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.