Thanks to the advent of Facebook, defining our relationship statuses has become a hell of a lot easier. Your relationship isn’t bona fide unless it’s “Facebook Official,” and for the first time ever I’m officially “in a relationship.”
Unfortunately, not every aspect of a relationship can be prescribed to a simple, comprehensive definition. Take cheating, for instance. Nearly every couple I know defines cheating differently.
When I started going out with my boyfriend of three months, I was obliged to come up with my own definition of cheating. The more I thought about it, the more I realized how multifaceted an issue it is. I’m sure my boyfriend will find solace in knowing that to this day, I’m still trying to figure it out.
Most people I know share similar views on what constitutes cheating in the physical sense. Still, there are some couples who choose to stray from conventional monogamy.
One of my friends swears by threesomes.
“So many of my friends who are in long-term relationships resort to cheating because they get bored with the sex after a while,” he told me.
He said having another girl with him and his girlfriend in bed not only spices up their sex life, but also brings them closer together both physically and emotionally.
But is it really possible to separate your sexual feelings from your emotions?
Another friend had the same idea in mind when his girlfriend agreed to fulfill his ménage à trois fantasy with their mutual friend. Amidst a sea of cherry lube and flying limbs, he realized he was actually in love with their friend. Caught off guard by his sudden change of heart, he ended his two-year relationship with his girlfriend.
It’s easier to control our actions when there are other eyes around. But the emotional aspect of cheating is more difficult to decipher. Unlike physical infidelity, emotions cannot be controlled; they can only be suppressed.
So even if you don’t act on your adulterous feelings, is it still considered cheating?
As if it’s not complex enough, the face of infidelity continues to evolve. With the progression of technology, cheating has become more accessible. Now that we have texting, video chat and e-mail at our fingertips 24/7, affairs are no longer confined to sketchy motel rooms and late nights at the office.
Some people completely disconnect cyberspace from reality. My friend, who has been dating her boyfriend for three years, said they don’t consider it cheating if there’s no penetration involved.
“You usually see relationships go downhill when couples start nitpicking,” she said. “For me, cyber cheating is as adulterous as watching porn.”
Cheating is subjective; it can come in the form of a feeling, a look, a touch, a text. Although I feel more confused than before, my confusion comes as a healthy reminder — a reminder that I’m merely human and in the scheme of evolution, humans aren’t necessarily meant to be monogamous. It seems that in order to maintain any kind of relationship, exceptions always have to be made.