Things That Count As Cheating And Things That Don’t

Man showing 'I'm Sorry' sign to angry girlfriend

While there are some things that are unarguably seen as cheating some things can be debated. Like if some one kisses you and you don’t kiss back is that cheating. Or if you have  a crush on someone but don’t act on it does that count as emotional cheating? or as some Nigerian guys would say i slipped fell and my private part mistakenly entered hers.. would that also be seen as cheating?


STUFF THAT HAPPEN WHEN YOU’RE DEAD DRUNK?: No, dear rapists, this is not cheating. If you have se x with someone who is too drunk to know what is happening, you are raping that person and they are not cheating. That said, I would find someone who regularly gets blackout drunk just as undateable as someone who cheats. Not cute.


STUFF THAT HAPPEN WHEN YOU’RE “ON A BREAK”?: being “on a break” means exactly that: you are taking a break from the relationship. Period. As with everything on this list, there is plenty of room for custom tailoring this rule; if you want the space to focus on work, or family stuff, or just to get some quiet time to do a little evaluation of yourself or your relationship or whatever but don’t want the complication of sleeping with other people and having to deal with that after your break, then say so. Lay it out there. You can’t get what you want – or avoid what you don’t want – if you don’t speak up. But in the absence of specifically designating that a “break” still requires keeping it in your pants, any break-time genital antics don’t count as cheating.


VACATION FLINGS?: Do not be an asshole about this. Just because you’re in a different time zone or country. In fact, I’m gonna say this is one defense of cheating that I wouldn’t feel super eager to forgive; at least with other moments of infidelity, it was admittedly a mistake. Vacation Apologizers are douchey monsters who are looking for any excuse to set their sex parts loose. I think cheating is very often the kind of relationship hiccup that can be worked through and moved past.

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WHEN YOU HAVE AN ONLINE DATING PROFILE?: Having? Not necessarily cheating. Although it is a cute gesture to delete (or let’s be real, deactivate. It’s not like you’re getting married.) your profile when you decide to be exclusive with someone. But actually using your account? Yes, that’s probably cheating. Actively using your online dating profile to talk to people with romantic/sexual intentions while in a committed relationship is cheating. I don’t think that merely talking/texting/emailing with someone is inherently cheating, but the fact that it’s happening on a dating site sort of clarifies the intention right away. Like, we all need friends outside of our relationships. You don’t need to find those friends on a dating site. That’s suspicious to the point of being basically unbelievable.


HAVING SECRETS FRIENDS WITH PEOPLE OF YOUR SE XUALLY PREFERRED GENDER?: Not cheating unless, again, it fits the criteria of an emotional affair, or obviously if you’re grinding on each other on the regular. No healthy, sane person can possibly get everything they need from just one person. Two people in a romantic partnership who don’t have any other important relationships in their lives baffle me endlessly; are you weird human anomalies who are magically fulfilled with just each other, or are you kidding yourselves and going without fulfillment because one or both of you is too scared to to acknowledge that each other isn’t enough and allow each other the freedom and trust to seek out other people as friends?


HAVING EMOTIONAL AFFAIRS?: Maybe cheating. It depends if you’re sincerely having a legit emotional affair – you’re in love, you act in love, you talk about being together, you lean on each other and confide in each other to the exclusion of your “official” partner – or if you’re just being accused of having an emotional affair by someone who is insecure and is having an overreaction to you simply having other friends.

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