Where does infidelity begin and where does it end? You can cheat on your partner without ever heading to bed with someone else, and there are so many ways to do so.
You'd think it would be pretty obvious if you were cheating on your partner. Unless you were blackout drunk and can't remember anything, most people are aware of their infidelity. The most loyal people tell themselves, "I would never, ever cheat on my partner."
Unfortunately, cheating does not always involve getting physically intimate with another person. Sure, that may be the ultimate breach of trust in a relationship, but there are other ways you can cheat that can be just as harmful to your relationship. Here are some of them:
When you meet someone insanely attractive that you immediately form a connection with, most of us are reluctant to let them go. You may not entertain thoughts of cheating on your partner, but you try to keep the connection going because it makes you feel good.
If you catch yourself looking forward to texts from the other person, or spending a considerate amount of time bonding over similarities and laughing with them, more so than you do with your partner, then you may be betraying your partner.
Flirting is never 'harmless.' You may not intend a playful conversation to go anywhere serious, but you are signaling other people that you're not entirely serious about the person you're seeing. Think about it this way: how guilty would you feel if your partner could see you flirting up a storm?
No one looks at a married person flirting with a colleague and thinks, "Aww, isn't that cute? I really hope they commit adultery." Everyone judges the person who lingers a little too long, makes way too much eye contact, or lets their fingers brush a little too sensuously against the skin of someone who is not their partner.
Have you noticed yourself speaking louder, laughing too hard, or immediately altering your behavior every time someone you think is hot walks into the room? You may be unconsciously trying to make yourself stand out so that they notice you.
What's even more serious than that is when you consciously make an effort to get noticed. You spend ages in front of the mirror doing your hair or practice suave moves, all the while thinking about how they will respond or react. Even without thinking a single romantic thought, you've already betrayed your partner in your head.
We all need friends to confide in apart from our partners. It is unhealthy to make your partner the sole focus of your life and not have meaningful conversations with other people. However, those other people do not include former flames or people who make your heart beat faster.
The moment we start building deep connections with people we could possibly be romantically or sexually attracted to, we end up opening the door to more serious forms of infidelity. If you stop confiding in your partner altogether, you have already been unfaithful to them.
Any dissatisfaction with your partner needs to be brought up within the confines of your relationship first before you decide to ask your friends for advice. The worst way to be unfaithful to your partner is to bash them just to gain sympathy from someone you like.
Bonding with someone over how much you dislike the person you're with is an unambiguous signal that you are dissatisfied with your relationship. This also signals them that you may be willing to be unfaithful to your partner given the opportunity.
Instead of spending quality time with your partner and strengthening your relationship, you may sometimes decide to invest in someone else who makes you feel good. You may like the attention, or they may be more attractive to you than your partner.
By taking time, that rightfully belongs to your partner and giving it to someone they would certainly object to you meeting, you can end up hurting your partner. Plus, all that time alone can make it so much easier for things to progress to the bedroom.
Have you ever fantasized about someone else while getting intimate with your partner? If you seriously don't think that's a betrayal of their trust, then it's time to get rid of the illusion because that certainly constitutes being unfaithful.
Actions always begin with thoughts. Even if you have no way of getting with the person you're thinking of, you're misleading your partner into believing that they're the one you want, and you may be willing to sleep with the other person given the chance.