someone when I no longer take part in things that could be defined as cheating or things that I wouldn’t want him to do.

Professor

October 8th, 2009
9:55 am

Would you continue dating your significant other if he cheated on you?

@Dream I have been there before and I could not stay. Trust is everything to me it is a must that I believe in my man and I want him to believe in me. IMO cheating was cancer to the relationship it destroyed everything I could no longer believe in him as a person…unable to speak life in him and motivate him. If I am not a positive component is a relationship it is time for me to bounce. Cheating destroyed that, and I did not have the desire to try and help fix it nor was I patient on waiting for it to be fixed. Simply put I wanted out.

czBrat

October 8th, 2009
9:55 am

@M. I do believe it can be in their moral DNA to have no respect for self and others when it comes to commitment. That behavior is completely controllable. As Peach stated, these are bad DECISIONS.

Professor

October 8th, 2009
9:58 am

@Peach…I need to read that book The 5 Love Languages”.

czBrat

October 8th, 2009
9:59 am

DREAM_n, that is actually what I was trying to say. It’s about whom you ‘lean’ on. Someone close (friends, family, etc) or someone where there is an attraction already. Turning to someone close to us is not cheating, that’s a support system.

ImAPeach404

October 8th, 2009
9:59 am

If I can’t talk to my SO about what’s bothering me (even when it’s her), then why am I with her?

I totally agree Dan

HOw do you handle a situation when you have no problem with your mate doing XYZ, but they don’t want you to do XYZ, and they have non desire to do XYZ…

@Dan – I wouldn’t do them. If we’ve discussed it and you have advised that you don’t want me to do XYZ and I weigh the decision to do XYZ vs. being with that person… if being with that person outweighs XYZ… I don’t do it. So, for your example – no flirting while out with my friends.

@Dream, 9:46 – HELLZ! NO! I’m gone. Period.

This is like my favorite topic but I have a training class from 10 – 12 *sad face*. You guys have a wonderful day!

East Point's Own

October 8th, 2009
10:00 am

Raqi No, its not that simple, it does not have to be of the opposite sex. Under the definitions given by fokls here cheating is basically anything that one partner does that violates trust, that they would not want their partner to do to them. ANd if I have shared things with my mate I would expect that those things stay between us. If you violate that trust in a way that I would never do to you, then basically that’s cheating.
DOes cheating have to involve wanting a relationship with the person you “cheat with?” I would say no, because if you ask any man we will tell you if we cheat sexually, it does not mean we want to have any type of ties with that woman, it was just another form of violating trust. You can “cheat” on your mate by violating your trust when running your mouth.

I think this particular issues has a special place for me, as I lost a (seemingly) great relationship over this. An ex of mine and her best friend took bits and pieces of events and came up with this whole picture of things that was completely wrong, when all my ex had to do was ask me what was going on. They were so convinced that certain things were happening, when really they were drawing conclusions that were soo very far from the truth. But they failed to ever mention any of their concerns to me until things had gotten so far out of hand that there was no way to repair the damage.

Dream_n

October 8th, 2009
10:00 am

Is it possible that someone can be a habitual cheater? Like it’s in their DNA?

That’s just like saying “I was born Gay” (IMO)…. not buying it..

Cheating is not genetic.. it’s an act you choose to engage in…

Woman: Who was that in the car with you
Guy: I’m sorry Boo..
Woman: Don’t tell me you’re sorry.. I don’t want to hear that
Guy: Listen i was only with her one time, just one time
Woman: and I’m suppose to believe that..You’re no good, just no good
Guy: It’s a part of me, my grandad cheated, my uncles cheated, and my dad cheated.. I think it’s in my blood..

GTFOH!!!!