“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

The internet, smart phones and social media have all changed the way we communicate in daily life. They have also changed the way we find and meet potential romantic partners–and the way we cheat. Is cheating online really cheating? Some people think as long as it stays virtual and never crosses into physical face-to-face interaction, then it can’t be cheating. Other people view any kind of sexually-charged interaction outside of the relationship as cheating. So who is right? The answer is not as simple as it would appear.

When it’s Not Cheating
One of the key factors to determine cheating behavior is whether there is deception taking place and the level of knowledge both partners have about the other’s activities online. It’s likely not cheating if ALL of the following apply…
* Both people in the relationship have discussed and come to total agreement about what is acceptable and what the limits are.
* Both partners have total access to each other’s accounts, cell phones, tablets and computers.
* There is no emotional attachment with online contacts.
* There is no deception. Both people in the relationship are completely open and honest about online activities and contacts.

When it’s Cheating
The scenario above, while does happen, is very rare and difficult to maintain. In most cases, if you even have to ask the question “Is this really cheating?” then you already know that it is, or that your partner would perceive it as cheating. It’s definitely cheating if ANY of the following apply…
* You form an emotional attachment with your online contact (also called emotional infidelity).
* There is deception involved. Lies, breach of trust and hiding your online activities from your partner are all forms of deception.
* Your online contact or relationship distracts from your offline relationship in a way that neglects your partner or family.
* You send or exchange sexual messages or photos without your partner’s knowledge (and approval).
* You use your online relationship to meet your emotional needs.

Our technology-laden lives have blurred the lines between reality and fantasy in may ways. Cheating is one of those ways. In most relationships, whether the cheating is physical or emotional, it is still damaging and psychologically harmful to your partner and the relationship itself.  Suspect cheating in the relationship?  Get the truth–call Bulldog PI.