Relationships can be complex and complicated but they don’t have to be that way. One mistake can turn a relationship upside down. This is what happens when one partner cheats on the other. In the long run it isn’t worth it. But what about kissing someone else? Is that cheating or is cheating only defined by engaging in sexual relationships? In this article we will examine just what constitutes cheating.

Cheating can be defined in many ways. It usually comes down to the individual’s personal interpretation of the word cheating. In one person’s mind cheating may only be cheating if it involves sex whereas in the next person’s opinion kissing someone else would be a form of cheating. Basically when you commit yourself to a relationship you should commit to that person with your whole body, mind and soul. Some people can do this whereas others cannot. Some people can be married a lifetime without cheating while others may not be able to remain faithful.

In a nutshell cheating is a form of betrayal. When you betray your partner’s expectations it is viewed as cheating. For instance, if you go out to lunch with an old flame from college without telling your spouse you could be perceived as cheating. You may feel that you did nothing wrong. All you did was have lunch and talk over old times. You didn’t even kiss. Still your spouse may feel betrayed because you did not tell him/her of the lunch date. You did not take his/her feelings into consideration. Your spouse may feel that something must be going on between the two of you since you failed to mention it. You may argue that it was no big deal but your partner may see it in a different light. He/she may feel that if your were just friends there would be no need for secrets.

Kissing an old friend, going out alone with an old friend or even talking on the phone can easily be perceived as cheating. Since the advent of email, instant messaging and online dating there have been an increasing number of ways to cheat. Text messaging on cell phones can be added to the list. Whether you are cheating or not your spouse may begin to suspect you are if you spend a lot of time online or on your phone.

Cheating is a broad term that can cover quite a bit of indiscriminate behavior depending upon an individual’s personal expectations. If you aren’t clear about your partner’s expectations (and most people aren’t) you really don’t know what your partner would view as cheating. It could be something as simple and insignificant as saying hello to a stranger on the street, smiling at the waitress or tipping the pizza delivery guy. A simple smile can be seen as flirting even if it has no meaning at all.

It’s very difficult to know what a person’s expectations are regarding cheating unless you ask them. But asking is not usually a good idea because once you bring up the subject you get the wheels of your partner’s mind turning. They’ll probably wonder why you asked such a question and may even believe that you are cheating. When you live with someone long enough you come to know what their expectations are even if they never come out and say them. One way that people express their feelings and expectations without words is through their body language. You learn to interpret a person’s facial expressions as well as other forms of body language. For example, a frown or raised eyebrow may signal disapproval. When someone turns their Back or crosses their arms across their chest it may be a sign of disapproval as well as a physical display of feeling rejected.

Just keep in mind that most people view cheating in a wide spectrum that includes more than just the actual sex act. In fact, it is those little actions that often lead up to the ultimate act of betrayal. A good rule of thumb to remember is that if it can be interpreted as a form of cheating don’t do it. Sometimes playing it safe is the best way to play.

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