Is It Cheating Or Do None Of Us Know How To Date Anymore

Jake Davies

I’ve always had a clear definition of what cheating is. Knowing very well my own values and lines I wouldn’t cross out of respect to my partner and myself. You ask me what cheating is it’s when you have a label and suddenly engage physically with someone who isn’t your partner. That’s the clear definition of cheating and one I’ve always followed.

But was it cheating that night when I walked on the beach with a guy that wasn’t my boyfriend and when he asked what I did that night, I lied?

Was it cheating when I’d never answer a snap or a text from one individual in front of my boyfriend at the time, out of fear of what would be said and if I’d be questioned for it.

Was it cheating lying next to someone at night and thinking of another person?

Was it cheating in the bar when I flirted with someone else until he came to meet us? And a stranger I just met looked at me with an eyebrow raised as I greeted my boyfriend with a kiss.

I never crossed that line but I came pretty damn close.

My phone with a password he could never guess. Being sure I always had it one me.

And sometimes I questioned him and his loyalty. When he said ‘she’s just a friend’ maybe I didn’t believe him because I said I same thing. And with those ‘just friends’ who blew up my phone often came a history I never spoke about.

It is cheating to not tell the whole truth or is the cheating part why you aren’t saying it in the first place

Was it cheating every time I posted something and my cheeks would get red with a notification that was someone else’s name? Or because I was every one of their first likes sliding into their DM like it was nothing. Tags that made us laugh but I left someone else out on our inside joke that probably shouldn’t have been one.

Was it cheating looking for attention from someone else that wasn’t my boyfriend not because he didn’t give me his best or make me feel enough but for some reason I looked for validation in others?

Was it cheating when I aired my dirty laundry to his best friend about our relationship issues asking for advice but knowing without saying it, there was something there between us? “I wish I met someone like you,” he said in slurred words. And parts of him I compared to my then boyfriend. He liked that I was close to his best friend. But was that cheating how emotionally close we became?

Was it cheating not mentioning I had a boyfriend on a night out with the girls. Dancing with people that weren’t him coming close to kisses that I only pulled away from when they got too close.
If it wasn’t cheating why did I feel guilty for it the next day?

Because even if it’s not physically cheating I think emotionally cheating is a thing.

And it sucks being on the other end of that.

It sucks saying I love you to someone who tells you their relationship is going to end but it doesn’t.

It sucks spending time with someone and they tell you, you have to keep it a secret.

It sucks watching someone blow up your phone and call you every day but their girlfriend doesn’t even know your name.

When you look at her instagram and you see their pictures and as much as you wish and hope for something more, it’ll never be you whose standing next to him.

Just a compilation of memories he’ll forget that you can’t seem to.

It sucks growing suspicious of someone else you’re in a relationship with.

Looking through your boyfriend’s phone and knowing you were right. Yeah you have the title of girlfriend but what does that even mean? Finding texts you can’t even say anything about. But it isn’t just flirting and those pictures she’s sending aren’t just friendly ones. Finding messages he deleted because he didn’t want you to see them.

Hearing him talk about her so casually and you know there’s something more there but you ignore it because you’d rather not know. Wondering who he’s texting and is it her?

There’s a line here we all flirt with and get close enough but don’t cross.

What was once black and white are all these grey areas with the help social media and some device that ruins relationships. Making everyone self conscious and fearful.

I don’t think it’s commitment we fear, in a generation that everyone says is bad at dating. I think we fear someone else’s inability to commit and be loyal. Instead of having faith in someone else we act the same way and don’t think it’s wrong. We fear a relationship with someone who dances in those grey areas making us feel suddenly paranoid for no reason.

Because no they aren’t cheating but they aren’t making you feel confident either.

Cheating physically and emotionally should be viewed in the same light. Just because one is easier to get away with doesn’t make it okay.

When you are in a relationship. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally. You are committing to one person and if you can’t let go of those people that linger and those late night texts who could potentially ruin your relationship you don’t deserve one. TC mark

Kirsten Corley

Kirsten is the author of But Before You Leave, a book of poetry about the experiences we struggle to put into words.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

Read Here

More From Thought Catalog