How do you define cheating?
In a recent Facebook post, a dating coach asked whether exclusivity meant mind, body, and heart. Can one be faithful and still think about sex with others? That’s a good question, and his readers debated it at length.
We all know what the act of cheating looks like physically. Are sexual thoughts about someone else also cheating? I say probably not (with a caveat you’ll see below), but many disagree.
The dating coach went on to say that if most men were truthful, they’d say they have fantasies or thoughts about other women. If a guy sees a good-looking woman, he might imagine her naked or think about doing something sexual with her—or not. If he does, it’s a fleeting thought, and he probably won’t remember it an hour later.
Even the most loyal, happily committed men have the occasional sexual thought about other women. Yes, they do. That’s reality. It may sound depraved, disgusting, or disloyal, but it’s not – it’s perfectly normal and natural.
And it’s not a big deal unless we make it one.
He doesn’t recall it afterward, remember? If you don’t believe me, watch your guy the next time he notices a woman and then ask him (in a non-threatening and non-pissed way, of course) about her a while later. He’ll look confused and say, “Huh? What woman?”
So don’t get bent out of shape about it, and don’t get pissed about it. He’s not doing it to irritate you. You’re the girlfriend or wife. You’re the one with the ring on your finger. Never lose sight of that. It would be easy to get anxious or upset about it, but there’s no need to. You’re the woman in his life – don’t forget it.
And if we women are honest, we do the same damn thing. Who didn’t fantasize about Patrick Swayze while watching “Dirty Dancing”? Or have lusty thoughts about Channing Tatum during “Magic Mike”? We have our celebrity fantasies, and we know men in real life we wouldn’t turn down if we were single. If you see a man with a nice chest, butt, or package walking down the street, what runs through your head? It certainly isn’t “I like those shoes”. So let’s not be hypocrites, ladies.
Do you remember these thoughts an hour or two later? Probably not. And is it a big deal? Nope. It’s a fleeting moment in time. Same with men, so don’t bust their balls about it or act like it’s wrong. You do it too.
Now some will say, “Melody, you’re full of shit. Affairs start with a thought.” That’s fair – it can and does happen. However, not every sexual thought triggers an affair, or there would be a lot more infidelity. Not everybody wants to act on what he or she thinks, but the thoughts are still there and probably always will be. To pretend or demand otherwise is silly and irrational.
Here comes the caveat I mentioned earlier. Is the fantasy fleeting, or is it recurring? If you (or your guy) have a fantasy about a particular person regularly, then you (or he) might be skirting the line, especially if that person is part of everyday life.
For example, fantasizing about a coworker is venturing into dangerous territory. You’re with that person every day, and those fantasies can quickly go from once a day to once an hour. It’s not a stretch to cross the line from thinking to talking to doing. And it can happen faster than you think.
That’s how affairs start, not by picturing the stranger in the mall doing something naughty and delicious to you.