‘XOXO’… is that cheating?
OK. Hands up all those who haven’t actually come across something they shouldn’t have seen on a partner’s phone, Facebook or email account? Yes, I didn’t think there would be many of you.
Perhaps it was a sweet text message with an ‘xoxo’ at the end from that simply adorable girl in his office, or a flirty comment posted on her ‘wall’ from that guy who introduced himself at an event last week… Well, how does that make you feel? And is what they are doing cheating?
You see, in a world where communication takes place constantly across all sorts of different platforms – from good old face-to-face interaction to late-night chats on Facebook or G-chat – there are more and more opportunities to cheat. Gone are the days when you knew your partner was out of harm’s way simply because he or she was in the next room. These days, they could be up to all sorts in there.
It’s not a happy thought but it does bear thinking about. And what, at the end of the day, constitutes infidelity any way?
Researchers have actually taken the time to define cheating (of all sorts) as ‘extradyadic’ behavior – but even they’re not sure what qualifies: whether it’s any type of emotional or psychical intimacy at all, or whether you have to go the whole way in order to be extradyadic-ing.
Well, here at DI-VE we carried out our own bit of research and asked four of our readers for their thoughts on exactly when cheating becomes cheating:
• “I think there is such a thing as harmless flirting – whether at work or in a bar. It’s OK so long as there’s no physical contact and no numbers are exchanged.” – Tina
• “If you’re being intimate with someone, whether emotionally or psychically, that’s wrong. It’s cheating as soon as you think romantically about someone other than your partner.” – Celine
• “My last girlfriend and I really clashed on this topic. She thought it was OK to send flirty messages to her male friends; I didn’t. If you’re with someone then you shouldn’t be flirting or having late-night chats with someone else. End of story.” – Dirk
• “Just because you’re in a relationship doesn’t mean you stop all communication with the opposite sex. It’s still going to happen and things may get flirty from time to time. I think that’s OK, provided you don’t take it to the next level. Kissing and other psychical constant should be out of bounds.” - Peter
So there you have it. According to our readers it seems that a couple of innocent messages and a quick chat is OK – but the line is drawn if things get physical or emotional. Either way, if you’re in a relationship it’s best to clear the ground-rules early on to ensure no one gets hurt.
Do you have an opinion on what’s cheating and what’s not? Add your comments below!