Is it flirting or are you cheating?

Where is the line drawn between flirting and cheating?

Everyone is raised differently, has different morals and standards and it’d be impossible to find a person with the exact same beliefs as you. No matter how you answer the question, the line is drawn where you and your partner draw it.

I’ve always believed that cheating is when there is actual intercourse. But as I’ve grown more aware of people and their behaviors I’m beginning to look at things differently. It’s interesting to see how differently people react to a situation. Let’s take, for example, internet friendships/relationships versus real life friendships/relationships. If I were to have a favorite coffee shop or bar that I went to on a daily basis and interacted with other patrons there the way I do in internet chat; joking around, poking fun at myself and them, giving and seeking advice, talking about past experiences, sharing hopes and goals, offering support and accepting it when I need it, hugging, a kiss on the cheek perhaps and even maybe some playful groping or even having a deep intellectual private conversation…but never crossing my own line I have drawn between flirting and cheating by becoming too close or sharing my body with another person. If I sense someone is getting too serious about the topic and I can feel they are pushing towards taking it further, I change the subject or simply walk away. On occasion I have developed a few close friendships online, which can be just as fulfilling or sometimes more emotionally fulfilling than a real life relationship. But is this cheating on your partner?

I say no.


I think it’s important to have people you can talk to outside of your relationship. Sometimes, especially when the friendship is between a man & woman, the topic may gravitate to sex. While the friendship is strictly online, is it inappropriate to discuss sex with this other outside person?

Again, I say no.

On the other hand…you spend your time cultivating a real-life relationship with someone, you make mistakes but try to learn from them and work together to build what you hope might be something strong and long lasting just to stumble upon that person in bed with someone else and later find pictures of other people in your partners bed. An apology is a start to rebuilding the relationship but everytime something negative comes up you get the “cheating” you did with the instant messages with people online thrown in your face.

So? Is it really cheating when you instant message or chat with someone online? Is it the same as having intercourse with someone? My gut says no. But who am I to judge?

I believe the boundaries are set when you both agree, WHEN YOU BOTH AGREE, what limits the relationship will have. And I also believe what’s good for the goose is good for the gander!

So to summarize, you have a long-term real-life relationship with a person and you also have friendships with people online. You talk to some of your friends online about your life, including sex…nothing that your partner doesn’t already know about. Is this cheating? Is this the same thing as finding your partner in bed with another person and finding videos and pictures too?

I say no. 

17 responses to “Is it flirting or are you cheating?”

  1. My thoughts on the cheating thing…

    When a man and a woman commit to getting married, part of those vows usually include references to devotion, love, and til death do us part. I personally believe one of the most prevalent causes of separation and/or divorce starts with the erosion of this devotion to one’s partner.

    Once a man or woman begins to allow their sexual thoughts to stray outside of their marriage boundary, this begins the erosion. It’s easy to find titillation in any number of forms outside of one’s partner, I really think it’s way TOO easy. The inherent problem being that once someone starts feeding their sexual desire with anything else apart from their partner, it begins to chip away at their attraction for their partner. Thus begins a very slippery slope that often ends up with disastrous and shattering results.

    I personally feel that a strong sexual attraction is absolutely integral to any successful relationship. Marriage to me is a commitment that from that day forward, my need for loving and sexual fulfillment will be taken care of by one person and one person only. It’s not fair to either myself or to her to allow anyone or anything else to intrude upon that agreement.

    I am a member at jmeeting right now because I’m neither married nor in a relationship right now. I enjoy having the cams around to help fulfill my personal sexual requirements. My jmeeting membership is something that I am well-aware of will come to an end once I decide to spend the rest of my life with someone. I personally value that relationship more than anything I may have created online.

    Your mileage may vary.

    Rationalization is a powerful tool, use it wisely.



  2. The Difference Between Traditional Cheating and Emotional Infidelity

    The primary difference between traditional cheating and emotional infidelity is actual, physical contact. Traditionally, cheating involves people meeting face to face, and then engaging in physical intimacy. With emotional infidelity, there may be a meeting, but it can occur on a cell phone or a computer. There may be physical activity involved, but it is conducted within the confines of separate locations; the people involved aren’t “actually” touching. Many of the people who are emotionally cheating don’t consider it to be infidelity. Their rationale is that, because there is no actual physical contact, the behavior can’t be considered cheating.

    For some people, there is no difference between traditional and emotional infidelity. They view emotional infidelity as having the same behavioral components and end result as traditional cheating; therefore, any perceived differences are a moot point. When someone cheats, they use flirtation, discussion, seduction, and discretion – regardless of where either person is located or what vehicle of communication they are using. The end result is that the unfaithful spouse is paying emotional and/or physical attention to someone other than their partner, and they are removing themselves


  3. It’s kind of a gray area to me. It may be just harmless chat, looking for someone else to share your life with and to keep up the libido. In that case it is no more than chatting with your co-workers, whom your wife may not know anyways.

    Now if you end up running off with someone you met online then thats another thing………………..


  4. Someone’s been working overtime to make friends and influence people!

    Where do you find em?



  5. Yes, you’re right. No one is innocent. We have to accept the fact that even though we may never get caught by the person we are deceiving, we’ll eventually pay the price for that deception. So is it worth it to continue to steal/cheat/lie ? What price will you pay for that temporary thrill?


  6. Ahhh .. so if I “borrow” things from work to take home and I can just tify it by saying “well everybody does it” and “This is a HUGE company … they’ll never miss a few pads of paper, pens, this 3 y/o laptop” … does that mean I’m right because that is my opinion????

    Opinions are what they are .. but having an opinion doesn’t necessarily justify one’s actions nor does it make it right …


  7. It’s interesting to see how different everyones opinion is here. We’re all right because it’s just that, OUR own opinion.

    And NYnyc, yeah, that’s crossing the line for sure if you and your partner say so. I sure hope you used a condom!


  8. I think it is crossing the line when you have sex with the person’s dog. Yeah, yeah…..that is probably crossing the line….ya think?


  9. Powerful discussion!

    I find labels for behavior interesting, because they usually originate externally. I can’t imagine anyone labeling themselves a cheater. But I have heard others provide the label, each choosing the degree differently – for some its emotional, others visual, and some their threshold is physical. Because its normally an external label, in my opinion I think it says more about the person providing the label, then the target. I’ve had relationships where I was criticized if a beautiful woman caught my eye, and made to pay an emotional price for the glance. Most would say that’s rediculous, but I think it provides some insight into the disconnect. For me, that situation provides evidence of an insecurity in the lableler. The funny thing about emotions is we can’t really control them – what we control is our action in-response to them.

    Each relationship has its own threshold of what’s acceptable to each party and what is not. In a perfect relationship, I think each party would accept the other “as is” – perfectly flawed, with habits, addictions, and desires we commonly don’t understand. All too often however, each is keeping score as to the degree they have to deny themselves, and who they are, to make a relationship work. Fundamentally, we all have to ask “is it worth it?” – a question we can only answer for ourselves.



  10. Way to evoke subjective comments!

    Might I suggest that there is no “correct” answer. Rather, that irrespective of personal morals, if one’s partner considers it to be cheating then it is and vice versa.

    I’m sure this subject will continue to be debated at infinitum without reaching a universal consensus.




  11. Are you trying to justify you activities with your on-line dalliances while you were still married?

    Give me a break … please .. you were cheating then whether or not you cam into contact with another person in reality or in the “virtual plane”

    you knew it then and you know it now ..

    I’d like to see how long this comment remains here .. but I won’t hold my breath


  12. When a person makes a mistake and realizes his or her wrong and does their very best to prove their love, that situation should be over with. I think that people can cheat over the internet. Its not just your body that you cheat with. It starts with the heart. The body comes after. So yes you can cheat on line. Why say things like its not and then get upset when your partner talks to someone on line. Its easy to make everything seem ok when you tell the story. Its easy to believe when most people that read your stuff and make comments would never disagree with you because they are in a dream world and think they have a chance with you. We know where our hearts are. My heart and soul belong to you Darla and only you. I love you.


  13. I agree with what ShedShy says


  14. Absolutely NOT unless you BOTH have set that as a boundry…

    I am proud to say your a great friend Relentless…and I hope we will always be…my intentions are certainly not to make you a cheater…



  15. My take on that is- If you wouldn’t do it in front of your other half then it’s cheating. Think about that one. Hugs!


  16. Hey, i’ve been viewing you on jm a long time, and may be th oldest guy to watch, I read your page, and agree with you, outside flirting keeps a relationship open-minded, and lively, it’s not cheating until theres physical contact, and in some situations still may not be


  17. i agree withyou if the boundriys set with you and your partner are not comprised then its not cheating!


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