Cheating in this day and age may take many different forms, including digital, emotional, and even physical relationships. But what behaviors really constitute cheating, and which ones stop short of that line? We take a look at the definition of cheating.

Everyone has their own idea of what constitutes cheating. It is because of this that the concept of infidelity is so difficult to pin down. There is no one set of laws that always applies, and individual perspectives are sometimes motivated more by an emotional reaction than by reasoning.

Additionally, there are many other ways to cheat, particularly in this day and age of technology. The increase in casual dating has led to unclear relationship statuses, and cheating may be just as complicated as these ambiguous relationships. Cheating is generally understood to refer to any action or behavior that leaves a partner with the impression that they have been rejected or betrayed in some way.

Despite this, boundaries are often unclear since partners in romantic relationships are hesitant to talk about what they consider to be infidelity. It is easy for us to assume that our spouse shares our ideas without ever asking those all-important questions, which may lead to misunderstanding and grief if we do so.

We have collected a list of the most prevalent types of infidelity and the places where one might draw a line in order to assist you in defining what the term “cheat” means to you personally.


The most obvious kind of cheating is when one partner engages in sexual activity with another. In the vast majority of relationships, infidelity is defined as one spouse participating in sexual activity or having sexual contact with another person.

However, there are ambiguous places. Is it considered cheating to kiss someone else? If your significant other shared a bed with someone of the other sex, even if “nothing” occurred, would you be okay with it? Does it make a difference whether it was a one-time error or if it was part of an ongoing relationship?

You could already be aware of where you stand on these topics, or perhaps these are things that you wouldn’t give much thought to until they really occurred. The first concern should be that both you and your spouse have the same understanding of the term.

It is one of the most basic talks to have with your partner, and expectations should be set into place as soon as you make things exclusive. Because it is the most readily defined kind of cheating, it is one of the more straightforward conversations to have.


Even though it is considerably more difficult to describe, an emotional affair may cause just as much damage as a physical betrayal would. There is no valid reason why men and women can’t be friends, enjoy spending time alone together, and communicate with one another. Infidelity can only be committed within the context of these relationships when there is a component that transcends the level of friendship.

If your emotional tie to someone outside of your relationship is causing you to have interactions that you feel the need to conceal from your spouse or lie to them about, then you are cheating on your partner. It is quite likely that boundaries will get blurred if you discuss private aspects of your life or the challenges you have in your relationships with someone to whom you feel a connection or interest. If the thought of your spouse reading your messages or joining you for drinks makes you uneasy, then you probably are having an emotional affair and are unaware of it.

The definition of cheating in cyberspace

It has never been simpler to communicate with other individuals over the Internet. Whether it be via email, social media, instant messaging services like WhatsApp, or online dating websites. Additionally, when it is thus simple to join, it is also simple to cheat.

Because it is still a relatively new issue, everyone has their own interpretation of what constitutes cheating online. It’s possible that some people have no issue with a little bit of flirtation on Instagram (deep like anyone? ), but they may draw the line at exchanging messages on Facebook, for instance.

Those who meet their relationships online are more susceptible to committing acts of cyber infidelity. The proper protocol is not always obvious. If you and your partner are in the beginning stages of an exclusive relationship, you may expect your spouse to remove all dating apps from their phone; but, should they go the further step and erase their profile entirely? Or, would it be okay with you if they maintained their online presence until the end of their subscription but did not check their messages?

There is no universally accepted definition of cheating since there are so many different types of dishonesty. Every relationship is unique, and every person has their own set of limits inside their own space. Spend some time figuring out what your values are, then discuss them with your partner at an early stage in the relationship.

It is sufficient to just be honest throughout this talk; it does not need to be combative. Think about physical cheating, emotional cheating, and online cheating, and be sure that your definitions are very clear. Although it may be unpleasant, doing so is really essential. And in the long term, it will help you prevent avoidable heartache that may have been avoided.