Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Hovering


Cheating, cheating, cheating, cheating, cheating.

I used to have a really clear understanding of what cheating romantically meant; a husband (or wife, I suppose) who went and found a lover and had sexual relations with them over and over until either the wife found out, or the husband asked for a divorce.

If only it were that simple.

Cheating, in my mind, isn't quite as clear. It's something that hovers in a grey area that maybe changes with each person's moral code. Not sure what I mean? Me neither.

I've met a few people who were in a relationship when they met someone else. Having met this person, and having felt a strong connection to them, they've ended the relationship they were in to be with this person. Cheating? Maybe.

I've had dates with guys who've then told me "well, really I shouldn't see you any more because I have a girlfriend." Cheating? Hell yes.

I've had a relationship that started with cheating, I've had a relationship that I wish had ended when there was cheating, and I've had a relationship that I would never have guessed involved cheating, but I'd bet you dollars to donuts now that it did.

At some point in the past I remember having a conversation about flirting while in a relationship. I suggested it was a form of cheating and that I didn't like it. I think the counter-argument was something along the lines of "it's flattering and fun and harmless."

Not for everyone.

I've never understood how you could be in a relationship and meet someone else and like them so much you have to end your first relationship to be with them.

If your connection with your partner isn't that strong, why are you still with them? Convenience? And if your connection with your partner is that strong, why are you hanging out with people enough to find them attractive?

I know, I know, I'm oversimplifying, that's what you'll tell me, but isn't right right and wrong wrong?

I guess the way I see it is that if you're with someone, you're with them. And until you decide you no longer want to be with them, you don't open yourself up to the possibility of even considering someone else. You don't think about how charming the guy in your office is. You don't wonder what it'd be like to spend more time with that funny girl from your gym.

I think if you're in a relationship and you find yourself starting to focus less on how much you enjoy being in that relationship it's time to think about leaving. I don't think you get to stay in it until you find someone better and then leave.

I'm ranting, aren't I? I can tell. What's my point, me?

I don't want to be in a relationship again where I know the person might just up and move on if he suddenly met his soul mate, or suddenly realized he had a huge connection with the girl next door. I don't want to have the thought in the back of my mind that he's hovering, happy, but keeping his antennae up "just in case".

And sure, maybe sometimes it just happens. Maybe sometimes it's the tail end of an already doomed relationship and the new person just shows up and seems like a perfect reason to end things and move on. But I can't quite wrap my head around how that's not cheating. So maybe it is.

And maybe it's cheating when you never quite get over your ex, and never quite let her go.

I dunno. Just churning through the thoughts. Mulling over the past, wondering about the future.

You know how it is.

Added later: No, none of the people I'm not dating have cheated on me, don't worry.

17 Comments:

Blogger Alexandra said...

I've been thinking about this recently as well. My ex is now dating a person he met and was friends with at the tail end of our relationship, when things were pretty bad between us. He says he never cheated ( and I do believe him) but I cannot not wonder whether meeting her and seeing there are options there did not make him less willing to work on our relationship...

Tuesday, March 04, 2008 8:57:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love my fiance and care deeply about her but I also enjoy hanging out and dating other women. I come from a Latin culture (and have some money) so it is a little more accepted. My fiance is also latin and although she gets mad and does not approve of my ways she always takes me back. Although I am sure if I was broke my girl would've left me the first time I cheated.
In the end, I love my girl and will never leave her for any of the other girls.

I cant wait to marry her

Tuesday, March 04, 2008 10:28:00 am  
Blogger Princess Consuela Banana Hammock said...

thank you for putting my thoughts and worries on the subject into words. thank you!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008 10:58:00 am  
Blogger The Single Girl said...

Feelings are never a cut and dry/black and white issue are they?

I can't say I agree with everything you have said, but I can relate to not wanting to be with someone if they are just waiting for the soul mate or next person to come along.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008 11:08:00 am  
Blogger Laura said...

Victoria, so many things I could comment on here! Very interesting post. Personally I'm of the opinion that you're not cheating on someone if you're not actually in a relationship with them. You might hurt them, but if you have broken things off with them in order to be with someone else then it's not cheating. On the other hand, I do believe there's such a thing as emotional infidelity so if one person falls in love with someone while they're in a relationship with someone else, that would be cheating in my opinion even if there's no physical contact of any kind.

I feel really bad for my brother right now too... he's dating this girl that he really really likes. I've gotten to know her lately as well and I like her, but she confided in me the other day that she's not over her ex yet and that's why she and my brother are not exclusive yet. But then yesterday she asked my brother to become an exclusive couple, and I'm wondering what she's trying to do. Force herself to get over this guy by dating my brother? I don't know exactly where the moral boundaries lie here and I think my brother's going to get hurt :(

Tuesday, March 04, 2008 12:46:00 pm  
Blogger Victoria said...

Alexandra, I know exactly what you mean and how you feel.

Anonymous, I hadn't considered that there might be differing cultural tolerances to things like this, so thanks for your viewpoint. I hope you guys are very happy together and congratulations on your upcoming wedding : )

Princess CBH, as long as you don't mind me reading your mind and posting it! ; )

TSG, I often wonder how much simpler or easier things would be if feelings could be black and white. And, sometimes, I'm not sure that I agree with everything I've said either, but yeah, it's not a nice thought that a person might just be biding their time with you waiting for something "better" or something else.

Laura, it's certainly an interesting topic with a ton of little debatable aspects, eh? And, yes, I know what you're saying about emotional infidelity.

Man, oh, man, that's a tough situation with your brother. I wonder what the gal's intentions were "confiding" something like that to her boyfriend's sister, eh? Gotta make you wonder. I hope it all works out for the best for your brother : (

Tuesday, March 04, 2008 6:06:00 pm  
Blogger Saffa Chick said...

Hi - first comment here I think
;-).

I was in a failing relationship when I met my now fiance. For me meeting him was the trigger to let the other guy go - if I'd been happy with man #1 I would surely not have been attracted to man #2.

I didn't cheat on man #1 in any way, and I wasn't "waiting for the next soulmate", I just recognised when things were over.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008 6:06:00 pm  
Blogger Victoria said...

Hi Saffa Chick, yay first comment, yay! (Does the happy dance)

I hear what you're saying about the trigger and it's actually where my thoughts started from. My last relationship started while my ex was still technically in the tail end of a relationship. He knew it wasn't going to last and meeting me (he said) was his impetus to end things with her. I guess I just felt a whole lot of guilt about it since he met me while still with her.

Maybe I'm just nuttier than most!
; )

Tuesday, March 04, 2008 6:10:00 pm  
Blogger Ryan said...

Culture or not if I ever found my partner physically cheating I'd kick her out straight away. Who knows what they're bringing home if it's condoned!!

Emotionally cheating though is a little more difficult to spot, but I think women can tell it far better than men can. You can generally tell if someone's not that into you and their heart is elsewhere. And it doesn't take long before their emotions spill into the physical anyway.

I'm a simple bloke, if I date someone it's because I have the intention of marrying them. And for me marriage is something serious and for life. One man. One woman. One family.

No need to go playing around. If you can't be loyal to one throughout your life what makes you think you'll be loyal to another??

Tuesday, March 04, 2008 6:46:00 pm  
Blogger Victoria said...

Well said Ryan. ; )

Tuesday, March 04, 2008 6:53:00 pm  
Blogger George said...

I commented on this very subject at another blog just last week ... cheating is unacceptable and the cheater's ass should be kicked to the curbside. But what is cheating because we all have a different interpretation of the word.

I can accept flirting bacause I would not be in a relationship with anybody if I did not trust them. I have had this argument with several females who think that flirting is cheating, that watching porn is cheating, that looking at nudes in a magazine is cheating ... I think all of those are extreme and do not consider them to be cheating.

I have always been faithful to somebody I was involved with. Why? Because I made a committment. If I failed to keep that committment, then could she ever trust my word again? I wouldn't think so because I know that I could never trust her again.

Then there are those who have gone out and screwed another person behind the husband/wife/girlfriend or boyfriend's back and given the excuse that ... I just got caught up in the moment, it just happened, I had too much to drink and a hundred other bullshit excuses. Oh, it just happened? Like you dick sprang forth from your pants all by itself? Oh, she pulled it out of your pants did she? Did you try to stop her? Sorry ... it doesn't just happen ... you have to make a pretty conscious effort to start banging somebody.

If you need to start getting it from somebody other than your partner, then get out of the relationship first .... have some respect for him/her and yourself ... you'll maybe hurt the other person by breaking the relationship but it won't hurt as much as getting caught.

Rant over

Tuesday, March 04, 2008 7:03:00 pm  
Blogger Victoria said...

Oh George! I know I shouldn't be laughing, but "your dick sprang forth from your pants all by itself" just cracked me up. Probably because it's a hilarious image, but also because I know EXACTLY what you mean. The whole excuse of "it just happened" when you get physical with someone is BS. It doesn't *just* happen....it doesn't.
And yes, show some respect, get out first, and then go bonk.
And damn straight, be faithful to the commitment you made! (Ok, wait I'm starting to rant again...)

*deeeeep breath*

; )

Tuesday, March 04, 2008 7:15:00 pm  
Blogger Yvonne said...

dick sprang forth from your pants all by itself
omg! That totally cracked me up!
george, you rock!

V, I completely agree with everything you've said. Thank you for emptying my brain!

I don't feel comfortable flirting when I'm in a relationship. It just seems like I'm dishonouring my partner.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008 7:59:00 pm  
Blogger Victoria said...

(Wasn't that just the funniest thing? hee)

I know what you mean about the feeling of "dishonouring" your partner, but I'm guessing that feeling's not the same for everyone, you know?

I'm not trying to say I have all the answers, just how I feel,and it's sort of reassuring to hear from people who feel the same / a similar way. : )

Tuesday, March 04, 2008 8:28:00 pm  
Blogger Yvonne said...

george totally made my day!

It's quite something how some people interpret "cheating".

From my experiences with online dating sites, I would say that 70-80% of the "single" men who contacted me were in fact, married. (Apparently it's not cheating if noboby finds out?! Who knew?! Ugh.) Some were separated, but to me, that's still married.

I realize some people have flirtatious personalities and it doesn't necessarily mean they would ever cheat.

Okay, it's official. I'm done with relationships. lol

Tuesday, March 04, 2008 10:58:00 pm  
Blogger Ryan said...

Haha, loved George's comments (hehe), but I have to agree with the women George - I too, as a bloke, would consider flirting cheating.

If my partner ever decided to throw some flirtatious vibes to another bloke just for "fun" then her idea of fun is warped and very dangerous as nobody likes being played or teased... and the ramifications of doing so could lead women being raped and men in fist fights.

Play with fire and you may end up scorched.

Flirting is playing with fire.

Thursday, March 06, 2008 12:33:00 am  
Blogger Victoria said...

It's funny though, because I'm learning that everyone's understanding of what flirting is is slightly different.... which makes things confusing : )

Thursday, March 06, 2008 4:47:00 pm  

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