Front Page Forums Relationships What is cheating?

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    People typically think of cheating as having romantic contact with someone other than your committed partner — boyfriend or girlfriend, fiancĂ©e, or spouse. Those people might have different opinions about what constitutes romantic contact — is it a look? a touch? a kiss? dinner, or drinks? sex? intimate talks online or on the phone?

    The word cheating implies that there are rules being broken. In relationships, the rules being broken are decided by the people who are involved. Each relationship has its own rules. Some people create their own rules, and others implicitly or explicitly copy their relationship rules from model relationships.

    At least one advantage to knowing the rules of your relationships is not accidentally breaking a rule that you didn’t know about and upsetting your partner.

    If you don’t talk about it and you’re not sure if something you’re about to do (or have already done) is considered cheating, consider your partner’s expected reaction when you talk about it (or when your partner finds out and you didn’t talk about it). Will your partner be upset? If you really don’t know what your partner’s reaction will be, and you value that relationship, then act conservatively — don’t do the questionable thing until you talk with your partner and clarify the rules.

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