Are you cheating without even knowing it? The thought may sound absurd. After all, “Oops, I fell down and my penis happened to land in the vagina of your best friend!” isn’t exactly a get-out-of-jail-free excuse these days. No, if you’re cheating, you know it… or do you?
The truth is that mild habits such as flirting and texting may escalate into a strange gray area of cheating. What’s more, the Internet has opened up new possibilities for cheating, flirting, and nakedness for you and… well, the whole world! [Read: Online flirting – Are you cheating online without realizing it?]
Could you be cheating on your partner accidentally?
So what does constitute cheating, these days? Obviously, having sex with someone other than your partner will top the list in every survey, as well as deep emotional affairs, but where does the line blur when it comes to cheating? Could you be cheating and not even realize it? We’re looking at 8 signs of shady relationship behavior that could land you in more than just the dog house.
#1 Not citing that you are in a relationship
If you are indeed in a serious relationship, one “cheating behavior” you may accidentally stumble into is not mentioning that fact, especially to new people. Failing to mention that you are in a serious relationship can be off-putting to your partner, as it causes insecurities to rise, and may lead them to believe that you left out this crucial information on purpose. [Read: Reasons why your partner may want a secret relationship with you]
#2 Watching porn
This spicy subject seems to vary from couple to couple, but the fact is that some do, in fact, view watching porn or masturbating to the fantasy of a crush or another person, to fall into the cheating realm.
Part of being exclusive with someone is the mutual understanding that your bodies are each other’s temple. There is something enchanting about knowing that you are the person who can turn your partner on the most and get their motor running. However, this enchantment can shatter somewhat when one of the partners pleasures themselves to another naked person, or views some… strange fantasies online. [Read: Why so many men watch porn instead of making love to their woman]
It may be a little uncomfortable at first, but try and slip porn into a conversation somewhere down the line and see where your partner stands on the issue. It may seem like a taboo subject to bring up, so try and be tactful. While you may not want to give up your private screenings, if you love your partner and they consider it cheating, just weigh the options: masturbating in the dark to your computer screen, or having passionate sex with a real person.
There are probably few people who would view flirting with someone else as a form of cheating, but it’s still good to watch your mouth *literally* with this one. While flirting may be harmless on your end, it may be misleading to the person you’re flirting with, and could cause trouble in the future. [Read: Is flirting really cheating when you’re in a relationship?]
#4 Social media romances
Just because the person you’re talking to is online doesn’t mean that you’re not pursuing a relationship with them. Here are some examples of risky online behavior that may be considered cheating by some: flirty conversations with someone who is not your mate, sharing of naked or suggestive photos, carrying on seemingly innocent conversations online and then hiding it from your partner, hiding a social media friendship, Skype sex, obsessively following someone via social media *always liking their photos and complimenting them, etc.*, and online sex chats or video chats.
There’s a simple rule for your social media behavior: would you be comfortable if your partner saw what you were doing? Would you be okay with your partner behaving in the same way towards someone else? If the answers to both questions are no, you should probably rethink your actions. [Read: 18 signs you’re already having an emotional affair and don’t even know it!]
#5 Receiving inappropriate texts from the opposite sex
Are you getting tit-pics from someone who isn’t your mate? Or adversely, dick-pics from someone who isn’t your man? If so, this could be considered cheating by your mate, especially if you don’t correct the situation or inform your partner of the inappropriate text.
#6 Financial cheating
According to a Forbes infographic regarding a Today.com survey, 70% of women and 63% of men agree that financial honesty with your partner is just as important as being honest about shagging someone else. Sound crazy? It might sound ridiculous, but 34% of surveyed participants admitted to keeping financial secrets from their mates; even lying about purchases to avoid getting in “trouble” with their ball and chain.
#7 Hiding texts
Are you sharing some spicy or otherwise scintillating information via text with your opposite sex friend, and then deleting the messages afterwards? If so, you may be displaying some shady cheating behavior. Maybe not the full Monty, but you’re no angel, either. If you are purposely deleting texts so that your partner doesn’t find them and freak, you may want to take a step back and ask yourself why. [Read: 20 unmistakable signs your friend is crushing on you]
#8 Getting closer to someone than you are to your mate
Have you stopped confiding in your partner? Some spouses may find this to fall under mild “cheating-like” behavior. If you are sharing secrets, worries, woes, and laughter with someone else more than you are with your mate, you may be unknowingly putting your lover-boy eggs in a whole new basket! [Read: What should you do when you start liking someone else?]
Ways to avoid potential cheating
Are you engaging in any of the potentially bad behaviors listed above? If you are and you *know* that your heart may not be in the right place, take steps now to correct your risqué situation. If you want to remain in a monogamous relationship with your current partner, here are some simple steps to straighten out your naughty self.
#1 Don’t tiptoe around the danger. While it might not be suggested that you rush out and tell your partner that you’re having dangerous thoughts *as this very well might end up with you holding a bag of frozen peas over a giant slap mark on your cheek* it would be wise to take yourself out of the tempting situation altogether.
For example, if your best friend’s girl is giving you devious thoughts, stop associating with her. Initiate a “bro night” instead, where she won’t be around. Or, if Facebook flirting is your issue, get off of Facebook *Yes, it can be done!* [Read: How to resist the temptation to cheat on your partner]
#2 Endeavor to see your spouse as a real person. It sounds crazy, but it can be difficult after spending many years with the same person to continue seeing them as an individual, instead of just your play-thing, or roommate.
Try and remember that your mate has thoughts, feelings, and may even have had temptations of their own in the past. They are not sexually blinded just because they are married or otherwise committed to you. Instead of viewing your mate as a mindless zombie, try and think about how they would feel if you disrespected them and broke their trust by cheating. [Read: To cheat or not to cheat? – A guide to make up your mind]
#3 Do a role-reversal. One thing that’s sure to get your blood boiling is to imagine that your spouse has cheated on you at some point in the past. How would you feel if that were true? This is a pain that, can be moved on from, but can never be forgotten. Think long and hard about how this action would affect both you, your partner, and any children involved.
#4 Speak with your partner. One of the best things you can do to avoid potential cheating is to talk to your partner. If you value your relationship, get your cheating stances out in the open before one of you crosses the line. This can only help your relationship going forward. *Also, remember to be reasonable with your requests…!*
Bottom line: As always, you need to be open and honest with your partner if you guys are really serious about one another. Everyone is different. What you find to be innocent in nature may be one of your partner’s biggest cheating-woes, or vice-versa!