What's your definition of cheating in the context of a relationship?

However you define it, cheating is an awfully quick way to ruin your relationship. You cheat, your partner trusts you less, and that trust is tough to regain. It's all stuff that's common sense, but try convincing a cheater that thinks they won't get caught. After all, as Samantha said in Sex and the City (oh my God I'm making a sitcom reference!), "The act of cheating is defined by the act of getting caught. One doesn't exist without the other."

Cheating is always thought of as physical, the kissing, the making out, the groping, the nasty nasty sex.. say it with me, first base, second base, third base, and hell yeah a homer! And for some strange reason, it's always associated with men. Damn it society! Hasn't all the crap about feminism taught you anything? Women cheat too! And they might be better at it than men if it was a competitive sport. I can't speak for cheating men.. for starters I don't have a penis attached to me - I don't know how I would deal with having dangley bits really!

I think it's the emotional creativity women weave around their circumstances that they justify their actions to themselves as "not technically cheating". Seriously, the argument is as valid as water tight as an open paper bag in the ocean, just like oral sex isn't sex. If more people were like Samantha from Sex in the City, things would be easier - cheating is cheating; if you do it, be honest with yourself if not your partner.

Recent conversations have made me wonder, what if there's no physical contact, just lots of thoughts and communication and warm fluttery feelings with and about someone that isn't your partner? The internet decided that I was wondering about "emotional cheating". It's the kind where there's no firm definition, but all the material leads to a similar description, the situation where a person shares intimate feelings with someone that isn't their partner and develops a romantic relationship very much crosses the line of platonic.

Seems physical cheating easily leads to emotional cheating and vice versa. You physically cheat, feel guilty and decide you shouldn't do it again, but can't help yourself and so maintain an intimate emotional relationship (for the proverbial rainy day). Or you emotionally cheat and the usual scenario of "one thing led to another" ensues and you're caught with your pants down - literally. It seems with the latter, the situation is worsened (or quickened) when someone shares intimate feelings and troubles with their relationship with a potential sexual partner. It's more than just simple betrayal.. it's also plain rude.

Everyone defines cheating differently. However you choose to define it, I think you should apply the same rules to yourself as you would your partner. If you can kiss and tell, so can they.

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