11 Women Give 11 Completely Different Definitions For Cheating & I'm Confused

by Candice Jalili

"Did you hear Billy cheated on Alyssa?" "OMG why do you think they broke up? Did someone cheat?" "Oh, they seem happy but she cheats all the time." It's hard to make it through an entire day without hearing juicy tidbits like this. But what do they really mean? We use variations of the term "cheating" so loosely that many of us lose sight of what it actually means. No, seriously. How do you define cheating? In a recent Reddit AskWomen thread, ladies were asked to answer that very question and their responses prove that there really is no one definition. Much like life, it seems like "cheating" might be what you make it.

It depends on the person.
It differs for every person but if it’s something you feel you need to hide, would hurt the other person, is intimate and makes you think of being with the new person over your partner, it’s probably cheating.


It's always the act of being physically intimate... so maybe it doesn't depend on the person?
Personally its the act of being intimate, whether kissing or f**king. But even the steps taken towards cheating is enough for me to bail.


OK, let's just say the line is subjective.
That's really for the people within the relationship to decide. Plus "the line" can shift and move over time.Generally, though, if you feel like you have to hide what you're doing or deceive your partner, it's not an ok thing to be doing.


Well, kind of. It can be either physical or emotional.
Cheating to me is either physical/sexual or emotional.The physical/sexual is the obvious stuff like sex, kissing, physical intimacy, and any kind of sexual interaction with another person (sexting, etc).Emotional affairs to me are when someone let's their sexual/romantic interest in another person grow and develop into something deeper instead of maintaining appropriate boundaries and creating space from the person. For example.. if I had a crush on someone and instead of keeping some distance and letting it stay as a harmless crush, I spent more time with them and let those feelings develop and grow. That to me would be cheating.


Oh wait, nope. It's only emotional.
For me, it’s the emotional. Not to say that the physical aspect of them doing it with someone else wouldn’t hurt me, but for them to emotional engage themselves with another person is enough for me to leave.Having an emotional connection with someone is such a big thing for me. If he were to have that with someone else, it’d probably crush me.


Scratch that! It's actually only when you lie about contact.
Lying about contact = cheating to me. I don't mind if my partner has friends he could potentially find attractive (that would be hypocritical of me), or if he has close relationships with a lot of communication/contact, but if I found out that he was lying to me about who he was with, what they were doing, who he was talking to, and it wasn't a benign "I was planning a surprise for you, so I had to tell you I was playing football"-situation then that would hurt me, and my trust in him.


One more revision! It's whenever you view someone else as more than a friend.
As soon as their attention to another person isn’t just regarded as friendship. Watching porn and jacking off isn’t cheating. Jacking off to a cam girl in an open group isn’t cheating. Paying to privately talk to and watch a cam girl is cheating.


Now we're back to it just being physical. And by "physical" we're talking S-E-X.
Cheating is sex with another person, outside the boundaries of your relationship, IMHO. A lot of other things may be bad, worrysome behavior, but I reserve "cheating" for the big betrayal.


Actually... kissing counts too.
For me kissing is cheating and everything after that. But so would be sort of emotionally cheating. If he messaged, cared for and got feelings for another girl even if he wasn’t yet physical. Only a matter of time anyway.


Fresh off the press! Apparently, if you're hiding anything from your partner, it's cheating.
If you feel the need to hide it from your partner, it's not cool.


Aaaaaaand we're back to it being either physical or emotional.
For me, cheating is actual physical contact, and things like chatting "Romantically" or downright sexually with someone else I consider it like betrayal. Like "emotional cheating" maybe.I think that aspect ("virtual stuff"), should be talked with your partner beforehand, to establish both of your limits an so.For me it's a no-no. I wouldn't ever do it and I wouldn't like my partner doing it. Sadly I speak from experience. Truly thought it wouldn't bother me, but it felt awful either way. Like I wasn't enough.


As far as I'm concerned, I think all this proves is that the term "cheating" is too vague and hazy for everyone to agree on a single definition. What can everyone agree on? That betraying a partner's trust is never OK.