In the past, the question of what qualified as cheating in a relationship was pretty clear. If an individual in a relationship had connected emotionally, physically, or both, with someone other than their significant other, they were cheating. If they were then dishonest about it, that only made the situation worse because they were continuing their relationship as if nothing had happened, leaving the other person who is invested in the relationship, in the dark.
Now, in the age of internet, the lines of what qualifies as cheating and what doesn’t have been blurred. Many people participate in “sexually-related” conversations or activities on the internet, not knowing whether that activity qualifies as cheating or not. They might be interacting with people they know personally, but often it is with total strangers. So then, is it cheating? I tend to look at any dishonest activity in a relationship to fall somewhere along the lines of cheating. But why is that? What consequences from these actions can hurt the other person?
There Shouldn’t Be a Need
One of the most obvious things wrong with participating in “cyber sex” while in a relationship is the fact that you should be getting what you need from your partner. If your needs are not being fulfilled by your partner, it might be time to have a conversation with them, or maybe to re-evaluate the relationship as a whole. While many people argue that participating in “cyber sex” says nothing about their personal life and that it is just another form of entertainment, it is odd and troubling that you think and act as though you can’t get what you need from your relationship.
You Can Get Emotionally Attached
Another issue with “cyber sexting” is that what may start out as just a way to fulfill sexual needs may actually turn into something more. People sometimes get attached to their online partners because they are often communicating on an intimate level. When in a relationship, this is completely unfair to your partner who probably has no idea that this activity is going on.
Your Actions Could Hurt Someone
While you may mean no harm by participating in this activity, and you may even be good at hiding it from your significant other, ultimately, you are hurting them a great deal. If they happen to never find out about what you are doing, and you do get emotionally attached to your online partner, they may notice you slipping away from them. And if they do find out about your online activity, that can hurt even more because they will know exactly what is pulling you away from them. Your online partner may also be in a relationship hurting their significant other in a very similar way.
In the end, you may also be ultimately hurting yourself. By choosing this internet connection over your very real relationship, you may push your significant other away. You may even think that what you have with this online partner is real, give up your current relationship for a person who you know only through a very limited and artificial situation, and end up losing everything.
Is it worth it?