OMG UPDATE: Question? Answer.

Updated on Sunday, March 16

#7014

QUESTION: If you're in a relationship, but because of distance (physically or emotionally) you fall for someone else. You break up with your SO before anything physical happens. Is it still cheating?

This came up between my friends today, OMGUW please settle it

17 comments

  1. Some people consider that to be "emotional cheating."

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  2. I consider it cheating. To be in a relationship means to be exclusive to one person only.

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  3. Heck no. It's called finding a better option, and cutting off ties from the incumbent before making a proper move, because it's the ethical thing to do.

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  4. If you left them for someone else, that is cheating, regardless what you have or haven't done with them

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    1. So what would you rather have them do? Not leave their SO while having feelings for the other person?

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  5. 2 and 4, I wholeheartedly disagree.

    If anything, this is the RIGHT way to do it. Even if you are in a relationship which isn't long distance, and you fall for someone else, just by seeing them every now and then etc. the best thing to do is BREAK UP WITH YOUR SO immediately before anything physical happens. It is the proper thing to do, because you are NOT cheating. Who are you to control that feeling of love that just creeps up. So what best to do about it except be honest with your existing SO and move on.

    You're taking a chance by doing this, of course. You could end up with neither, but that's the risk you are willing to take.

    There's no such thing as fucking emotional cheating. But if this emotional cheating crap were to exist, then really you're shit out of luck for falling for someone, even if it's against your will. Even if you are happy with your SO one day and then the next you meet someone so incredible that you two just CLICK. What happens then? Do you (a) stay in your relationship but cheat "emotionally", or (b) be honest, break off your existing relationship, prevent any sort of physical cheating (but still somehow emotionally cheat? wtf?), and try and get with this new person.

    TLDR: break up with your SO before anything physical happens, it's the right thing to do.

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    1. well you need to break up with your S/O regardless, but you don't just lose interest in Person A simultaneously to like Person B, there is a lull in-between when you realize you don't want to be with Person A anymore. BEFORE you hang around in the relationship and end up liking someone else, sort out your issues in that relationship and decide to break up or not. Don't let it get to that point where you like someone else, because you know you've been selfish in hanging around that other one too long and not being honest with your (lack of) feelings.

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    2. >There's no such thing as fucking emotional cheating.

      Imagine this situation. Your SO has met someone recently, and they start going on dates, sleeping over (without sexual contact), and spend more time together than your partner does with you. What do you call that?

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  6. If you're pursuing another person and expressing interest, which you can do without actually touching them, that's cheating to me. If I was so unhappy in my relationship, I would just end it instead of being a pussy.

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  7. Hell fucking no, that's not cheating. It's the proper thing to do.

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  8. a bit scummy to the SO but I don't think of it as cheating

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  9. Wow. This exact same situation happened to me. I don't think it was cheating for me, because I was still unsure of what this feeling was to me: what was I exactly interested in this new person for? Was it a temp. thing?

    I broke up with my SO before anything happened with the new person, but I knew I owed it to my ex to tell the truth.

    So long as you're not going on dates with this new person, or sleeping over - or any type of emotional reliance on them, I wouldn't consider it cheating.

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  10. Cheating is defined by the terms of your relationship. If in your relationship, it's assumed that you aren't flirting and being romantically close with someone else, then yes, emotional cheating is still cheating. If you fell for someone but didn't act on it AT ALL (i.e. you WEREN'T being close romantically, you just developed feelings for them through normal friendship) and you did the right thing by breaking up with your SO, then I would not personally consider that cheating.

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  11. What if it's the case of just proximity? Like you work together on a term long project, you always see each other. Or you play on the same intramural team, or you're in the same student club. This new person is your friend, you're not going on dates, you're not really doing anything "extra." At some point you feel that this person is a better match emotionally?

    By the logic of "emotional" cheating, your SO is no longer allowed to make any new friends of the opposite gender because they may develop feelings?

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    1. I agree with this. It's not cheating if you happen to meet someone new, develop an attraction to them, but don't cross the lines of friendship with them. It's natural to have small crushes. As long as you set boundaries it should be fine.

      I think what OP may be getting at is... what if the person doesn't set boundaries, and lets the attraction develop into something more (revealing personal things to each other, spending time together outside of however they happen to know each other). In this case, it's not okay to still be with your SO at this point.

      In summary... attraction is fine if you are clear about your boundaries. If you want to cross the line (e.g., start flirting), then break up with your SO before you do it.

      Personally... I've been in a relationship where my SO's ex was a longtime friend of his and still in his friend circle when we were together. I knew that they had been friends and dating for a long time, but my SO never once gave me reason to be jealous - didn't cuddle up to her in group pictures, if he went out to hang out with that circle of friends didn't go out of his way to catch up with her, doesn't do anything remotely flirty with her. I never approached him about her, he did this all on his own, so I really appreciated that he went out of the way to set boundaries with her and it made our relationship feel very safe.

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  12. Ever heard of 'she left me for someone else'?

    It works for both cases, either she cheated on him physically, or emotionally, or both.

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