I often ask my friends what they would class as cheating and where they would draw the line between pure flirtation and something more serious. When you are in a relationship, is it cheating if you flirt with another person, if you go for a drink with them, if your lips touch, or is it purely when you sleep with someone other than your partner?
The answer to this question is different for everyone. I think that cheating is when something physically happens between you and another person, but then maybe I’m not being entirely truthful with myself… You have to ask yourself honestly, how it got to that point, and if there’s a possibility that the innocent flirting, was in fact, not so innocent to begin with? We all have the basic human need to feel wanted and attractive, but where do we draw the line? If you’ve been with your partner for a while, sometimes it’s nice to just know that other people still find you attractive and that you haven’t let yourself go. A little bit of flirting makes you feel like a million bucks again, but in the process, you have also lead someone to believe that there could be something more than just friendship between the two of you.
The initial flirtation could be harmless, you could draw the line right there and go home to your partner, not having any intention of seeing that person again, but it could also take a very different turn. You may have connected with that person and exchanged numbers – in your mind you have made a new friend and, even though you are enjoying the attention, you have no intention of taking it any further. So you go for that drink and you start getting to know that person. Before you know what’s hit you, you find yourself daydreaming about them, sending and receiving suggestive text messages from them and, let’s face facts, once you get to that point, the physical part is only a few key strokes away.
So, let’s go back to my initial question… what would you class as cheating? It’s very difficult to determine where one should draw the line. It’s clear that even a little bit of flirting can spiral out of control in the blink of an eye and leave you in a compromising situation that you would rather not be in. Maybe our need to be wanted and to feel attractive surpasses our desire to be honest and faithful to the person we love… Maybe the line should be drawn at flirting. According to Wikipedia, flirting is a playful, romantic or sexual overture by one person to another, subtly indicating an interest in a deeper relationship with the other person.
I think that flirting is inevitable – it’s human nature, but I have to agree with the majority of people I have posed this question to – once you make plans to meet up for drinks after that initial flirtation, it’s already cheating. It may not be physical, but it is certainly paving the way for something to happen. Your intentions may be honourable to begin with, but seeing that person again is almost certain to land you in a big pot of boiling water.