INFIDELITY in the past had one clear-cut meaning — many people considered this any action that involved being physically intimate with someone other than your partner, whether it was just stealing a kiss or two, touching and stroking body parts, or a quickie. Today, however, especially with the advent of the digital age, as well as other factors such as moral upbringing and a greater desire to rebel against what is considered the norm, deciding what constitutes cheating has become a huge grey area and many couples have had to come up with their own definitions of what does or does not qualify.
Below, All Woman readers share what they consider cheating on a personal level, or as established in their relationships.
Romaine, 27, IT specialist:
Cheating is if you make it clear to someone that you are exclusive — he or she is your one and only — and then you disrespect them by having sex with someone else. For the latter to qualify the former must have been established because too many people are breaking their own hearts and walking around telling people that so and so cheated on them.
Annakay, 25, hair stylist:
It's once you have to hide what you are doing — even if it is just texting a co-worker or someone you like to say is your good friend, or are checking out someone. Once you think it will hurt your partner I say it is cheating even if nothing physical is involved.
Jermaine, 34, business development manager:
I would say if you allow yourself to become emotionally involved. But if it is a case where you just “buss a one quickly” no passion and kissing and deep feelings involved, I say that doesn't count. For women, though, a woman is a woman and she is not capable of sex with someone she likes without feeling involved, so I say depending on the whether it's a male or female the standards have to be different. Also, my mother always told my sisters that a woman cannot do what a man does and still be a lady, so there are many things to look at.
Ann-Marie, 39, guidance counsellor:
Well, anything physical for me is cheating hands down. But in this day and age of the Internet my man knows that I feel strongly about what I refer to as emotional cheating because you allow your mind to stray, you allow your body to give into a desire, and you get excited about someone or something else. So whether it's acting on pornography, cyber texting, or sexting, some people might not have a problem, but they must know that many times this is where they start before becoming physical.
Barry, 40, taxi driver:
From you start to entertain other people, that is cheating. When you commit yourself to someone and you promise them your loyalty, once you have someone else featuring or in the picture, that is basically betraying the person.
Ashley, 35, store manager:
I would say cheating is going against anything that your partner and you agreed to. So sneaking around, texting your ex and enjoying conversations about what you had, when you agreed not to entertain conversations with your ex, is deceptive. Also, sending pictures, like nudes, even if they are old, as well as dirty jokes, sexting, and anything like that are cheating. It is a greater level of disloyalty, however, when things get physical I would say.