Let’s face it, there are a bunch of cheating guys out there who are giving the rest of the men in the dating world a bad name. If you have never been on the receiving end of a women’s jealousy or unfounded accusations then consider yourself lucky.
Most women in relationships harbor some level of distrust towards the new man in their life. But what if you have done nothing wrong and are still taking slack for “cheating” on her in some way or the other? Or what if you did have a minor slip up and thought you were forgiven, but are now facing a relationship of harassment and guilt?
In order to address and live with all of these issues, it is necessary that you understand what really constitutes cheating in a relationship. Don’t let her tell you that you are guilty if you are totally innocent of bad behavior. On the other hand, if you are guilty you need to determine if your mistake is something that your relationship can overcome.
There are plenty of activities that occur between men and women that are in the grey area of cheating. For example, grinding on the dance floor of a night club with a complete stranger, or carrying on a flirtatious online relationship with a woman without telling her that you have a girlfriend. When it comes to cheating, especially as the concept is understood by women in relationships, intercourse is not the only guilty activity. So how do you categorize what you have done as cheating or not?
One of the best tests is… would you tell her about it or do it in her presence? Some harmless flirting in front of her with a mutual friend should go over without much issue. Dirty dancing with a friend or stranger, on the other hand, you would likely not want to do with her around. You should therefore think twice about doing it in her absence.
The same goes for exchanging phone numbers, kissing strangers, or even holding hands or touching other women. Some women measure loyalty in different ways, but if your partner sees you canoodling with another woman, it is safe to say that you are going to called some pretty nasty things… cheater perhaps being the best of them.
No matter what your partner’s threshold for flirting and carrying on with other woman is, remember to put yourself in her shoes. Would you want to see her physically showing interest in another man, or grinding against his leg on the dance floor? These are the fun and carefree activities of single people, which most women in relationships expect to fall to the wayside in a relationship situation.
However, it is also important to recognize the extent to which your partner is realistic about her expectations of you. If you have to take a work colleague for a dinner meeting, is she going to flip out? Or if your secretary has a harmless crush on you, will your girlfriend accuse you of the worst each day after work? The ability to trust one another will likely shape to what extent she will fear your cheating ways.
Every relationship is different, so it is up to you to navigate the waters of her jealousy and insecurity. While giving her some reassurance of your commitment is in order, you should not feel like you have to defend yourself at all times – especially if you have been loyal in the relationship.
One very grey area of infidelity is something known as emotional cheating. Emotional cheating involves getting close to another woman in a manner that someway disrespects the woman who you are with. If you are hiding your new female friendship with another woman from your partner, or are talking to your new friend about your relationship at great length – your partner would likely consider this emotional cheating, and with good cause. Ultimately, emotional cheating is seen as laying the foundation for an intimate relationship – in essence, doing everything but getting intimate. Sound complicated?
It is actually quite simple. You know what constitutes harmless flirting, and you know what constitutes friendship between a man and a woman. So does your new relationship fall into one of these two categories? If not – if it is something special and unique – then it is entering into dangerous territory.
So what if you slipped up, made a mistake, and admitted it or got caught by your girlfriend? Her worst fears have now come true – can your relationship recover? There is always hope for a relationship after cheating occurs. After all, monogamy is a learned rather than a natural practice. The aftermath of cheating will largely depend on the nature of the relationship, and the nature of the infidelity.
Some women will not excuse any modicum of cheating. Maybe you expected as much before committing the act, and should respect her for sticking to her guns. If your relationship is more open however, or still in the early stages of development, then the grey areas of cheating are somewhat more malleable.
So you drove a colleague home from a work party and she asked you out and went in for a kiss? Now you know better of that woman and can prepare for her advances accordingly. One hopes that a reasonable girlfriend would understand the awkwardness of the situation. Or say that an old flame contacted you online and has been sending you flirty emails for weeks on end, which you have read and kept in your email account? Will she understand that you found your ex’s interest somewhat flattering and amusing, and be able to excuse your harmless indulgence in some dirty written words?
If you are dating a reasonable, smart and secure woman you should be able to survive all the ups and downs of the relationship, including the subject of cheating. If you respect her for who she is and value the relationship, then you should have no trouble avoiding situations where cheating is a potential issue. However, if you are with an over-jealous, insecure of immature woman, it will be very difficult to weather the storms brought on by suspicion and doubt.
Just do the best you can and be true to the relationship to the extent that you believe in it. You may surprise yourself and her, and cheating will be a non-issue. If you are lucky, you may never be accused or guilty of the bad behavior that brings so many other couples down. Behave then – and the best of relationship luck will come to you.