Being cheated on is one of the worst experiences you can ever imagine in a relationship. It completely depletes your self confidence, your trust, and the foundation of your relationship. But it's not something you should constantly be waiting for either. I get that it's scarier to put your trust and faith in someone (along with your heart), but there are some things that definitely don't count as cheating and thinking that they do can ruin your relationship just as fast as an actual act of infidelity.
If something seems fishy or off in your relationship, I can understand why your radar might be up and you're looking to see if your partner is showing signs of being unfaithful. But more often than not, people assume the worst without considering the facts. If you and your partner have a good, healthy relationship and you're just looking for trouble, you're going to end up causing it. Trust is huge in a relationship and no matter what you say, if you're constantly looking for signs that your partner is cheating on you, then you don't trust them.
To help ease your mind, here are 17 things that definitely don't count as cheating in a committed, monogamous relationship. Some of them may warrant a conversation with your partner, but they are not guarantees that your partner is being unfaithful. And if you're looking for proof that your SO is cheating, then you might need to take a better look at your actual relationship.
I know so many women who consider this cheating and it boggles my mind. If you're uncomfortable with it or find it disrespectful to you, that's something you and your SO need to talk about. But to consider watching porn as your partner being unfaithful to you is wrong. They're not having sex with anyone else; porn is often just a way to relieve some stress or to help masturbate, not a way for them to cheat on you.
2Going Out With Friends And Not You
If you think this is cheating, I think you've got some major trust issues. Your partner is more than allowed to go out with their friends, even if you're not around.
3Texting Someone You Don't Know
You don't have to know every single person your partner knows, and you definitely don't have to be involved with their contacts. Maybe the person they're texting is a co-worker or a friend of a friend. Just because you don't know the person doesn't mean you can call your SO unfaithful.
4Having Friends Of The Same Gender They're Interested In
I'm into guys. I have a boyfriend. I have a best friend that's a dude. And you know what? It's not cheating. My boyfriend knows my friend, I have nothing to hide about our relationship, and I have no interested in my friend other than our platonic friendship. It's OK.
5Being Friends With An Ex On Facebook
Making a mountain out of a mole hill, girl. Not cheating. Hanging out with their ex and preferring to be with them than you? Probably. But knowing what they ate for dinner yesterday and that they are "so tired of the snow"? Not so much.
6They Value Their Privacy
You have no right to everything your SO has, whether it's their bank account, their phone password, or their Facebook. I refuse to ever have a joint social media account, but that doesn't mean I have anything to hide.
7Having Alone Time Instead Of Hanging With You
I thrive on alone time. It's how I recharge, and it's necessary to my well-being. This doesn't even count hanging with friends, it's strictly me in my bed with a book and a bowl of popcorn. But my boyfriend knows it's not cheating. Just because your partner says they need a night alone instead of coming to your place to Netflix and chill doesn't mean they are being unfaithful to you.
8Checking Someone Out
We all do it, ladies. Every last one of us. Is it rude? Sure. Can it make you feel bad to see your partner give someone a quick once-over? Of course. But it's not cheating.
9Going To A Strip Club
This can be a gray area for some, but it's one that I firmly believe is not cheating. Your partner can see naked bodies literally all day long, so there's not much of a difference in going to a strip club. If you're uncomfortable, of course you should speak up. But if your partner heads into one for a buddy's party and you call them a cheater, I think you need to relax.
10Not Checking In With You All Day Long
I don't believe in ghosting your partner, but your SO doesn't need to give you hourly updates of what they're doing and who they're with. If they go silent for a few hours, but you know they're out with friends, golfing, or shopping, then you need to chill.
11Getting A Lap Dance At A Strip Club
Again, this may need a conversation beforehand and that's OK. If you don't want your partner to get a lap dance, you need to explain why and how it makes you feel. Other than that, this is along the same lines as porn and going to a strip club; It doesn't mean anything.
12Telling A Friend About Your Relationship Problems
It feels like an act of betrayal, I know, but it's not cheating. If you feel disrespected when your partner tells a friend all about your relationship issues and problems, then speak up. That's an entirely different issue. But just because your partner shares their frustrations with a friend, especially if it's a friend of the same gender they're attracted to, it doesn't mean they're cheating on you.
13Talking To Someone At A Bar
If your SO is out at the bar, there's a chance that someone might strike up a conversation with them, even if you're nearby. If your partner answers their questions, it doesn't mean they're cheating. It's called being polite before letting the person know that they are in a relationship and, therefore, not interested in continuing to develop anything.
14Having A Top Five List
We all have one, right? The top five celebrities you'd sleep with if given the opportunity. It's a totally harmless, fun game and it doesn't mean your partner is cheating on you because they've thought about which celebrities they'd have sex with if they could.
Many people seem to think that if their partner masturbates, then obviously they don't want to have sex with them anymore and consider it cheating. Not the case. If your partner seems to prefer masturbation to sex, it might be time to talk. But a little self love is good for both your partner and your relationship, so quit panicking about this one.
16They've Cheated In A Relationship Before
I don't always buy that "once a cheater, always a cheater" philosophy. If you know your partner was unfaithful before, you have to decide whether you can deal with that and trust them anyway. If you can't, then neither one of you are going to be good for the other in a relationship.
17They See Their Children's Other Parent Without You
A more specific type of situation, but one that needs to be addressed. If you're in a relationship with someone who has a child, they're going to be in contact with their child's other parent. You can't think of the other parent as your partner's ex, and you can't look at their time together as cheating. There are going to be times where they meet up to talk about their kid's school, doctor visits, and general well-being and sometimes, you may not be there. But it's not cheating, it's parenting.