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News, Ethics

Survey Finds Cheating Via Text is Worse Than Cheating in Real Life

By Melissa Wall for HowAboutWe

When it comes to the definition of cheating, just about the only thing that all couples agree on is that if you have sex with someone else, that counts (and even then, it all depends on the kind of relationship you have). Still, in an era of digital personalities and cyber-encounters, there are myriad different ways to get into a cheating gray area. Like Facebook messaging exes. Or going into sexy chatrooms. Or sending R-rated texts.

Plus: How to Have the ‘Define the Relationship’ Talk-Minus the Awkwardness

So what is “cheating,” and what is not? The answer, of course, is purely subjective, and depends on the comfort level of each person in the relationship. Still, it’s always good to know what everyone else thinks.
And thus the Huffington Post, in partnership with YouGov, set out to poll 1,000 U.S. adults about what they consider to be adulterous behavior. Here are some highlights of the findings:

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– 60% say it’s cheating if you form a “deep emotional connection” with someone else.
– 48% would consider it cheating if their partner kissed someone else on the lips.
– 24% said messaging an ex on Facebook equals cheating.
– 24% would consider it cheating if their partner went to a strip club.
– 79% of respondents said sending sexy texts or photos to someone else is cheating.

Plus: And the Single Most Confusing Text From a Man Is…

Yes, you read that right – less than a quarter of people have NO PROBLEM with their partners going to strip clubs, but almost 80% say it’s cheating if you send someone sexy texts. And many of the people who said it’s cheating to text someone DON’T think it’s cheating if you kiss someone else on the lips.

It’s pretty indicative that there’s SOMETHING about text messaging that makes it such a target for anti-cheating vehemence. Somehow, sending messages to someone’s phone seems like a worse violation than kissing that same person in, well, person. The answer to this riddle may very well lie in the clandestine nature of texting – it’s an activity that can be kept totally secret, and can go on at any time. In other words, your partner could be lying on the couch with you, and sexy-texting someone else AT THE SAME TIME, and you would never know about it. The cheating may not exist in physical reality, but it’s a violation of the emotional space you share with your partner. Plus, there’s the glaring fact that sexy texting with someone else could easily lead to actual sex with someone else. Which, as we’ve all decided, is most definitely cheating. (Of course, physically KISSING someone else is still a much stronger indicator that things will lead to actual sex.)

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