When most people think about what it means to cheat in a relationship, they automatically think about having sex with another person outside of their relationship. But cheating is so much more than just sex. Have you ever made a strong connection with another person outside of the relationship with your significant other? What if the connection became so strong that it got to a point where you thought about the other person frequently and started to develop feelings? A lot of people say they have control over how far they will allow a situation to go, but eventually after spending so much time with another person that you are attracted to and have a connection, emotions tend to get involved. Developing a strong emotional relationship with another person is just as much cheating as having a sexual relationship with that person.
Cheating is such a multi-dimensional topic so I decided to call up several of my female and male friends to get their perspectives on cheating. While talking to each of them I noticed that the females cheated more when an emotional connection was lacking and they were more accepting of their men cheating. Most of the men told me they cheated based on the act of sex alone; the opportunity to sleep with a new woman and there didn’t have to be an emotional connection involved. But there was also a double standard because the men were less forgiving if their woman cheated. Men can cheat multiple times, but if they find out their woman has stepped out once, it’s harder for them to handle it. A lot of the guys told me that cheating, or sex, is a phase that men go through until they get it out of their systems. Some told me they cheat because it’s in their nature.
In relationships it comes down to what people will allow. Some women say they know their men are cheating and don’t mind sticking with them throughout that “phase.” Some women say it’s okay for their men to cheat as long as he respects her enough not to let them find out. Some women are just so in love with their men that they accept the cheating even though it hurts them. And the same could go for men who are cheated on by their women.
For the people that feel that cheating isn’t that big of a deal and that it’s bound to happen, keep doing what you’re doing. For those who are hurt that the person they love or care about is constantly cheating, you might want to reevaluate your relationship. Love shouldn’t hurt and if the person knows that the cheating is causing you pain than maybe that person isn’t right for you. Ultimately, being faithful to someone shouldn’t be that difficult in my opinion. Once in the right relationship, not cheating should be simple. Cheating starts with a thought. Unconsciously I think we all cheat, but the difference is whether or not we act on the thought. Next time the thought arises, ask yourself, is cheating worth risking the relationship that you’ve established with this person that you love or care about?
This article was also featured in Inspire Magazine.