Does Bad Behavior On the Internet Count as Infidelity?
The Internet is a portal into many different cultures, people, and experiences. The excitement and intrigue in meeting someone online whom you might otherwise never have met has led to many different types of dating sites. While these may have initially been created for single people, sometimes committed partners stray to these sites in search of entertainment. Presenting yourself as available, emotionally or physically, while in a committed relationship is false advertising. If you take the online interaction to the next level, such as cybersex, the question arises: Are you actually cheating?
A Few Good Rules of Thumb
Generally speaking, there are a few codes of conduct in a relationship that may clarify some morally questionable behavior, such as what constitutes cheating. It’s always best to avoid deliberately doing something behind your mate’s back. In general, if you’re feeling guilty about whatever it was that you did or are thinking of doing, it is probably a bad choice.
Is It the Act or the Intention?
This has been a common question connected to many of the discussions and philosophies on the subject of cheating. If someone thinks about being with someone else, is that technically cheating? Many people say no. But what if the person is engaging in sexual communication with another? Would phone sex, or cybersex, be crossing the line? There are many who say yes. Whether it’s through words or physical action, you are choosing to engage in a sexual act with another person outside of your relationship, and probably without your partner’s knowledge.
It’s Up to the Other Partner to Decide
In the end, it may come down to whether or not the other partner feels cheated on. Every relationship is unique, and only the two people involved can ultimately decide what does and doesn’t work in their partnership. Be honest with each other. If there’s any question as to whether or not one partner may be disrespecting the other, it’s up to the other partner to decide.
In our tech-friendly age, it has become increasingly easier to blur the lines of “appropriate communication” with others while maintaining a committed relationship. Texting and the Internet offer a buffer between the physical world and the ether world of technology, allowing some to rationalize away these behaviors with so much potential for infidelity. As a general rule, when looking to others outside of your relationship to fulfill a need, you should always take some time to evaluate your partnership before doing so. Perhaps there is someone out there better suited to you and your needs. If you choose to indulge in cybersex while in a committed relationship, you must respect your partner enough to give them a head’s up, and their say in the matter—even if it’s an ultimatum.