In most monogamous relationships, cheating sucks. It’s often considered the ultimate betrayal. And despite the two parties involved knowing it could hurt someone in the process, there are all sorts of reasons people follow through with it. But what if someone doesn’t even know they’re cheating?
According to a recent study by Superdrug’s Online Doctor, many people don’t exactly understand what cheating even is. The study surveyed over 2,000 people on what they think counts and found that 99 percent of women and 97 percent of men in America think having sex with someone else is infidelity. But that means there’s still one percent of women and three percent of men who think it’s totally fine to have sex with another person. The study also found that 2.4 percent of women and 3.4 percent of men don’t think oral sex is cheating. Furthermore, 11.5 percent of women and 19.3 percent of men don’t think making out is cheating. So what about groping? Shockingly, when it comes to heavy petting, 11.5 percent of women and 24.7 percent of men think it’s totally cool.
These kind of statistics will surely make you wonder: What do other surveys say? We dove into various studies, past and present, and found a slew of intriguing information. Apparently, cheating isn’t as black and white as you might think…
Is sexting considered cheating?
In 2013, Christian Mingle and JDate found that 82 percent of women and 56 percent of men said they considered sexting or online flirting a form of infidelity. In 2014, the sites found that the number of women who considered a flirty message was cheating dropped to 68 percent, while men reported a slight decrease to 51 percent. Perhaps this has to do with the dating culture today, as the idea of your partner chatting up other people on apps and social media isn’t so foreign anymore.
Is kissing cheating?
In 2014, Christian Mingle and JDate suggested that 90 of women said that “passionately kissing someone else” was wrongful, and 75 percent of men agreed. To top that, according to a 2013 study at the University of Michigan, which asked 456 students to rate 27 behaviors, 88.7 considered kissing to be cheating. All that said, another HuffPost/YouGov poll from 2014 found that less than half of people felt this way. We don’t know who they’re asking, but we suggest you ask your partner on this one.
Is forming a deep, emotional relationship cheating?
The HuffPost/YouGov poll shows that 70 percent of women considered forming a deep emotional connection with someone else was cheating. It makes sense that women who, on average are more emotional, would take this to heart more; but half of men agreed. The Michigan study also confirmed that 52.4 percent of people found it to be cheating.
Is going out to dinner cheating?
The Michigan study said that 41.4 percent of participants thought going out to dinner with someone else is immoral. Though another 55 percent surveyed for Glamour said that going on a date, like dinner, isn’t considered cheating.
Is reconnecting with an ex cheating?
The HuffPost/YouGov poll found that if a partner were to reconnect with an ex on Facebook, 26 percent of women would be upset compared to 21 percent of males. Elite Daily asked 100 men and women what they considered cheating and found that 56 percent would put this one in their list.
Is a one-night stand considered cheating?
A 2017 Deseret News poll found that 73 percent of Americans think a one-night stand is definitely cheating… Which, more shockingly, also means that more a quarter of people are cool with it.
Is having regular sex with someone else cheating?
That same Deseret News poll showed that 76 percent of Americans think having sex regularly is cheating… Which, again, means that about a quarter of people are cool with their partners regularly hitting it elsewhere.
Photo: iStock/Jacob Ammentorp Lund