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what defines emotional cheating

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A drama-free life is (probably) what most of us want, right? We don’t want to hurt the feelings of our loved ones. We don’t want to ruffle feathers when it isn’t necessary. We want to be as honest as possible, since keeping track of lies is exhausting. However, we also don’t think we have to share every single thing that happens to us with the romantic partner in our life.

Most of us can probably agree that sleeping with someone who is not your identified monogamous partner counts as cheating. For many, it’s grounds for a divorce or a breakup. Many also agree that fooling around (oral, hand jobs, etc.) also counts as cheating and is an offense punishable by being cut off by your partner. When it comes to kissing someone who isn’t your partner, again, nobody thinks it’s a good thing, but just how “bad” it is and how it should be dealt with after being revealed is something people might disagree on. So when you’re already in a place where a physical indiscretion like a kiss is a gray area, by the time you get to emotional infidelity, there are so many grey areas it’s like you’re operating in a fog. Here are some instances that get really tricky.

Unrequited flirting

Sometimes you have those people in your life who always flirt with you. This could be a neighbor, a co-worker, a male friend (but is he just a friend if he flirts?), or even someone online. You don’t encourage this at all. You do not say anything or do anything that would indicate that you want this flirtation. And you certainly do not flirt back when it happens. However, you also don’t go out of your way to put a stop to it. You don’t want to cause drama. You fear that you’ll be accused of being “uptight” or “full of yourself” if you call out what’s happening or mention that you’re in a relationship, so you say nothing. At the same time, if your partner were to find out that A) the flirting was taking place and B) you never stepped in to put a stop to it, he might be hurt. Wouldn’t you be if the tables were turned?

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