Are you at risk of becoming a cheater?
The word cheater is practically on the same level as ‘bastard’ or ‘whore’…
It’s not pretty, and neither is the reputation of a person who’s been called one.
Cheaters are sleazy. They’re shady, malicious and infamous.
They’re one of the most undesirable types of people to be. They violate trust and wreck homes. They seek out something more when their partner is having a bad week.. or month.. or year, and they feel absolutely no remorse for their actions.
At least… that’s how a cheaters is often portrayed in the public eye.
The truth is what really counts as cheating actually varies on a sliding scale from person to person. Not all-but some cheaters aren’t even aware that their actions are hurtful to their partner until it is far too late.
Outside of an open-relationship, some actions are almost definitely unacceptable:
In ANY relationship, though, some actions are in a gloomy gray area. These behaviors may include:
Dancing closely at a party or nightclub
Visiting a strip club or watching porn
Having secret friendships
Chatting with/meeting members of the preferred sex online
Confiding in/sharing secrets with a member of the preferred sex
Sitting in someone’s lap
Forming a deep emotional bond with a member of the preferred sex, in which the ‘official’ partner is excluded from knowledge of the relationship or information shared between the two parties (also known as an emotional affair)
Confiding in another member of the preferred sex about one’s sexual preferences and desires
And the list goes on….
With so many landmines like these out there, how is it even possible to live a free and fulfilled life without causing your partner worry, pain, or feelings of betrayal and abandonment?
You might think its fine to just avoid partaking in any behaviors which would upset you if committed by your partner… but this is not actually a foolproof way to safe keep their heart and trust and you. This is because the two of you are both individuals despite your unity with varying needs, ideals, and comfort zones.
What might be harmless to one of you could potentially be grounds to end the relationship for the other.
It won’t be easy or comfortable by any means, but you need to communicate your boundaries with each other. They may be different. Your partner’s requirements for a monogamous relationship may be stricter than yours or visa versa. In this case, discussion, debate, and compromise may be necessary.
What should you take into such a conversation? What should you take out of it?
Well, obviously you need to have patience, compassion and empathy for your partners’ history, a healthy dose of realism, realistic expectations, and knowledge of which ideals you can compromise on and which are concrete parts of your values system when discussing what counts as cheating and what doesn’t with your significant other.
You shouldn’t take a list of ‘rules’ out of such a conversation though. An exhausting and frustrating debate is likely to emerge if you try to cover all of the ‘what if’s..’ that could potentially arise. Remember, cheating is a bit of a sliding scale and no two situations are precisely the same. Rather, your goal should simply be to gain a better understanding of the one you love, and a better strategy for safeguarding the heart they’ve been so kind as to grant you. If these two things, as well as your relationship’s best interest, are always at the forefront of your mind, you shouldn’t encounter many situations that the two of you can’t work out without an open and honest discussion.