Thursday, March 10, 2005

A Fine Line

Some calls that came into the radio show I listen to in the morning have made me look at cheating in a new light. One of the host's friends met a guy from her past at an event the host had given her tickets to. The friend called the host to thank her and say how excited she was to be going on a date with this guy since he had the hots for her five years ago but she was married and he was too young for her then. Now, the situation was different and she was happy to rekindle the flame.

Hearing all this, the guy called in to say that the friend had the wrong idea. It wasn't going to be a date since he has a long-term girlfriend and that it was just supposed to be two friends catching up over drinks. The friend backtracked and pretended it wasn't as big of a deal as she originally made it out to be, though the guy had never mentioned the long-term girlfriend before that moment. He said he never had and never would cheat on his girlfriend.

A lengthy discussion ensued about whether or not he was cheating already even if nothing physical was happening.* I wasn't sure about it at that point. I mean, I go for drinks and meals with guy friends without my husband and in no way would either I or my husband consider those instances to be cheating.

Then the long-term girlfriend called in. She was sure her boyfriend wasn't cheating on her but she wasn't sure what to make of the situation and I could tell that she was uncomfortable about it. Then a female co-worker of the guy called in. She said that she thinks he walks a fine line between faithfulness and cheating. She said that she has had sexually explicit conversations with him that did not include anything physical. Now, would I call that cheating? I don't know, but it is definitely inappropriate.

I think that I am now forced to broaden my definition of cheating so that it includes this sort of behavior. If you are in an exclusive relationship and you have a conversation or an encounter with someone else, if you cannot recount that conversation word for word to your partner or you cannot describe that encounter to your partner in detail without discomfort, then you have behaved inappropriately. It's like foreplay to cheating and it is going to earn you a punch in the mouth if your partner is me.

*The producer of the show dubbed this sort of situation as "exploratory poonani." The guy is not cheating (physically) and might not ever cheat. He is just lining up some future poonani in case his current situation suddenly tanks.


Blogger Cindy-Lou said...

You are no fun at all.

8:23 AM  

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