The virtual world has made us relook at the cheating definition and also revisit boundaries that we set in relationships.
The concept of cheating is different in every relationship because what one can consider cheating the other doesn’t.
Texting your ex can be cheating if there are still feelings involved, if the texting goes beyond platonic communication, and if the texting involves expressions of feelings for one another.
Here are 10 socially accepted situations when texting can be considered cheating:
1. Sexting your ex
An exchange of sexual texts with your ex is a violation of one of the fundamental values within a monogamous relationship: exclusivity.
Although you might have not done anything in practice, sexting is just another stepping stone towards that as well.
Sexting and flirting via text messages discreetly will break your partner’s trust and will cause the same emotional rollercoaster the physical cheating would.
That is because your texts towards your ex contain sexual content that shouldn’t be said outside a faithful relationship and towards a partner which you claim you love.
2. When there’s a conversation you can’t openly discuss with your partner
You have fallen into the trap of hiding your phone when your partner is around or leaving the room when you get a call.
That’s because you’re being secretive about it.
If what you are talking to your ex isn’t something that you can share with your partner because that will hurt them, then you are most likely cheating.
Because those texts with your ex most likely are things that shouldn’t be shared because of the intimacy or even sexual intent they have.
Anything inappropriate that you’re texting to your ex, is considered cheating.
3. You’re being secretive and dishonest with your partner
Nothing good comes out of secrecy.
If texting your ex isn’t about surprising your partner for the better and you have to keep it a secret, then there’s something else going on.
Because the hiding itself indicates that something is going on that your partner has no idea about.
And by being left out, your partner will automatically think about the worst scenario.
Also, when setting up your boundaries, if texting your ex was considered cheating, then you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.
Respecting your partner’s values is important for a healthy relationship.
If you continue texting your ex in secrecy, your current relationship will suffer distancing from one another and slowly turn into a toxic relationship.
Anything that is texted without the knowledge of your partner that you know would cause hurt, disapproval, and breaking of trust is considered cheating when texting your ex.
4. You arrange plans to “hang out” without your partner’s knowledge
Making plans to meet your ex through texting without letting your partner know, is a betrayal of trust.
Now, combine that with flirting and sexting, and it turns into emotional cheating.
If you claim that your meeting was innocent and there was nothing that your partner should be worried about, there’s a question added:
Why would you hide it then?
It is okay to seek closure with your ex, or settle down what was left unsaid, but when in a relationship, your partner needs to be informed.
Emotional pain is something that no one wants to experience.
Even though your text exchange with your ex might have been “innocent”, if your intentions were not pure then texting your ex can still be considered cheating.
5. When you consciously share things about your relationship with your ex
Relationships are precious. Sharing anything about it with your ex will overstep the boundaries that you’ve set with your partner.
Oversharing your intimate moments with your partner through text with your ex is considered cheating.
Because those intimate moments are personal and shouldn’t be shared with the outside circle.
Your relationship is something intimate and delicate. Sharing details about it with your ex isn’t something that would make your partner happy.
Such actions will bring a strain into your relationship and cause emotional distraught, thus qualifying texting your ex as cheating.
6. Your texts have crossed your relationship boundaries
Boundaries are important in every relationship. The disrespect presented to them is the same as disrespecting the person behind them.
If your texts towards your ex contain something that you have both agreed upon that is unacceptable in your relationship, then yes, texting your ex is cheating.
Morals and values are to act as a guide for your relationship and create a safe space for the two of you.
The second those boundaries are overstepped by you texting your ex, that’s cheating.
Cheating emotionally with your ex via text is a hard thing to fathom because you restarted something that was meant to be a closed chapter.
7. You have started including your ex in your life more than your partner
When you start to pull away from your partner and find solace in texting your ex then you are cheating.
If you start texting your ex what once you texted your partner such as jokes, memes, flirty texts, and intimate texts, then you might want to reconsider your relationship with them.
Pulling away emotionally from your partner and creating that bond with your ex is considered emotional cheating.
If you have been consistently texting your ex, including late-night texts and calls while pushing your partner aside, then recheck your definition of faithfulness.
8. You believe your ex understands you better than your current partner
When feelings start to change towards your current partner, it is much better to let them know than to lead them on.
When love and affection are directed towards your ex via text then that is cheating.
You’re creating room for the potential development of the relationship with your ex.
The chances are slimmer of having a happy and healthy relationship with your partner if you are substituting your confider, which must be the role of your partner.
Thus, texting your ex is considered cheating when you start to blur the line of friendship and start getting addicted to your ex, once again.
9. You avoid taking responsibility for the choices you made
Denial is one of the coping mechanisms that can be used to distract yourself or your partner from your affair.
Because, like it or not, cheating is an ugly action.
Even when confronted, you get defensive that you are just friends even though you know that your thoughts are anything but friendly towards your ex.
You can’t be friends with someone that you are attracted to. Some signs that you’re attracted to your ex are:
- You nurture sexual intentions
- There is sexual tension between you and your ex;
- Continuous flirting;
When you don’t consider it as cheating and see nothing wrong with it, although your partner has already told you of their boundaries, texting your ex is cheating.
10. You hide your relationship from your ex
Cheating can also be considered when you’re texting your ex, yet you’re reluctant to share that you’re in a relationship with another person.
The problem with this lies within the secrecy and the way that this makes room for your ex to make a move.
It’s about the intention and the flow of the conversations you’re having with your ex.
You’re in a relationship, but you don’t want your ex to know about it because it might draw them away.
You’re cheating, knowing, or not knowing that you’re doing so.
What is emotional cheating?
Physical intimacy with another person outside of your relationship without your partner’s consent or knowledge is considered cheating.
That is the traditional and most common type of cheating.
However, nowadays with the rise of technology, texting your ex inappropriate texts that betray your partner’s trust even without ever being physically intimate is considered cheating too.
This situation can also be called an emotional affair as it has almost identical, and sometimes hurts even more than a traditional sexual affair.
That is because all of your feelings, sexual intentions, and affection that should be directed toward your partner are directed toward the ex.
Emotional cheating involves the development of romantic and erotic feelings towards the ex and the general closeness between the two that excludes their current partner.
The only way that you can identify emotional cheating is through the feelings that you as a partner feel when put in a situation of betrayal of trust.
What can I do to avoid unconsciously cheating through text?
Cheating has to do with unconsciousness too.
Sometimes we value our actions as unharmful towards our partner so that we avoid the weight of responsibility.
Flirting with someone will hurt your partner, even if you do it once, and of course, they will mind. Wouldn’t you mind too?
Sometimes we indeed cheat on them unconsciously because there was no clear discussion on what is considered cheating.
Therefore, you might continue to do something that you think is acceptable only to be called out on you cheating on them with your ex over text.
When starting a new relationship you must know where each one of you stands.
– State your boundaries at the beginning stages of your relationship so that there is a clear understanding of what is expected of one another.
When you have already set boundaries, it will be much easier to navigate your relationship and avoid what might hurt it.
Boundaries are never a bad thing to have since they can keep your actions on track, and not do something unconsciously like cheating through text.
– Revisit and make little changes since things are bound to change as your relationship progresses.
You will start being more lenient on some things and more rigid in others.
Therefore, when you feel like something needs to be discussed or if something you are doing seems against your beliefs, don’t hesitate to open a discussion with your partner.
Discuss things even if it’s professionally with the help of a therapist.
Nourish your relationship with open communication and gentleness.
– Avoid what can lead to an affair as you will unconsciously set up yourself for it.
It might start with something light and unharmful but it can quickly evolve into something big and painful.
So you shouldn’t set up yourself for an affair by reciprocating your ex’s behavior such as flirting, sexual jokes, or even hitting selfies with selfies.
– Don’t over-share intimate preferences as that is disrespectful to your partner since you’re giving room to your ex to openly disrespect them.
Avoid your sexual preferences or fantasies with your ex over text, followed by sharing your sex life.
That is something intimate and something not okay to be discussed with your ex. If done even though it’s through text, it is still considered cheating.
– Talk with your partner about what can be considered cheating over text as that might be something you might have overlooked.
It is important to know where you stand in such a matter so that you know what must be avoided to not ruin your relationship.
Also when being aware of what your partner considers cheating, you will immediately be able to identify if your behavior has crossed that line.
– Actively work on your relationship: be close to your partner.
Try to keep your relationship fresh and do new things that will pull you further together and have something in common to share.
Spice up your relationship from time to time as that will bring you further away from boredom and also be a contributor to making you happy.
All in all, texting your ex is considered cheating when your partner is hurt emotionally and the content and intention of your texts are sexual.
Sometimes it is hard to recognize your wrongs.
Let your boundaries be your guide when deciding something is harmful to your partner, and what shouldn’t be done in the first place.