Is internet flirting cheating

Is flirting through technology cheating? – The Connection

Rachel Norris and Scott Redmond|February 13, 2014

She Said:

Social media has become a very big part of the lives of Americans. For a lot of us, almost every single day is spent updating statuses, uploading photos, tweeting or hashtagging like crazy.

Let’s ask ourselves this, why is the one thing that is supposed to unite and connect the whole world also causing 20 percent of today’s divorces, according to an article from the New York Daily News?  Because we live in an age where technology is king, even when it comes to cheating on your significant other.

A third of all divorce filings in 2011 contained the word “Facebook” according to Divorce Online. This statistic is staggering, and is not okay.

So, we think this is okay to do over the Internet because we are less likely to get caught, right? Try again.

The Internet is the most widely used and publicized form of communication.  Chances are if your partner doesn’t catch you sneaking a few promiscuous comments to the personal trainer from the gym, then a friend will be more than willing to fill them in.

Sure, many may think it’s not considered cheating, because it’s not the actual act, which I do agree with. However, would you find it appropriate to approach a man or woman while you were out with your partner and start whipping out all of your cheesy pick-up lines? The answer is probably not.

Even if you’re just typing it, you’re still thinking about doing it. Just because the words didn’t necessarily come out of your mouth, doesn’t mean they didn’t come out of your brain. A relationship without trust is really not a relationship at all.

Here’s a bit of advice for the people with significant others who flirt over Facebook or even do a bit of sexting: Just don’t do it.

If you’re unhappy in your relationship, or maybe things aren’t up to par in the bedroom and you’re looking for a bit of excitement, communication is always your best friend (and I don’t mean over the Internet).

Talk to your partner face-to-face and let them know how you are feeling. As a couple, two brains are better than one. Come up with a plan, whether it be relationship counseling, vacation or if you really don’t want to be in the relationship, breaking up.

It’s not a very trustworthy relationship when you’re constantly curious about your partner’s actions over social media. Stalking each other’s Facebook profiles or Twitter accounts does not lead to a healthy relationship.

After all, curiosity did kill the cat.

He Said:

A few exchanged words across the lines of the Internet, with a winky face and a bit of flattery, leading up to full on flirtation back and forth.

In our internet filled age, this is more and more of a common experience, but the real question is: does that count as cheating?

If you are in a committed relationship with another person, this is definitely cheating.

Flirting online is exactly the same as kissing or sleeping around with someone other than your significant other. All of these are a breaking of a trust that is needed to have a healthy relationship.

In a sense, a person is seeking out something that they should be getting from the relationship they are currently part of, but they feel they are not and instead of calling it off they find another person to secretly give that to them.

It’s just flirty words, and words are cheap, but most relationships are built off of a few exchanged words and flirtations that lead to something more.

What is to stop a person from taking that online flirtation further and meeting in person, thereby getting to those higher levels of cheating? The answer is nothing.

A report released recently from Christian Mingle and JDate called the State of Dating in America, found that out of the 2,700 singles surveyed,  77 percent of women believe that having an emotional relationship counts as cheating, while 55 percent of men feel the same way.

Similarly the survey found that 82 percent of women and 56 percent of men believe that texting or flirting online is cheating.

This shows that more than half of each gender surveyed found that anything that might lead to emotional attachments should be considered cheating. As well they should.

Flirting in the physical world is used to lead to something more, generally to get a date or to sleep with someone, and online flirting is exactly the same thing. If it’s cheating to flirt with and hook up with someone in the physical world, flirting and hooking up online is cheating as well.

Studies undertaken by the American Psychological Association found that Americans are spending as much time online as they do watching television, meaning that more and more of daily lives are beginning to revolve around technological associations rather than flesh and blood.

Why cheat online? The better question would be why not. The internet provides an anonymity that the real world never could offer.

A person can hide behind an IP address to bash someone on an Internet forum, hack and steal information or hook up with some random person they just met in a chat room to engage in cybersex without there being the knowledge of who they are.

However, there is no such activity in existence that comes with no consequences at some point.

Whether a person believes it’s cheating or not, turn off your computers and focus on the person you are in a relationship with. Flirting online just isn’t worth the risk.

Is Flirting Cheating? 5 Signs That It Is

Flirting is acting on attraction from a distance and trying to establish some type of connection with someone else. It can be considered emotional and mental cheating.

When you’re attracted to someone, flirting is a way of communicating that interest through subtle (or not-so-subtle) cues. You may tilt your head to one side, slightly change the tone of your voice, or adjust your posture, for example.

Some of these cues may be subconscious, and some may be intentional. So, how do you determine: “Is flirting cheating, or isn’t it?”

While there may be undeniable moments when flirting crosses a line, mutual consent, clarity in your relationship, and underlying intent can all be important factors when deciding if flirting is infidelity.

Relationship rules and consensus

Every relationship is different. What may upset you or your partner, may not be the same that upsets someone else.

Openly talking about your and your partner’s expectations and your willingness to honor those is a healthy way of getting on the same page and establishing if flirting is cheating or if it gets too close to it for comfort.

“For some, flirting is infidelity. For others, [cheating is] exclusively sexual acts. For others still, [infidelity is] any emotional closeness that should be reserved for a primary partner or significant other,” says Jeanae Hopgood, a licensed marriage and family therapist from Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania. “Ultimately, couples need to discuss the rules and boundaries for their specific relationship to avoid crossing lines.”

Hopgood explains infidelity is extremely subjective, and each couple must define those behaviors that won’t be tolerated.

In general, cheating is acting behind your partner’s back or against their expectations or mutual promises.

In many cases, flirting is cheating when your partner doesn’t approve or your actions can go against the relationship or your partner.

If you’re in a committed romantic relationship, you can choose love. Opting to avoid doing the things you know will hurt your partner is a way of doing this.

1. Flirting with physical contact

For many people, physical contact beyond the social customs of handshakes and hugs is a breach of relationship trust.

Even casual touching, like an arm brush, or lingering contact, may be crossing a line if it’s conveying sexual interest.

Touch can be a powerful tool in flirting. Research from 2020 found the impact of caressing touch was significantly more influential when it was paired with attractive faces.

2. Hiding or lying about flirting

Secrecy is a warning sign of infidelity, says Christine Kotlarski, a licensed clinical social worker from Fort Myers, Florida.

If you’re hiding your phone, for example, because you’re worried your partner would be upset by messages or pictures you’ve exchanged with someone else, chances are they would be upset.

Turning off notifications, deleting messages, and hiding chat apps may all indicate secrecy.

Similarly, meeting with someone privately and not telling your partner can also be a warning sign that flirting is nearing cheating.

3. Flirting to establish intimacy

Intimacy is often a prized component of a relationship. This doesn’t only refer to physical intimacy but also emotional and spiritual intimacy.

Sharing deeply private details about yourself can create a sense of intimacy with someone on a level where your partner no longer feels special or is missing out on this important connection.

4. Putting your partner second to the person you’re flirting with

Korlarski points out that another place where flirting may become cheating is when you neglect your partner’s needs in favor of the person you’re flirting with.

Skipping movie night with your partner, for example, because you want to stay longer at the office to chat with that cute co-worker, could be crossing a line.

Not being attentive and loving to your partner when you’re in front of the person you’re flirting with may also be a sign you may be nearing the cheating line.

5. Complimenting and trying to elicit feelings

Congratulating someone on an achievement isn’t quite the same as complimenting their physical appearance, mannerisms, or qualities that make them attractive.

Acknowledging someone else’s attractiveness even once can make many partners uncomfortable. If you’re doing this to lead someone on or trying for them to develop romantic or sexual feelings for you, you may be getting into cheating waters.

Is there such a thing as innocent flirting?

Hopgood and Kotlarski both agree that yes, flirting can be innocent. You may not even realize you’re giving off flirtatious cues.

Ultimately, it’s the intent behind flirting that determines if it’s cheating.

“We all know someone who is friendly, easily talks to anyone, and has a way of leaving an interaction with the other person feeling extra good about themselves — this is an example of innocent flirtation,” Kotlarski indicates. “It is really about the intent behind the interaction.”

Emotional cheating is when you develop a deep emotional connection with someone outside of your romantic relationship, often with or without a physical connection.

“There is a level of closeness, sharing, care, and vulnerability shared with another person that a primary partner would not be comfortable with,” explains Hopgood.

Both men and women can cheat emotionally, though a 2019 study on infidelity suggests women are more likely to be upset by emotional affairs compared to men, who are more likely to be upset by physical affairs.

Does flirting always lead to cheating?

Flirting does not always lead to cheating. Flirting is a natural response to feeling attraction, but the outcome is within your control.

It may be OK to flirt with others when you and your partner have an open, clear understanding that this is acceptable in your relationship.

Behaving in a way that your partner wouldn’t appreciate can be a clear sign that your flirting behavior is not OK.

Is flirting on text cheating?

If your partner considers flirting over text cheating, or if your messages would upset them, then yes — it may be considered cheating in your relationship.

Flirting can be cheating in many cases. It may hurt your partner and break trust with each other. But this is a decision that both you and your partner can make together: Is flirting cheating in our relationship? When is it and when isn’t it?

If flirting with other people, even via text, hurts you or your partner, it can be a problem. This is the case even if you feel you didn’t do anything wrong.

Open communication and clear expectations can help you maintain the boundaries in your relationship.

If you’re feeling guilty, find you’re engaging in secrecy, or feeling less connected to your partner in favor of another, flirting may have crossed into cheating territory.

When does flirting become cheating? 9 brake lights

What's wrong with flirting? Some people generally cannot help but flirt with everyone around them indiscriminately - they are cheerful, easy-going, and they are bored forever with a dignified and boring physiognomy on their faces. But at the same time, they are not at all going to cheat on their beloved. On the other hand, usually the “second half” is very skeptical of such an explanation, and there is also a life truth behind this: sometimes a person, having played like this, misses the moment when innocent flirting begins to threaten relationships. nine0003

How can we define the line, crossing which, we go beyond simple frivolous communication and betray our beloved? has compiled a list of nine warning signs indicating that you are about to cross this line. Before it's too late - stop and think about what you are really looking for in this communication! 1. When flirting becomes secret your chatter was not heard by those who can report it to your faithful. Most likely, your own instinct has already told you the main thing: your beloved will be upset if he finds out about this. To test yourself, you can put yourself in his place and imagine him just as innocently flirting with some (some) colleague. If at this thought you feel like you are sucked in the pit of your stomach, it's time to stop. nine0003

2. When the sexual connotation appears

Once again, your gut is the most reliable indicator. If you suddenly feel that your "innocent" communication excites and excites you too much, responding to your sexual fantasies (for which you may condemn yourself, but the very fact of their presence remains a fact) - this is already a frank sexual game on the side, which means - without five minutes of treason.

3. When communication takes too long

Not only the quality of communication - that is, what and how you chat - but also its quantity matters. It's one thing to have a couple of playful jokes with a colleague at the beginning of the day and easily get distracted by work, and quite another to tail him all day, even on the subway, anticipating how much fun you will have together. And an even bigger whirlpool is online correspondence: some people admit that they sit in chat rooms with great pleasure at night, when a loved one has long been sleeping sweetly, and in total spend more time on such a “non-committal” activity, than with your lover or husband/wife. The more time you spend on such communication, the more emotional connections you have “on the side” and the deeper they are. nine0003

4. When it comes to self-justification

“It's okay, he's just a friend” are words that no one ever says to himself when it comes to truly innocent communication. If you needed to justify yourself to yourself, it means that something weighs on your conscience - in other words, you yourself understood and felt that you had crossed some important line. For ordinary friendship, if it really is “simple,” a person never justifies himself either to others or to himself. nine0003

5. When this communication meets your deep inner needs

It also happens that flirting on the side is actually much more than just flirting. It becomes a significant part of life, receives a huge amount of emotional “investment”: you actually put a lot of effort into this seemingly frivolous communication, you expect a lot from it, it fills some empty area of ​​​​your life, gives you a huge return, during such With seemingly fleeting chatter, you feel completely free and can trust the person you are flirting with with thoughts and experiences that you do not share with your partner. This is the most dangerous case: in fact, betrayal has already taken place, even if there were no sexual encroachments at all. Ask yourself how did you come to this, what kind of crisis is happening in your main relationship, why did trust and warmth disappear from them and you began to look for it even in such an unreliable area as casual flirting with a stranger? nine0003

6. When discussing your relationship or your partner

Innocent flirting is great when it's abstract and doesn't deal with any concrete realities of life. Discussing your relationship and your partner's personality is simply disrespectful, especially if it is done in an ironic or mocking manner, or you talk about things that your partner would rather hide, or even embellish. Imagine if your loved one heard this conversation in its entirety: would you repeat it all? If a deep resentment pushed you to this, it is worth discussing it directly with the offender, and not with a random person. nine0003

7. When your lover doesn't like this interaction

The simplest warning sign is your partner's disapproval. In general, if you notice him or if a loved one directly tells you that he does not like your communication with X, then what other stop signals are you looking for? Everything already indicates in the most obvious way that your flirting threatens your relationship. You should not try to defend your position or overstubborn the "too jealous" partner - then the fact of the conflict due to your communication on the side will speak for itself. Try to prioritize and not risk your relationship with the person you truly love. nine0003

8. When your friends start to worry about this communication

When a good friend says “Have you forgotten that you are married?” These are not empty words to be dismissed. Jokes are jokes, but from the outside, the distortions in your communication and disharmony in relationships are very noticeable - sometimes better than from the inside. Your friends are great at seeing when you start talking too much about someone or how your mood changes when you receive a text message. So the question should be taken literally - really, have you forgotten that you already have a loved one? nine0003

9. When you lie to yourself about your own intentions

Things don't always go as smoothly as you'd like with your partner. The other person is often more demanding than we are comfortable with. If he persistently hints that you should go to the gym more often - what would be the easiest way not to be offended and not upset? Much easier than signing up for a gym is to find some admirer who is not stingy with compliments and will show you in every possible way with all his behavior that you are beautiful without any gym. From the point of view of self-esteem, this is the search for that very notorious “comfort zone” where you again feel loved and desired. But it is important to understand that such flirting on the side is simply dishonest in relation to all participants in the situation: and to the one with whom you are flirting - because in fact you are not looking for fun and joy in communicating with him, but simply trying to encourage him at his expense. own ego; and to your loved one with whom you are in a relationship. If only because you ignore his criticism and at the same time move away from dialogue, instead of explaining what offends you and smoothing out the contradiction; and to yourself, because in the end you will have to make excuses for what you did not even try to do. You just wanted to hear how wonderful you are, and you will be accused of treason and betrayal. Or worse, you'll get carried away, won't be able to stop (because it's really nice to listen to!) and, in the end, ruin your own relationship. So the original substitution of intentions is definitely a very bad impulse to innocent flirting. nine0003

The material was provided by the portal especially for MIR 24.

Is flirting considered cheating: exploring the boundaries of what is permitted


Most likely, you have at least once been jealous of your partner for at least someone. That girl from the party. Saleswoman who makes eyes. Followers from Instagram (an extremist organization banned in Russia). But you have no proof, and the guy claims he's just being friendly with them. nine0003

You believe him, but you can't understand when looks become too unambiguous and likes become a way to express sympathy. In other words, when does a pleasant conversation turn into a threat?

To answer the question of the article, you need to decide:

  • What is flirting?

  • What is cheating?

What is flirting?

Dictionaries give two definitions: "love courtship" and "coquetry" . Even if these two words are synonymous in the text, there are differences in real life. Let's start with courtship : flirting is supposed to be the initial stage of a relationship. But not all couples flirt, and not every flirtation ends in a wedding. In addition, it also happens that one interlocutor flirts, and the second just keeps up the conversation.

This smoothly flows into the second definition - coquetry . Some people are flirtatious by nature: they enjoy smiling, complimenting, and interacting with lots of people. And if such a person communicates with a similar person, there will be no misunderstanding. But, if such a coquette collides with a closed introvert, misunderstandings cannot be avoided. nine0003

For everyone, flirting begins and ends at different points: for some, the look “already yes”, for others the kiss is “not yet”.

What is treason? VP Maria Sullivan says there is no single definition for everyone: "Cheating is any active behavior that you'd rather not tell your partner about" . It can be anything - talking, texting or flirting, but it is generally accepted that cheating is related to the physical - that is, kissing, touching or sex. nine0003

There is also emotional betrayal, when a person, being in a relationship with one, spends so much time, effort and resources on another person that the first one feels abandoned. But flirting is not the same as emotional cheating. In the second case, your trust goes to another person, in the first case, it is still with you.

What is the result:

People's communication can be interpreted in a million different ways - that's why we are all different. To understand that you are cheating on a guy, answer the questions:

The same is true in reverse, for example, when you want to understand your boyfriend's intentions.

It happens that they just talk politely with you or try to make friends, and not kiss. Do not be afraid to ask directly: if this is not flirting, then they will calmly tell you about it. It may be awkward, but certainty is better than misunderstanding.

If you know that you yourself are not averse to flirting, then your partner needs to know about such a trait.

At the same time, try to indicate what exactly gives you such frivolous communication. We all need approval from the outside, compliments and proof that we are beautiful and desirable. By flirting to boost your self-esteem, and not to destroy someone (or your) relationship, you are not doing anyone any harm. nine0003

Editorial opinion:

photo editor

There is no exact answer to this. There are people who, like air, need to please everyone, so they flirt with everyone and everywhere, often without even noticing it. Basically, flirting is communication.

And what is treason? This is not the process itself, but its concealment from a permanent partner. I do not believe that if one half flirts with the other, then the problem is in the other partner. For me, the problem is precisely in this person who flirts: it means that he has some kind of internal complexes that he is trying to solve. nine0003

No need to sort things out, trust yourself. If you feel bad with a person, just leave. Or another option: you don’t like how the person behaved, you tell him “I don’t like it, if it happens again, I’ll leave.” It repeats - you leave. Is it difficult? And you will be happy.

fashion editor

Flirt! Such a simple and complex topic at the same time. Indeed, there are people who always need the attention of others. This is felt almost immediately, and you need to take into account the peculiarities of the human character. Are you ready for the fact that your partner will always be in the spotlight? Do you trust him enough to not be jealous, does he give you this confidence? nine0003

There are also those who naturally attract attention without flirting on purpose.

Often, if a person treats others attentively and kindly, jokes and evokes pleasant emotions, others may perceive this as flirting and give a response. Here you need to immediately understand that a person is responsible only for his own emotions, but not for others. Ideally, if such a person sees that his courtesy was perceived differently, then he explains that this is only part of his nature, but nothing more. nine0003

I say this because I myself often find myself in similar situations, and in this case you just need to be honest with yourself, with others and with your partner. But I also know those who find it difficult to refuse, who are afraid of hurting the feelings of another - these people have real problems. This topic needs to be explored.

There is nothing critical in the very phenomenon of flirting, the attention of other people helps a person feel needed. And in a long-term relationship, when all your attention is directed to one person, you get used to it, and so on, and flirting helps to add spice to life. Inspired by another person and his interest in yourself, you feel your strengths, whether it be intelligence or an attractive appearance. nine0003

Flirting, like any other praise, is a kind of social encouragement, without which it is difficult for a person to live.

Another thing is when flirting is obsessive or hidden. Neither showing this kind of flirting to or from your partner nor hiding flirting is a pleasant thing to do. If your boyfriend or girlfriend is chatting with someone in the corners, it is unlikely that anyone will like it.

It is logical that prolonged flirting can develop into sympathy, and sympathy into betrayal. And sometimes it is not the physical, but the spiritual process of this transition that is more painful. When a person, being in a relationship with you, continues to identify himself with the status of "actively searching." It is sad and unpleasant to realize that a partner with someone is more interesting, happier and more pleasant than with you. In this case, you need to honestly talk about your emotions and either come to a compromise, or leave the person for someone to whom he can give all of himself.

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