The dictionary defines infidelity as "unfaithfulness to a sexual partner". Let's go over what is and isn't cheating:
1. Kissing another guy/girl
YES: Unless the kiss is just a quick peck on the cheek or lips.
2. Hugging another guy/girl
NO: Unless the hug is long and lingering and you're staring into each other's eyes.
3. Making out with another guy/girl
YES: It's safe to say, if you're breathing speeds up, you're probably cheating.
4. Telling another guy/girl you love them.
YES: Unless it's a friendly "I love you"- the kind people usually say at the end of a phone conversation.
5. Flirting with another guy/girl
NO: This can certainly be annoying if your partner is doing it, but it can't be considered cheating.
6. Chatting on the internet with a stranger
YES: Many relationships are breaking up these days because of people spending time online for hours with someone they haven't even met. If you have that much time to spare, you should be spending it with your real, live partner.
I think the best way to decide whether something you're about to do or have already done would be considered cheating is to ask yourself this: Would I behave in this way if my partner were standing next to me and could observe everything that happened? You have your answer.
Now, if you just found out you've been cheated on, what should you do? Finding out someone you trusted and believed in has lied can be devastating. Statistics show that women are more likely to forgive an indiscretion than men. That's unfortunate, because if someone cheats once, chances are, they'll do it again.
I'd like to look at infidelity in a whole new light. I actually think if you've found out your partner has been unfaithful, this is actually a good thing. Why? Because now you know who you're dealing with. My take on relationships is this: We've all cheated and we've all been cheated on. At some point, after several relationships that don't work out, you realize how difficult it is to find someone you really click with. Once you understand this, your outlook on relationships is: When I finally find someone that I think is "the one" and they feel the same, I'm not going to do anything to mess that up. It's not worth losing someone special, for a night of pleasure with someone else. This is the attitude of someone that's ready for a commitment. If you find out your partner has cheated, then, in most cases, that's not his/her attitude, because he/she was willing to risk losing you.
This is why you should look at infidelity as a good thing. You now know you and your partner are not on the same page. Instead of wasting months, maybe years, with someone that isn't right for you, you're free to look for someone that is right! Finding out about an infidelity doesn't have to be the end of the world. It can actually be the beginning of a whole new life.
Lucia is a dating and relationship expert, columnist, lecturer and host of the TV Show "The Art of Love".
With over 20 years experience on the relationship market, Lucia has dated men of all nationalities in six cities, four countries and two continents. Her practical know-how makes her the perfect candidate to dispense relationship advice ? after all, in almost every dating dilemma she has been there, done that and lived to tell about it.
For more articles or to ask Lucia a question, go to: http://www.theartoflove.net
To view a clip from the tv show, go to: Cheating