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The Heart Beat The Heart Beat blog

Is kissing cheating? Some men don't think so

A poll shows men have a much looser definition of infidelity.

By Kristin Wong Feb 7, 2013 4:51PM

When it comes to infidelity, men and women can generally agree on one thing—having sex with another person is cheating. 

But from there, the definition varies between the sexes.

Photo: Is kissing cheating? / Russell Underwood/Getty ImagesOnline dating sites ChristianMingle.com and JDate.com recently released a report titled, "State of Dating." It included a survey of 2,700 singles, asking them what they believe constitutes cheating. All of the women polled—100 percent—said that kissing someone else is an act of infidelity. However, lots of guys weren't on the same page. Only 86 percent of men agreed that kissing is indeed cheating.

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The differences didn't end there.

Some experts say emotional infidelity is worse than having a sexual affair. Last year, The Heart Beat talked to infidelity expert Ruth Houston, who explained:

"Emotional infidelity will cause one partner to leave the other partner, even if there's no sex involved. That is a situation from which, probably, you will never be able to recover."

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But survey respondents were less worried about emotional cheating, with 77 percent of women deeming it infidelity, and only half of men (55 percent) feeling the same way.

"Most affairs start with a friendship," Houston added. "If an emotional affair goes unchecked, it will become a physical affair if the opportunity presents itself."

Eighty-two percent of women also said online flirting or texting counts as cheating. Not surprisingly, only 56 percent of men agreed.

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Tell us what you think—is kissing cheating? Does an emotional affair as bad as a physical affair?

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Photo: Russell Underwood/Getty Images
77Comments
Feb 22, 2013 6:29AM
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Yep!  An emotional affair is Just as bad, I know It happened to me after 12 yrs of marriage
Feb 22, 2013 6:15AM
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I just had a discussion about why cheaters cheat. Some people cheat because they have some un-addressed issues going on. Others need to feel like they matter. They need emotional needs met that have left them feeling insignificant in their relationship. Then there are those that are in a position of power. Their reason ego stroking! They are the great I am and I can have what I want.

 

Of coarse the grass is always greener when there are no strings attached. They listen to you when you talk, always glad to see you, find time to meet you and cater to your needs emotional and physical. Its real easy to do that for a person that you have no real life ties to. While your out playing, the person you left at home is busy with the children and house hold duties. They probably work outside the home as well. Leaving them tired at the end of the day, With little to no time to play with or pamper your ego.

 

Have you ever considered coming home and helping to get things done so that you both can meet each others needs. Take time and consider all that we do in a day. Your relationship had to have started out good to even be together. Find out what you can do to get back there. Instead of arguing and pointing finger at each other, do a self analysis and figure out what is your roll in the break down of the relationship.

 

Find ways to have discussion when your upset about something instead of biting each others head off. In stead of arguing with my husband I email him or text him when i'm upset. That way I can monitor what I say before I send it. Don't let your discussions always be about the wrong they are doing, tell them the things they are doing wright. Let them know you appreciate them, slow down five seconds and give them a kiss and a hug instead of a frown and a growl. Once something is said  or done you can't take it back.

Cheater or cheating prospect instead of talking with your cheating accomplice sexy and nice, try doing that with the one that washes the skid marks out your undies. Instead of emailing or texting dirty pictures and naughty notes to the other person, send it to the one that cleans the toilet behind you. No, their job description doesn't sound sexy or enticing but they love you enough to be doing it. So don't you think they deserve a spouse to appreciate them by not cheating. Before you find yourself in a situation that has gone to far take a step back and think about how it would feel if the shoe was on the other foot.

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A lot of men don't see online talking/flirting as cheating.  My husband was talking to 5 women and even planned on going to see one in florida.  When I replied back tot he 4 of them apologized and said that they didn't know he was married and even went so far as to send me copies of their complete conversations.  i should have left him at that point but I stayed (my bad) because I never trusted him again.  Sorry to say that his infidelity never stopped until the day I told him to leave.  The funny thing is I met him online.  Now that I am online dating again I have a hard time trusting any BS that is said. 

Feb 22, 2013 5:22AM
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When you start looking around thinking the "grass is greener" elsewhere, you are in trouble, but you probably won't realize it.  It's a sign you have emotionally "checked-out" of your relationship, probably because you are unhappy - again, you probably won't be conscious of it.  If you don't get to the source of what is making you unhappy and try to fix it, you are headed for divorce.  Naturally, you'll realize THAT once you get there.
Feb 22, 2013 3:35AM
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My husband had an emotional affair but to this day denies that is what it was. But if you look up what an emotional affair IS he did everything listed on every site I looked at. Then he  blamed ME because I found out. It was MY problem! He didn't understand the depth fo the pain he caused, the betrayal I felt. Mostly because during that time I broke from me. We have not had intercourse since July '12. He defended himself by saying I have friends that text and call me. And YES I do, And YES some ARE of the opposite sex, but the difference is, I don't erase my text messages, I tell him who is calling and WHAT was said if I am not in the same room. I have NEVER hidden anything from him. I later found out that he had begun ;this affair months before I found out. She came to town and they went out together, of course I was invited but I was so hurt and angry for his deceit and lies that I refused to 'join in the fun' of going to an amuzment park. Which he thought would be great because her kids and grandkids were coming as well. This mean that I was not only going to be expected to baby sit the grandkids, I would be subject to having to witness him flirting with her all day. I refused to go. I have had TWO heart attacks, I can not ride amusement rides. WE are both 50 years old, so this is not like a teenage love affair. He shut down, treated me like I was a housekeeper. Would wear his headphone and ignore me every evening to shut me out. He would not allow me to sleep in his bed. So I moved into another room. It took me WAY too long to made up my mind, I still thought we could work it out. But take it from me. If you can not accept what a person has done to you, if you have lost your trust, you might as well move on. After 12 weeks of marriage therapy which he only attended to humor me. Nothing changed, He never aplogized because to him since they had not had sex, he did not cheat.  He will find out what he lost once I leave, and leave I will. I found a place and am moving March 15th. 2013. I will never trust him again. He is a trucker and has too many opportunities and too many temptations. He is addicted to porn as well and can't live without it. I should have left one year in but I didn't because of my kids. That is the dumbest reason to stay.
Feb 22, 2013 2:37AM
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If you have actually sat down and talked to your partner about what your relationship IS--which most people I know who are in relationships do not do--and communicate with one another what you want from them, I think it goes from there.  It's hard to tell, though.  And for me, the idea of cheating should be considered on a case-by-case basis.  Just because one person believes a certain behavior is cheating does not mean the same thing for the next person.

We as human beings need to learn to be direct and talk to one another.  This isn't about mind reading or knowing some universal truth where EVERYONE knows what is cheating and what it is not.  It's our responsibility to take our relationships seriously enough to at least know what we're getting ourselves into.  At least at that point, you will have a reference to go off of should the unfortunate situation arise.
Feb 22, 2013 1:58AM
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Not all men are cheaters and the excuse that it's human nature for a man to cheat is BS.  What's worse are men who cheat then blow a gasket at their spouse who even looks at another guy.  Dirtbags are giving the rest of us a bad reputation.

Feb 22, 2013 1:52AM
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women were created to serve men both sexually and mentally, whether you believe in god or in evolution. 
Therefore,  a woman does not have a right to complain in a relationship; she exists purely to serve the man.
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