If like me and countless others, you've doubted your boyfriend's fidelity and sneaked a peek at his smartphone or web browsing history and found something that confirmed your suspicions, you'll recognize that horrible dreaded sinking feeling.   But, what you think determines as 'cheating' may not be the same as what your boyfriend, your friends or anyone else thinks.

 

We all have our definition of cheating and the boundaries which we will accept. Many see it as something purely physical, i.e. some kind of in-the-flesh sex or sexual contact, while others see it as strictly emotional, i.e. not necessarily any physical contact but with an exchange of love or attention.

It's essential for couples to discuss at some stage in their relationship what they classify as 'cheating': what is acceptable behavior or not, so that both can understand the boundaries of the relationship and act accordingly. Is a drunken kiss OK as long as that's as far as it went? Does having an active online dating profile break your rules? What about an anonymous cum-and-go hook-up in the park?

If there are no discussions around those boundaries, the lines are blurred, you're opening yourselves up to all sorts of problems (unless you have one of those totally loved-up monogamous relationships where no one would ever doing anything naughty, in which case, why are you reading this?!).
 

Cheating in the age of technology 


If you were doing the dirty ten years ago, you might have met a guy in real life in a bar/club/gym and then used technology to keep your affair burning through simple SMS (remember those?!), email or secret phone calls. Of course, nowadays, increasingly we guys are meeting other men through new technologies first, something which has shifted the goalposts when it comes to the domain of cheating.

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Most of have an online dating profile or have used dating apps. But if you're starting a new relationship with someone (perhaps you even met them from a dating site), when is the right time for them to take their profile down? If your partner is exchanging messages and pics with someone else but not meeting them, is that acceptable? Or does it represent a breach of your trust? After all, if they are your boyfriend now, why do they need a profile unless they are searching for someone 'better'? The same questions can be applied to the growing mountain of phone apps, too.

Skype adds another dimension: if your boyfriend has a secret webcam wank with a hot stranger, does that count as cheating? What if they were doing it every week? What if they were chatting as well? Would you expect him to tell you? 

And let's not forget non-dating sites like Facebook, Instagram, and even LinkedIn – which, nowadays actually do act as dating sites – plenty of guys are meeting other men through these websites, all starting with a click of the mouse.
 

Playing catch


Interestingly, while these new technologies are making it easier for the cheaters to find new guys, they're also making it simpler to discover if you've been cheated on. Many guys who are suspicious of their boyfriend now create fake profiles on dating apps with the aim of catching out their partner: testing to see if their boyfriends get in touch trying to arrange a meet. A step too far maybe?

Well, if that shocked you, check this out: you can now download software to spy on your partner's smartphone and see exactly who they've been calling, messaging and which websites they've visited. I think this is just asking for trouble: you're not going to find anything positive there, same if you go through your partner's email or whatever.

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Forgive and forget... or just forget?


So, where do you draw the line? From a personal point of view, I think that if you're doing anything that you want to keep away from your partner - that you do with secrecy and don't want them to know about – that shows you're cheating on them in some way. For me, cheating does not have to be in a 'physical' sense: it's more of an emotional or mental thing - this is where the deceit lies. Personally, I could handle my guy fucking another guy if he tells me that's all it was and that he loves me.

We probably set our boundaries based on our past relationships - and whether we have cheated or have been cheated on, maybe it will change for future relationships. Perhaps past experiences have scarred you or even left you paranoid and unable to trust. So, if your boyfriend has been doing the dirty on you, just what are you prepared to forgive? And how many chances do you give to them? 

 


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Guest Cheating

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Nice article. Interesting as the definition of cheating differs from person to person, but from my own experience of being cheated on (and cheating on my ex) I define it both in the emotional and physical sense. Unless you're in an open relationship or talking about spicing up a dull sex life, cheating or deceiving someone whether it be sexually or emotionally isn't a very nice thing to do. Maybe I'm a traditional, but if you're with someone then you're with that person right? Love and trust are integral... otherwise why be in a 'relationship'?

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IS THIS TRUE

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I never cared about the internet and all that my rule is you dont have sex with anyone but me .well when my x was arrested in the local park for trying to get a plain cloths cop to trade blow jobs in the bushes i dumped his rotten cheating ass i dont cheat as it is a lie and i dont lie with me you cheat you are gone and that was after a 17 year relationship.

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My ex Husband cheated on me in our own bed and God knows where else! Cheating is cheating end of discussion! No open ended nonsense and no apps! You are either in love with me or not. Cheating is a HUGE red flag that you are not in which case you need to be with some shit who will put up with all that! Honesty has always been honesty in my book...a breach of our LOVE and TRUST and it is OVER!!!!! There is NO variations of relationships... Honestly love the one you are with or don't! My ex and I talked about his cheating at first. We defined cheating in detail. That meant no sexual connections either physically or emotionally with anyone else, no mater what the situation and if we felt we had to then we were to end our marriage before an affair took place. We vowed to forsake all others in a Protestant cathedral before out family, friends, God and the bishop of California. Well that all went out the window... Now I lay out the ground rules early...often on the first or second date...if that is too much then I am all to happy to walk away. My ex is now living with Aids and I was VERY lucky to have dodged it! Carma can be shitty but cheaters will get theirs! I will not and can not cheat! Gay people like myself want equal rights but why should Gay men get them when they behave and cheat as so many do? Why let Gays marry if marriage is so loose and bending to them when it comes to the rules of marriage? No one deserves a life of fear that they may or may not be cheated on and I have zero tolerance for it! It all come to "Do you love me or not?"

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In a previous relationship I was cheated on. In our own bed. I thought it had ruined my ever having a relationship again. Destined to live out the rest of my life a "gay bachelor ". A few yrs. later, I met a man. He asked me out. Not to sound braggy but in my younger days I was asked out a lot. It usually led to a one night stand. Okay, sometimes two. Or three. But I was always determined to never trust a man again. Well when this man asked me out, he asked me to lunch knowing we would both have to go back to work after. A novel approach. He didn't just want sex. We started to get serious about each other. Before I would take that next step, we had to set ground rules. That included complete honesty and NO "cheating". We defined cheating to each other. That meant no sexual connections either physically or emotionally with anyone else. 29 years later this has been the case. Lay out the ground rules early on. That way no one gets hurt. Ground rules are different for every couple but make sure they are set at the beginning and you can have a long happy life with someone. No one should spend their lives wondering. Signed, Happily in a Gay relationship for 29 Years.

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Cheating is cheating...in mid 2010, I met a guy and Jan 2011 I moved 50 miles to live with him. Sep 2011, I had enough of Chinese whispers and got into his email...he'd been chatting, meeting, and having UNSAFE sex with Craig listers since we first started dating. He consistently lied about it and in the end, he tried to blame me, saying I was cheating on him first. I've been cheated on before, so that was DEFINITELY not the case. We had discussed an open relationship May 2011, even drew lines as to what was acceptable...the only condition was we had to be honest and tell each other. He couldn't even do that. So, if I get involved again, sex sites are the first to go, as well as those apps. To me, it's like having a fully stocked bar and wine cellar, then falling in Love with an alcoholic...sure, he could live amongst the temptation, but why subject him to it? Why constantly worry about him falling off the wagon?

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