Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Poll: What Do You Consider Cheating?

A new study, commissioned by Huffington Post, and conducted by the National Opinion Research Center, looked at how men and women define cheating. Among the acts considered no-no’s among people in relationships, 85% of female respondents and 74% of the men considered sexting cheating. “Facebooking a former flame and forming a close bond with someone via text or email were also outed as adulterous acts.” The majority of male participants, however, didn’t count kissing as cheating. But interestingly, 74% of 18 to 29 year-olds did consider kissing as a valid enough reason to break up, compared to 30$ of participants of over 65.

So what do YOU consider cheating? You can vote for all that apply.

[polldaddy poll=”7238101″]

[via Daily Mail]

84 comments… add one
  • avatar

    GatorGirl July 10, 2013, 2:35 pm

    “Sending a private message to a former flame on Facebook.”

    I did not select this one, but truth be told I’m a little torn on the issue. The nature of the message wildly changes my response.

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    • theattack

      theattack July 10, 2013, 2:40 pm

      Very true.

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    • mandalee

      mandalee July 10, 2013, 2:43 pm

      Yeah, the facebook message thing is ambiguous, but in most cases, I’d classify it as a shitty decision, rather than cheating. Unless it’s anything other than a “Hi, how have you been?” conversation or the former flame is a current friend and their history is common knowledge, it’s venturing into the shady behavior territory that could lead to cheating.

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    • avatar

      kerrycontrary July 10, 2013, 2:45 pm

      Yeh it’s just the nature of the message. Like I one time called an old boyfriend about a car question because he knew a lot about cars. But if I saw a stream of messages that seemed like emotional infidelity, then that would be cheating to me.

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    • avatar

      MissDre July 10, 2013, 2:47 pm

      That’s what I was thinking. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having contact with an ex as long as there’s nothing intimate or sexual being discussed. I mean, I’ve messaged briefly with a former flame this year via facebook, but it was like “how’s your life going? what kind of work are you doing now? oh you’re planning to get married? that’s great i’m really happy for you. well i have to go now, wish you the best. nice chatting.”

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl July 10, 2013, 2:50 pm

        Yeah, that’s what I was thinking. GatorGuy talks to his ex maybe once a year. It’s like “hey, how are you? Oh going back too school? That’s cool! We just got married! FL is hot. Have a nice year!” Totally harmless. I would even be okay with him grabbing a drink with her if they where ever in the same town because their interactions are soooooo platonic.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest July 10, 2013, 2:59 pm

      Which was your pick? Everyone should have to say theirs.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl July 10, 2013, 3:02 pm

        Oh, I checked off everything up until the FB one. I would probably just laugh if he told me he was dirty dancing.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest July 10, 2013, 3:11 pm

        Hunny, we need to talk. You should sit down. Remember the other night when I went out with the guys? Well, I wasn’t honest with you and I did some horribly things. I was drinking too much, and not thinking straight and I started dirty dancing. Will you ever forgive me? haha

        Side story-I once came home years ago and Peter had an awful look on his face, pulled me into the bedroom and told me he did the one thing I told him I would leave him for. Of course I assume he’s about to say he cheated or something (I don’t even remember saying I’d leave him for that though?). So of course I’m bugging out in my head. Turns out he broke my first glass bowl. Like WTF dude. Why would you scare me like that?!

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl July 10, 2013, 3:21 pm

        Hahaha, that’s really funny. GatorGuy broke mine a few months ago (and I don’t even use it). He felt really bad.

        I asked him all the questions, he said the same things except messaging an old flame is just stupid in his book. good to know!

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest July 10, 2013, 3:23 pm

        It was like 15 years old or something, and my brother’s gf at the time had given it to me. I credit it with our friendship. I hated her, and she gave it to me for Christmas, and we bonded because of it. They split a couple years later, and we’ve been great friends ever since. I was even in her wedding. I probably did threaten to kill him if he broke it, haha.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl July 10, 2013, 3:28 pm

        Hysterical story- the first time GGuy and I hung out we where at a party and then went back to a mutal friends to have out after the party. Well she was kinda a goody goody and he asked her if she had a bowl, and her response was “why of course I have lots of bowls.” We still die of laughter about it.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest July 10, 2013, 3:31 pm

        Haha, that’s a good one.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay July 10, 2013, 3:37 pm

        Ohhhhhhhhh. Yeah, I definitely thought that lbh meant he broke a mixing bowl or something, and I was like, geez, she must be attached to her cookware.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest July 10, 2013, 3:40 pm

        hahaha šŸ™‚

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      • avatar

        rachel July 10, 2013, 3:41 pm

        The other day Ross told me he broke my teapot – this is a teapot that’s part of a really pretty set I bought in Taipei – and I just started bawling. (I have kind of an unhealthy attachment to “stuff” since I had to give up so much of it when I moved here.) Then later he went to unpack the rest of the set and realized it *wasn’t* the pot he had broken, but the milk saucer thing, which I would never use anyway…BUT, the handle to the teapot had broken off because I hadn’t packed it well. *sigh* It was an emotional day.

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      • avatar

        Christy July 10, 2013, 3:51 pm

        Hah, samesies.

        But I’m pretty sure if I broke some of gf’s bakeware by actual negligence she’d be very, very upset with me.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl July 10, 2013, 3:52 pm

        I would be pissed if my glass KitchenAid bowl was broken. Woah mama pissed. Way more so than I was when the “other” bowl was broken!

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      • avatar

        Grilledcheesecalliope July 10, 2013, 4:05 pm

        Me too, I was soo confused.

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      • avatar

        bethany July 10, 2013, 3:22 pm

        My husband and I joke that way all the time. Like he’ll come home and I’ll be like “I have to tell you something. I did something bad today” And then I tell him I ate a Snickers or something. Now he does it back to me. I think we’re weird.

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      • avatar

        SpaceySteph July 10, 2013, 4:21 pm

        Hmm, this is actually a good point. I actually did go out dancing with my female friends when I was dating my ex and did some dirty dancing. So I guess by my own rules (see below I said I’m not sure) I borderline cheated?

        Idk, I need to ask my husband what he would think of me going to a club and dancing with dudes.

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      • avatar

        MissDre July 10, 2013, 3:03 pm

        I checked everything except the last 3.

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      • avatar

        Boosker July 10, 2013, 9:34 pm

        me too!

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      • avatar

        Bunnycsp July 10, 2013, 3:39 pm

        I checked the first 6 ones

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    • avatar

      Morgan July 10, 2013, 3:24 pm

      Agreed. Is it “Hey, how are you? Congrats on that promotion?” or “Hey, let’s bone.” Also probably depends on the history there.

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    • avatar

      Bunnycsp July 10, 2013, 3:39 pm

      It is the nature and frequency. one message about a specific thing is ok, but I think conversations is not ok.

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    • Miel

      Miel July 10, 2013, 3:44 pm

      Yeah, both me and my boyfriend are still friend with some of our past “flames”, which includes being “facebook friend” with them. It would be weird if sending a private message to one of my facebook friend was considered cheating. Hey, isn’t that a very normal use of facebook ?

      Any “romantic/sexy/inappropriate” messaging is cheating in my book. It doesn’t change anything if it’s an ex or not. And if it’s not inappropriate, then ex or not, it’s not cheating.

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    • avatar

      vizslalvr July 10, 2013, 5:43 pm

      So, this week I was driving around and a song came on the radio that made me think of a guy I dated/slept with/was friends with on and off for about six years (from my freshman year of high school/his senior year through my sophomore year of college). He pops up in my newsfeed and we keep vaguely in touch, but rarely talk, since we’re both married now and he has a kid. Anyway, I thought to myself, “You know, I wish he just facebooked me to tell me that we had something kind of special and he had really jerked me around.”

      And then TWO HOURS LATER he messaged me to ask how bar study was going and I responded it was weird, because I had JUST been thinking of him. So his response was, “always thought we shared some weird connection, not like a soul mate thing, more of an uncanny knack for finding our heads in the same place. We had a good thing.”

      Cheating? Or just the weirdest coincidence of all time. In my response I ignored him and cooed over his baby.

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  • SixtyFour

    SixtyFour July 10, 2013, 2:40 pm

    I definitely fall into the category where emotional cheating and lying is so much worse to me than a one-time sexual infideltiy. You got drunk at a party and made out with a stranger that you’re never going to see again? Yeah, that’s not cool, but as long as you’re honest about it, that’s something that we could easily get passed. The lying and the cover-ups and the betrayal of trust that comes with a secret connection to another person – that’s a lot harder to come back from.

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    • avatar

      GatorGirl July 10, 2013, 2:48 pm

      I completely agree. One screw up is way “better” than a long drawn out emotional crap fest.

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  • avatar

    bethany July 10, 2013, 2:48 pm

    I only picked the first 3 as “cheating”, but I’d certainly not be extremely happy about any of them! Well, except for the last one. He can feel free to look at/talk to whoever he wants.

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    • KKZ

      KKZ July 10, 2013, 4:13 pm

      Yeah, at first I had a lot more checked and then I was like … wait, she means actual CHEATING, right? And that narrowed down my choices. A lot of the other stuff is shitty behavior, but I wouldn’t actually say “he cheated on me” if my partner did them.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle July 10, 2013, 4:16 pm

        Yup, I think it’s a “he/she cheated” vs. “he/she was being shady” thing.

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      • theattack

        theattack July 10, 2013, 4:21 pm

        What’s really the difference though? If someone is doing something that could reasonably mean they intend to cross the line in the future (ie: signing up for a sex site but not hooking up yet), I’m not going to be anymore forgiving of them in that scenario than if they had hooked up. Differentiating just seems like pointlessly arguing semantics when it comes to what’s actually a relationship dealbreaker.

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      • avatar

        rachel July 10, 2013, 4:25 pm

        Yeah, I think that’s the point of the survey though, and the sexting study cited. I think (almost) everybody would agree that sexting or emailing for casual encounters on craigslist are “not okay” or “shady” behaviors, but not everyone would consider them cheating. I checked both of those – I do consider them cheating…but at the same time, I would likely react differently to them than to the first couple of options.

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      • theattack

        theattack July 10, 2013, 4:29 pm

        If the point is just to decide which word applies, that’s fine. I guess I just don’t see a point because if someone clearly intends on cheating, I’m going to count it as cheating anyway. It doesn’t have an application in real life for me, but maybe it does for some people.

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      • avatar

        bethany July 10, 2013, 4:25 pm

        The difference is that I think anything involving physical contact is “Cheating”, and emotional stuff is “being an asshole”. One is just a more specific version of the other.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle July 10, 2013, 4:33 pm

        I mean, it IS semantics, for sure, but I think the way people differentiate tends to reflect how they feel/how they’d react to each action?

        And my “this vs. that” statement was more just declaring my own chosen vocabulary around the subject. Like, I wouldn’t feel right using the word “cheat” to describe some of these, because to me, cheating is physical, & everything else is just “you’re a shadester”. But other people can dub these actions however they want!

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  • avatar

    lets_be_honest July 10, 2013, 2:49 pm

    I voted from posting on a dating profile and up, only because I guess I think that attempting to cheat is pretty much cheating.

    I don’t think its cool to keep it a secret that you are sending messages to an ex though, but I don’t consider it cheating.

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    • avatar

      MissDre July 10, 2013, 3:11 pm

      Well I wouldn’t go out of my way to tell my boyfriend that my former booty call messaged me on Facebook but I wouldn’t keep it a secret either. My boyfriend can read the whole conversation if he wanted, since it was just the whole “hey how are you” thing. But I wouldn’t be like “Hey hunny guess who sent me a private message last night!”.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest July 10, 2013, 3:20 pm

        Yea, I should revise that. I definitely would not expect him to tell me someone sent him a message and he replied. I meant more like a shady message about secretly meeting or something weird.

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  • mandalee

    mandalee July 10, 2013, 2:49 pm

    Cheating in my marriage is anything you wouldn’t do or say if the other was right there with you. My husband and I don’t police each others behavior but we have a general understanding of what is okay and what isn’t okay.

    So messaging a former friend on Facebook wouldn’t matter to me, unless it was something my husband would never want me to read because it was sexual or inappropriate. Harmless flirting wouldn’t bother me, but spending hours focusing on and flirting with one person would.

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  • Fabelle

    Fabelle July 10, 2013, 2:50 pm

    I said kissing, even though I still consider the ones “below” that to be Not Okay (particularly the sexting, the e-mailing someone from Craigslist, & the posting a profile on a dating or hookup site). My definition of “cheating” is any act that you could be like, “YOU CHEATED ON ME?!” to, & not have the person respond with, “Well, I didn’t actually ~do~ anything…” Basically—anything physical. BUT most of the other things on that list? are still definitely potential dealbreakers, to be clear.

    And, I have to say, I’d be upset at my boyfriend if he was dirty dancing with somebody (“dirty dancing”=grinding), but mostly because it’d be out-of-character, & I’d wonder what was up? I realize, though, that it’d be hypocritical for me to *actually* be upset, becauseee I still grind on people when I’m out dancing? (Not random people, just my friends. And, er, his friends as well.)

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest July 10, 2013, 2:54 pm

      Ok, your answer is my favorite so far.

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    • avatar

      kerrycontrary July 10, 2013, 3:53 pm

      the dirty-dancing thing, I don’t consider it cheating, but it is something I got upset with once. My boyfriend hardly ever dances, especially not fast-dancing or grinding (like we never go to clubs together). So one time a girl grabbed him at this wedding and starting grinding on him and I was like “wtf”. I in no way thought he cheated on me, but it was really weird to see another girl that physically close to him.

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  • avatar

    iseeshiny July 10, 2013, 2:54 pm

    My definition would be “doing something you feel like you have to keep a secret from your SO because they would consider it cheating.” If it’s something they should be cool with and are instead being irrational/controlling, that still doesn’t excuse you from being on the same page as far as what is/isn’t cool and if you can’t come to some form of a consensus then you are probably in the wrong relationship.

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  • Lindsay

    Lindsay July 10, 2013, 2:59 pm

    I said the top four were cheating. Obviously, many of the others are inappropriate things, but not what I’d use the term “cheating” to describe. To me, cheating is about having sexual activity with someone outside of your monogamous relationship. Couples, of course, can define for themselves what constitutes cheating, but that’s how I look at it. I don’t consider the emails to a flame or posts on a dating profile cheating technically, but if my partner was seeking out someone to sleep with or date, then I’d probably respond to it similar to if he’d cheated.

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    • Lindsay

      Lindsay July 10, 2013, 3:00 pm

      Oh, and I do believe in emotional cheating, but that’s more about forging a deeper relationship with someone and can’t really be done by one action.

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  • avatar

    Morgan July 10, 2013, 3:30 pm

    I think what matters to me is intent. So I do consider emailing with someone on craigslist or a dating site because, even if it didn’t end up happening, at some point you intended for it to.

    Same with the facebook thing. Are you messaging them with the intent of something happening/rekindling old flames, or just keeping in touch? Big difference.

    The dirty dancing one just made me laugh.

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  • avatar

    lets_be_honest July 10, 2013, 3:32 pm

    Can’t wait to hear BGM’s response. Anyone want to predict it?

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    • theattack

      theattack July 10, 2013, 3:36 pm

      Buck it all. Monogamy is unnatural, and cheating isn’t real.

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    • avatar

      EB July 10, 2013, 3:46 pm

      “Well in most heterosexual relationships, women are just asking to get cheated on since most of them seem to actually hate sex but then are surprised when they trick a man into monogamy and he goes looking for it elsewhere because they don’t put out enough”

      Something along the lines of that I would guess…

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    • avatar

      MertleJ July 10, 2013, 4:01 pm

      “I cannot BELIEVE how fucking insecure so many pathetic women on this site are! Sex with someone else? its probably because you drove him to it with your neediness and pathetic whining”

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  • Miel

    Miel July 10, 2013, 3:51 pm

    If my boyfriend was “dirty dancing” with someone else, I think I would take a video of it, and then show it to my friends with a lot of pride : “I told you ! He’s not prude ! He’s able to dance ! Isn’t that wonderful ? Look at him ! He’s the perfect guy”.

    I just really like to dance. He does not. One of my life’s big tragedy.

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    • Fabelle

      Fabelle July 10, 2013, 4:00 pm

      Same here (my boyfriend hates dancing, I love it) Like, he’ll get on the dance floor with me (if I make him), but he stops all motion once I let go of his hand. And the “motion” I speak of is usually just him waving his arms around, feet firmly planted to the floor. Siiigh šŸ™ (& I always wanted to be one of those couples I’ve seen on YouTube, who do an elaborate choreographed dance at their wedding. It is literally the ONLY wedding vision I ever had, haha)

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      • avatar

        honeybeenicki July 10, 2013, 4:37 pm

        My husband is not a dancer at all, but he rocked out the choreographed dance that we planned (it was two songs spliced into one, half rumba and half foxtrot). Because he knew it was important to me, he was willing to work at it.

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      • Miel

        Miel July 10, 2013, 5:10 pm

        My boyfriend does some tango and waltz, so I think the first dance choreography would come from him. But put the latest single from David Guetta ? It seems like he cannot even understand who would feel like dancing on it.

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  • avatar

    mcj2012 July 10, 2013, 4:03 pm

    I checked everything including FB messaging, b/c it’s asking about cheating so my mind went more along of the lines of let’s bone. If it was a hey how’s it going message, that’s acceptable.

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  • avatar

    SpaceySteph July 10, 2013, 3:28 pm

    I’m torn on this “dirty dancing” thing. Like… idk, I don’t want my husband gyrating up against some other girl I would find that to be disrespectful of our relationship. But is that really cheating… no. And I wouldn’t get a divorce for that alone.

    Same thing with the facebook message, although it really does depend on the content. If it’s inappropriate enough, then it’s basically a sext in internet form, right?

    Everything above that is definitely cheating.

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  • avatar

    SasLinna July 10, 2013, 4:35 pm

    Has anyone else changed their opinion on cheating over time? I used to be more relaxed about it than I am now. I think I became stricter in my standards and I feel my “cheating radar” going off more when I see other people flirting with someone who is not their partner. Also, I used to be kind of understanding of people who cheated in a relationship that left them unsatisfied. And now I think they should just be honest and break up. Maybe I’m becoming too black and white about it, but having experienced some relationship drama, I now think that every act of cheating – even if it’s just flirting that crosses the line – is 100% not worth it and shouldn’t happen.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest July 10, 2013, 4:39 pm

      Funny. If anything, I’ve changed to be the opposite–less black and white.

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    • avatar

      bethany July 10, 2013, 4:40 pm

      In college I went by the “It’s not cheating if you’re in a different area code” definition! I’d say it’s changed a bit since then šŸ™‚

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    • avatar

      kerrycontrary July 10, 2013, 4:41 pm

      Hm, I’m not sure if I’ve changed my opinion over time. Like what I think is cheating now would’ve been cheating then (except ppl didn’t used to sext as much). But I think I am stricter in my standards of what is appropriate behavior (i.e. not flirting when you’re in a relationship–I don’t think flirting is cheating, just unnecessary and rude) and my “cheating radar” about other people does go off more. Like if a guy I know is in a 4 yr relationship and he goes off privately with a girl he just met, that seems suspicious to me.

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      • avatar

        SasLinna July 10, 2013, 4:46 pm

        Yeah, someone going off with a person they just met is exactly the kind of example I have in mind. That sets off my cheating radar or inappropriateness radar. I don’t necessarily judge people more for cheating than I used to, so it’s not like I’ve become a super moralist about it. It’s more like, I don’t understand it anymore.

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      • avatar

        kerrycontrary July 10, 2013, 4:52 pm

        I actually probably judge people less for it now. Like when I was younger I’d be like “I would never stay with a cheater!” but I understand now that every situation is different and every relationship is different. I can just more recognize when it happens? and I have the confidence to set down boundaries in a relationship more. When I was 19 or 20 I would want to be the “cool girl” who was totally OK with my boyfriend staying at a girls apartment until 3am. Now? Oh hell no.

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    • Fabelle

      Fabelle July 10, 2013, 4:56 pm

      My first instinct is to agree with LBH—that I’m less black & white about it now—but I’m not sure? I remember my high school boyfriend slapping other girls’ asses, & me just being like, “WHATEVER I DON’T CARE”; however, that behavior would not fly with me now? So I agree that maybe you (collective) are better able to assess where the line should be drawn, over time.

      As to the “I feel my ‘cheating radar’ going off more when I see other people flirting with someone who is not their partner” thing—my boyfriend & I are both guilty of inappropriate flirting with others. At a family sweet 16 of his, this attractive older lady sidled up to him & he was soaking up the attention for a while (I could tell), & when he called me over to the table where they were sitting, his grandma goes (to the older lady) “This is his GIRLFRIEND! HIS GIRLFRIEND!” But my boyfriend & I just laughed about it (And ugh, his family ~still~ brings this up! It’s nice that they’re looking out, but it’s a bit unnecessarily anxiety-inducing?)

      So, maybe this wasn’t even what you were saying with the “cheating radar” thing, but I’d be careful about vocalizing that (not that you do! Just killing time & telling relevant flirty stories basically, but I wanted to tie my comment into yours, somehow. Haha)

      And okay, I’ll tell another story that makes ME look bad—I had an inappropriate, drunken conversation with one of my boyfriend’s friends once, & the next day, I was like, “Um, boyfriend? So what I’m doing on my phone right now, is sending Jimmy an apology text because I think I was hitting on him last night?” He was just like, “Faaaabelle, ugh!” (For those who can’t interpret without vocal tone, he was just mildly exasperated)

      But yeah, this has no point, I just like talking about different people’s boundaries & offering my perspective. I’m not saying OTHER people should be comfortable with this—it’s very couple-by-couple, & case-by-case. SO case-by-case, that I’m not even sure I’d be comfortable with this if I were in a relationship with somebody else?

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      • avatar

        SasLinna July 10, 2013, 5:06 pm

        I definitely don’t vocalize cheating radar stuff, since I don’t always know what a couple’s agreed-upon standards are and I might of course also be interpreting things wrongly sometimes. I think hearing about other people’s cheating stories has made me more attentive to it. I guess I can summarize it as: my own standards have become clearer (like, I feel that I can judge better what’s OK and what isn’t), I’m a bit stricter because I think small transgressions aren’t worth it and a sign of disrespect, but at the same time I’m less judg-y if someone decides to stay with a cheater, for example. But I would judge a cheater who keeps it secret more than I used to. i guess I’m not making sense šŸ™‚

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      • avatar

        SasLinna July 10, 2013, 5:12 pm

        Also, I definitely wouldn’t end my relationship over a one-time, immediately confessed cheating incident. Even with a short-term affair I’m not sure. I just don’t want to be lied to.

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      • avatar

        AliceInDairyland July 10, 2013, 5:02 pm

        “SO case-by-case, that Iā€™m not even sure Iā€™d be comfortable with this if I were in a relationship with somebody else?”

        Yes! This was what I was trying to get at in my post but failing miserably…

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  • Heather

    Heather July 10, 2013, 5:06 pm

    I definitely used to be more strict than I am now. Meaning, I used to be “You cheat on me, I’ll never be able to forgive you ever, it’s over”. Whereas now…it would depend entirely on the circumstances. I’m more inclined to forgive a one time mistake (kissing for me seems probably forgivable, sex is obviously easily less so, but I still wouldn’t kick him out the door if he admitted to it and was truly sorry, etc.) However, things like searching for casual encounters or things like that I’m less inclined to forgive for a couple reasons. One, it shows that the person was SEEKING to cheat, and two, if the person was seeking to cheat once, why wouldn’t they do it again? Those are my basic thoughts, but again, it would depend entirely on the situation. (And also, how long I’ve been together with the person. If I marry my now SO and he tells me 15 years down the line that he did end up kissing someone or having one tryst, I wouldn’t be pleased and would be hurt but I would probably not leave him over that and would let it go pretty quickly).

    I recognize that some people are more cut and dry than this.

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  • avatar

    AliceInDairyland July 10, 2013, 4:54 pm

    Hmm… I guess this is kind of weird for me because in my relationship some of these things have the (pre-determined) thumbs up, but if it hadn’t been discussed previously then I might consider it cheating… does that make sense? Like, I have the green-light when I go out with my gal-pals to dirty dance and make out with someone at the bars if I feel like it. He has the same green light, but never goes out because he is lame (jk, jk). However, if it was someone we both actually know that sort of thing would have to be discussed and I think we might both feel kind of weird about it? My BF also talks semi-frequently with a few of his ex gfs because they run in the same small circle due to their occupations, it doesn’t really bother me and I know I could look at it if I ever felt insecure.

    I think if he emailed someone from Craigslist or signed up for a dating site or was sexting someone I would be like, “WTF, why didn’t you tell me you wanted to do this?” and I would be really upset that he didn’t talk to me about it. Because we are both really open about what we are into and I think we could work out something that would work for both of us if he/I ever had a strong desire to bang someone else.

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    • avatar

      SasLinna July 10, 2013, 5:16 pm

      That makes a lot of sense. Any time something has been discussed and agreed upon as “OK”, it’s not cheating even if it would otherwise be. I chose what I considered “cheating” under a standard assumption of sexual fidelity, but of course every couple can customize that so it fits them.

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    • katie

      katie July 10, 2013, 5:41 pm

      i love this, and i would feel the same way i think. it would be more “why didnt you tell me you needed this/wanted this/liked this?”

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      Boosker July 10, 2013, 9:38 pm

      On the issue of drunk club make outs: would you all consider making out with a gay guy (as a straight girl in a relationship) to be cheating? I dated this really conservative guy in college and went to a gay bar to blow off some steam and my tongue sort of fell into a beautiful gay man’s mouth. He was covered in glitter. So pretty. Anyway, I told the former bf about the situation when I got back (sort of hoping he’d break up with me b/c oh dear god, that relationship was suffocating me) but he acted like it was no big deal.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl July 11, 2013, 8:19 am

        IMO, if you cross the line, you cross the line- regardless of the other person’s sexual orientation. If we had a rule of “no kissing” and kissing happened, the other’s sexual orientation is irrelevant. That other person didn’t cross our line, you did. (no you, general you)

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  • Diablo

    Diablo July 10, 2013, 6:03 pm

    This past year, my ex (that is, the last woman I had a relationship with before my wife – we broke up in late 1987) sent me a friend request on FB. Over the 24 years of my relationship/marriage, I have run into this woman maybe a half-dozen times, typically speaking to her for five minutes or so. Once at a party (at which my wife was present), i spoke to her for about 20 minutes. There has never been any cause for concern – it could not have been more over.

    Nevertheless, when i mentioned the FB friend request to the missus, it was clear to me that while she wouldn’t tell me not to friend the ex, she was not really OK about it either. So, for me, i had to vote yes on the FB message. I guess every person has his or her standards for this. I couldn’t care less if my wife talks to any of her exes, because it’s DECADES AGO and I know where I stand. But my wife was hurt far more than me by exes, so she is way more suspicious, i guess.

    I think my wife might be a very jealous person if i ever gave her any cause.

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  • avatar

    John Rohan July 10, 2013, 8:53 pm

    Either some people don’t understand that you can select multiple items on the poll, or something is wrong with the poll. I find it VERY hard to believe that only 16.44% of DW readers think that sex with someone else behind your partner’s back is cheating. (that’s what the poll result says right now, with 296 votes)

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    • avatar

      MissDre July 10, 2013, 9:04 pm

      I was wondering that too.

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    • avatar

      rachel July 10, 2013, 10:49 pm

      I think the percentages might be just calculated as if all of the options are separate.

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      HmC July 11, 2013, 12:52 am

      Yeah a typical poll asks you to pick one thing… when I saw it I was confused because obviously quite a few of those things are pretty clearly cheating.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Wendy July 11, 2013, 8:08 am

      There’s nothing wrong with the poll. The 16.44% refers to overall votes not overall voters, so if one person voted for five different options, then she each vote would be worth 20% of her overall votes.

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    • Fabelle

      Fabelle July 11, 2013, 8:21 am

      I admit, I misunderstood the poll at first & only chose “kissing” (figuring that meant “kissing & above”, although that makes no sense since I only picked the one option). I then went back & chose the others after realizing you were supposed to select multiple items.

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  • avatar

    HmC July 11, 2013, 12:50 am

    I don’t think it’s weird at all that people would break up over a kiss yet wouldn’t consider it cheating. I think the whole “what counts as cheating?” discussion frequently gets confused with “what is a dumpable offense?” and the two things are different. Kind of like, people debate about whether something is legal when really they are debating about whether they think it is right or wrong. Whether something is legal is pretty black and white, and so is deciding whether a given act is, technically, cheating according to the definition. Basically, physical or emotional infidelity. If someone emails their ex, it’s cheating depending on their intent. If they’re emailing them about some random thing with no sexual or emotional intentions, then it’s not cheating. But if contact with an ex is a dealbreaker for you, then so be it. It wouldn’t be for me, but people can have whatever dealbreakers they want so long as they find someone willing to abide by them. What do I care?

    Have whatever standards you want, according to your own comfort level. But trying to define a word like “cheating” according to your own morality is silly and pointless.

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  • avatar

    John Farrier July 11, 2013, 10:08 am

    If you’re afraid of what would happen if your significant other finds out that you’ve done X, then X (whatever that may be) is cheating.

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