Where does cheating begin? Does kissing already count?
There are many myths about cheating in a relationship. Some believe that cheating is nearly impossible when you truly and deeply love someone from the bottom of your heart and that if you cheat on someone then you do not love them as deeply as you or they thought. Others Believe that cheating could be caused by the alleged feeling of falling out of love while others believe that cheating is rather indeliberate and may occur in an unplanned situation; an innocent text or conversation with someone on social media for instance. All factors considered, cheating usually has to start somewhere and its effects are injurious to the relationship and most of the times a person’s act of unfaithfulness leads to permanent savouring of relationships and even marriages.
I’m I cheating just by thinking about it?
From a philosophical point of view, cheating begins when the thought of being unfaithful to a partner is instigated. This implies that a person has already begun to cheat if he or she is having ideas of getting intimate with another person rather than their partner. So, is it okay to have thoughts about cheating without necessarily going ahead to cheat? Basically, the answer is relative to the situation. For instance, in an open relationship, such a scenario is quite common and, in some cases,, the couple may discuss it and everything is okay. For a closed relationship, on the other hand, an individual may not take it lightly if they find out that their partner has been having thoughts of cheating. Quite often, such thoughts have led to actual acts of unfaithfulness and therefore cheating, in this case, started from “just mere thoughts.
What I am allowed and what I am not allowed
Open and closed relationships
The perception of cheating had evolved over time and now different people have their own opinion on when to establish that a partner has indeed cheated. Others have even gone as far as to normalise the behaviour. Today, there are many kinds of relationships; with the main and most common ones being “closed relationships” and the “open relationships”. In closed relationships, you and your partner are in a romantic relationship which is characterised by a very strong emotional bond. You trust each other, share secrets and share high levels of intimacy with one another. There is usually no room for other partners. In this kind of relationship, the slightest act of unfaithfulness, be it a text or a kiss, is normally regarded as cheating. That goes to say that a romantic kiss with another person is unforgivable by your partner in a closed relationship. From a closed relationship perspective, is normally believed that cheating begins from the slightest acts of unfaithfulness including:
- Flirting with another person
- Engaging in sexual talk either online or in person
- Denying being in a relationship in the absence of your partner
An open relationship is characterised by some sort of agreement in which, for instance, you and your partner agree to be in a relationship or marriage, respect one another, share intimacy but still get to see other people. In such a relationship, it is okay to have other partners and engage in sexual relations with them, only with the knowledge of your partner. In some cases, the partner may prefer not to know. Here, the bar that could be used to determine the starting point of cheating is raised a little higher, as kissing, touching and even more intimate sexual relations may be allowed. To many, it may appear that there is no such thing as cheating in this kind of relationship at all but still, deciding whether or not a partner has started cheating is dependant on the agreement between the soulmates. For instance, if a person begins to have sexual relations with another person without the partner’s knowledge and actively tries to conceal it from the partner, then that may be a place to start for many open relationships.
Drunk Cheating: How bad is it?
In the debate on whether or not to decide that a person has cheated, the “level” and nature of the relationship. In a marriage, for example, the union between two or more people is usually bound with either legal, cultural or religious constraints. Normally, if an individual is married and there exist documents to prove it, if he or she gets spotted kissing another person then that can get flagged as cheating. With this, it is clear that deeper and more intense sexual relations in such an instance would be judged more harshly. For marriages, cheating usually starts when:
- The marriage becomes abusive
- Intimate connection is lost
- Sexual desires are unmet
- One partner is emotionally unavailable.
Cheating may be instigated when a person is intoxicated or drunk. Most of the time, a person acts in an unfaithful manner when he or she indulges in heavy drinking in absence of their partner. Intoxication is scientifically associated with a poor mental stage which usually leads to decisions backed up by poor judgement. Such drunken behaviour may be associated with unhealthy relationships which are either violent or stressful. However, some may argue that “drunk cheating” is not as bad as cheating while sober. On the contrary, many others believe that for a valid romantic relationship, cheating is cheating and it is not fair to excuse drunken cheating as it may be a depiction of the person’s true behaviour even in a non-alcoholic encounter.