Cheating is a broad and sensitive subject with varying definitions, depending on whom you ask. In general, cheating can be defined as being emotionally or sexually unfaithful to your romantic partner. However, the topic of cheating is huge, and it isn’t as black and white as we thought.
We all know that having sex with someone outside your monogamous arrangement with your partner is definitely cheating. But what about liking someone else’s picture on Instagram? Being infatuated with someone else? Or calling a chat line? Is there any specific foolproof checklist that helps determine whether a certain act is considered cheating? You have a gut that's telling you that your girlfriend is cheating on you? What really qualifies as cheating?
5 Types of Infidelity
Listed below are five different types of infidelity and what it entails. If your situation falls in any or more than one of these forms of cheating, it is highly probable that infidelity might be present in your relationship.
1. Physical cheating
Being physically intimate with someone who is not your partner is generally considered cheating. This one might seem pretty obvious, but it can be as ambivalent as the topic of cheating in general. There are a lot of physically intimate activities people can do together, ranging from a simple embrace to sexual intercourse. Which acts are considered cheating and which aren’t? How do we know which is which?
Some people consider kissing someone else as cheating, while some people think casually of it. Grey areas exist because at what “level” someone decides to consider a certain act as cheating varies from relationships to relationships. It all depends on your agreement with your partner.
If your partner meets with the person they’re talking to in a chat line and engages in an intimate physical activity, it could mean that they have a much deeper relationship—one you should definitely worry about. On the other hand, if it’s the other way around, and you’re the one who’s been spending time in person with someone you’ve met in a chat line, it would be best that you take some time to weigh in your actions as it may put a dent in your relationship.
2. Having sexual fantasies about someone else
Regardless of whether or not you’re in a relationship, it’s completely normal to find someone else attractive and fantasize about them. We feel it towards our celebrity crushes and anyone we’ve come across with that caught our eye. Let’s face it: it’s just how we are as human beings, we just can’t help it sometimes.
There’s nothing wrong with finding someone else attractive, but do you have to act on it? Definitely not. It’s how you choose to deal with the attraction you’re feeling that matters the most.
For instance, you’ve met someone good-looking and you gave them a compliment and it ends there. That’s all there is to it and you didn’t take any further action to pursue them, that’s totally acceptable and it can’t be regarded as cheating. However, if you asked for their number to further communicate with them, that’s where the possibility of cheating comes in.
According to relationship therapist Max Lundquist, fantasizing about someone else turns into infidelity when it results in “unsafe or dishonest behavior”. That means, if your feelings of attraction towards someone else drives you to stalk and follow them when your partner thinks you’re at work, it can become a problem.
3. Having romantic feelings about someone else
This is a type of cheating that is also known as “emotional infidelity”, wherein betrayal and disloyalty play a huge role. This is when a person starts harboring romantic feelings for someone else outside their monogamous relationship.
Take note that, in non-monogamous relationships, having romantic feelings for more than one person is the norm. So again, it all depends on the agreement you and your significant other have.
Typically, infidelity comes into play when secrecy is involved. For instance, you’re seeing someone else behind your partner’s back. It is also important to keep in mind that in order for these feelings to be considered as cheating, they need to be acted upon. If they simply stay in one’s mind and they’re not acting on it, it wouldn’t usually constitute infidelity.
4. Secret spending
Yes, hiding your spending habits from your significant other can also be considered as a form of infidelity. Generally, this only applies to couples who are married, living together, and those who have mutually agreed to be completely transparent to each other regarding their financial activities.
With that being said, this form of cheating may not be associated with couples who have just recently been together or any couple who have agreed to stay out of each other’s financial matters.
For instance, one partner decides to secretly withdraw cash out of a joint account for personal reasons without informing their partner and gaining their approval. It doesn’t matter how the funds will be used, the fact that the person violated a mutual agreement is already a warning signal.
5. Secret social media activity
Secretive social media activity, however suspicious they may be, can only be considered cheating if there is an ulterior motive involved that might result in extramarital activities such as sexting, meeting for a date in person, and even spending more time talking things to someone else online that may make the other person feel neglected.
According to Dana Weiser, a human development professor at Texas Tech University, social media infidelity usually takes two forms. The first is implicitly sexual, wherein the cheating partner obsessively likes an ex-partner’s Instagram posts or constantly flirting with strangers solely for the sake of sexual satisfaction. The second form of social media infidelity can be described as cheating on your partner in a way that you’re starting to spend relatively more time with your smartphone than you do with your partner.
This form of cheating typically entails a lot of red flags you should watch out for, including but not limited to, deleted browser history, call logs, and messages. If your partner starts changing passwords, setting up screen locks on their phone, and just becoming more secretive about their phone and laptop, then it’s only reasonable to be suspicious.
Is Calling a Chat Line Considered Cheating?
Let’s get one thing straight: if a person who is in a monogamous relationship is using a chat line, it doesn’t automatically imply that they are cheating. Who knows? They might just be simply friends with the person they’re talking to in a chat line. After all, a chat line isn’t designed for the sole purpose of sexual and romantic relationships. It’s also a great channel to make friends!
To help you determine whether or not your partner (who’s talking to someone in a chat line) is cheating, here are some crucial signs you should look out for. Use this checklist to evaluate the situation. If you have answered yes to the majority of these questions, it is likely that your partner is indeed cheating on you.
- Are you in a committed, trustworthy relationship wherein both you and your partner have agreed to the arrangement of being romantically involved only with each other?
- Has your partner met or plan to meet the person they’re talking to in a chat line behind your back?
- Has your partner engaged in any intimate physical activity with the person you suspect they’re cheating with?
- Have you ever caught your partner in a lie regarding their whereabouts? and you feel that your relationship has become a toxic level?
- Is your partner being secretive with their conversations in a chat line (i.e., they leave the room whenever they’re on a call, instantly deletes text messages, etc.)?
- Does your partner seem emotionally disconnected from you?
- Have your partner subconsciously expressed sexual or romantic interest to someone else?
- Are there any alarming spendings made by your partner that you weren’t informed of beforehand?
- Do you notice any secret social media activity such as deleted browser history, sudden change of passwords, etc.?
If you’re reading this article, you’re probably in a committed relationship. You enjoy talking to people on a chat line and you’re wondering if you are committing an act of cheating. Perhaps it’s the other way around? Maybe you’re aware that your partner is using a chat line and you’re unsure if it’s a red flag.
As you have probably figured out by now, there’s no solid answer as to whether or not calling a chat line is considered cheating because there are a lot of factors to consider within the relationship.
It is also crucial to acknowledge the fact every individual has different boundaries. At what “level” a person decides to consider a certain act as cheating is completely up to everyone involved in the relationship.
There are a lot of grey areas. But there’s one thing for sure: if anyone in the relationship is talking to someone else in a chat line and it results in making the other person feel hurt, jealous, and betrayed, then it’s definitely cheating. If this is the case in your relationship, perhaps it’s time to have a heart-to-heart talk with your significant other.
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