I am the Queen of emotional cheating. I’ve participated in such sins while I was the one in the relationship, and I’ve done it with people who were/are in a relationship. I will use my friend Kyle as an example. Him and I met our freshman year of college, and about two hours after being introduced, he asked me to marry him. Of course, he was kidding, it was part of some lighthearted flirting. I mentioned that I like hockey and some band, and he responded with, “Can we get married?”
The point is, we had an immediate connection. At the time, I didn’t realize how precious that was. When we’re young, and constantly meeting so many people, I think most of us believe that there will be many people with whom to share that connection with. The older I get the more I believe it only truly happens a few times. I digress. Kyle had a girlfriend and they were doing the whole long distance relationship disaster thing. We were in Savannah, Georgia where we went to art school, and she was in Connecticut. Lighthearted flirting between Kyle and I led to serious flirting, which led to physical flirting, which led to… this situation fucking blows.
We were very open about our feelings for one another, and discussed our predicament frequently. To make matters worse, we could not keep our hands off of each other. While he never “technically” cheated on her because we did not kiss, we laid on the same bed together, he would occasionally spend the night, we watched movies together, we kissed each other’s foreheads, we played with each other’s hands, which I like to call “hand sex,” and we friggen talked about how badly we wanted one another. This brings me to the question of, is emotional cheating worse than actual cheating, and where is the line drawn?
I believe that cheating is defined by anything that one would not do with a platonic friend. I would not have hand sex and cuddle with a platonic friend, so in my mind, Kyle cheated on his girlfriend. I don’t care if we didn’t kiss. If I saw my boyfriend doing those same acts with another girl, I would absolutely accuse him of cheating. I suppose Kyle does deserve credit for holding back and not jumping on me. I was for sure not the one trying to stop it. I would have slept with him in a heartbeat, and he knew it. So in all fairness, that does say something about his character.
For hypothetical purposes, lets take-away all of the physical elements from the equation. This leaves us with two people who are falling in love with each other while one of them is in a relationship. This is emotional cheating, and I believe that in most cases, it is worse than physical cheating. To be perfectly honest, if I were in a relationship with someone who was falling for someone else, even if they never touched, I would be much more heartbroken over that, than if my significant other got drunk one night and hooked up with a random person.
Three relationships and five years later, Kyle and I are still doing the same bullshit. Since that first girlfriend, he has been in two other long-term relationships, including the one he is in presently. There was a small, sliver of time when we were both single and both in the same city, so we were able to finally release some of that built-up sexual tension, which I will say, was one of the hottest nights of my life, but it was only one night and I won’t get into why it couldn’t last. I live in Los Angeles now, and he lives in Connecticut, so there is no more physical cheating happening, but the emotional cheating is still running rampant. We’ve had “down times” in the past five years, but this is not one of those times. No matter how hard we try to keep the conversation appropriate, it almost always ends with confessions of how much we miss/want one another. I know, I’m going to hell.
What do you consider cheating, and which is worse, emotional cheating or physical?