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|Written by Miss Smartypants|
|Monday, 21 March 2011 00:00|
Dear Miss Smartypants,
What is cheating? Whenever I read advice columns or sex columns about open relationships, I think, "But that's cheating." But whenever I watch tv shows where one person kisses another person and the partner flips out, I think, "Whoa, it's just a kiss." I feel like I need a dictionary definition to reconcile these ideas. Can you give me a ruling?
Kissing Isn't Cheating, But Sex Is?
Dear You're On the Right Track,
Bad news: I've got no dictionary definition for ya. If both people want to be in an open relationship and are comfortable pursuing one, then it's not cheating. Of course, those people may want to draw up some specific rules about their openness, and, yes, someone may end up with hurt feelings. But that's between them. If they don't think it's cheating, it's not.
Sounds like you don't think kissing is cheating. Then guess what? It's not. At least not for you. I don't know if you have a partner or if your partner shares your opinion, but you should share this opinion with you partner if you are in a serious relationship and particularly if you are going around kissing other people like it's okay. See, that's the thing about cheating. Cheating's whatever you both agree it is. So if kissing's okay, every day's New Year's Eve, but, if it's not, then you should defer to the lesser portion, and keep your lips to yourself if you want to keep your partner.
Basically, if you want permission to do anything physical outside of your relationship, talk it over with your partner. Get consensus on what you can both live with (bearing in mind that you might have to start with nothing and go from there). Anything above and beyond is cheating. For some, that's sleeping with the same person twice; for others, a gaze held for a beat too long is too much.