While we traditionally think of cheating as a purely sexual thing, the term actually has a lot of applications in relationships FAR beyond hooking up with someone else or having an affair. There are actually A LOT of non-sexual ways to cheat - are you guilty of one of them?



1. Watch An Episode of a TV Show You Two Are Watching Together...Without Them

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The dark side of "binge-watching" TV is clearest when it comes to relationships - you and your partner decide to start watching a show on Netflix or Hulu, and inevitably one of you is going to be WAY more into the show than the other. While you both like the show and want to continue watching, one would rather go at a slower pace than the other...and then the cheating starts.

"Well, that last episode of Breaking Bad ended on a CRAZY HUGE cliffhanger - just because Devin has to go to bed early so he can get up at 6am to make that breakfast meeting doesn't mean I shouldn't be allowed to watch it, right? I'm gonna be up anyways, and I'm not even gonna be able to sleep because my mind will be racing about what happens next. Okay, okay - I'll just watch ONE more episode, juuuuust to settle my mind."

But one episode leads to two episodes and....well, sometimes way beyond that. A full-fledged affair - and you end up having to pretend to have not seen these episodes when your partner finally says "Hey, we need to watch the next episode of Breaking Bad!" and you have to pretend to be surprised. Or - god forbid - you forgot to finish the episode entirely, your partner hits play and the episode starts at the end credits and THE WHOLE THING IS EXPOSED.



2. Scrolling More Than a Month Back In Someone's Timeline...Who You Think Is Kinda Hot

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Social media offers a lot in the way of temptation - you can peruse the photos and videos of friends, slight acquaintances, former co-workers, and weird Russian spambots that have only uploaded one bikini picture but you still accepted the Friend request because you were too lazy to unfriend them after you accepted the initial request. There's something weirdly mesmerizing about going into someone's Facebook or Instagram feed and basically getting a rundown on their life - you find out who their friends are, where they go on vacation, and DAAAAAMN how hot they look in nicely-filtered beach photos.

"Cynthia Tammerson? How do I know her? I think she's Chaxler's old roommate's ex or something? Well, couldn't hurt to doublecheck by clicking on her profile.... (several minutes of scrolling later) Wow, her trip to Cabo looks great. Not as cool as her trip to St. Croix last year but still pretty cool. (even more minutes of scrolling later) Wow that's a lot more sideboob than I thought you'd show at a graduation ceremony but whatever.

...Jesus Christ I need to delete my browsing history ASAP."

You've allowed your curiosity to take you down a dangerous path - what if you accidentally liked one of this person's old photos from 6 months ago? One of the ones where she's wearing a bikini and there's almost a nip showing? There's only one solution: delete your browsing history, shower off the shame, and keep your Facebook usage limited to clicking the cry-laugh emoji on videos of puppies trying to go down playground slides.



3. Eating Food They Can't Due To Allergy Or Medical Condition

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Living with someone with a severe peanut allergy or Celiac's disease isn't the biggest deal, but it can be tough - you generally don't want them to feel bad about what they can and can't eat, so (especially when you're cooking for two) you wind up avoiding the same foods that they have to avoid.

But here's the thing about denying yourself something in solidarity with your partner: you feel a little good about what you're doing, but it makes you want that thing SO FUCKING BAD. You can go months without eating peanut butter and not even thinking about it - but the instant it's like "you CANNOT eat peanut butter", your body wants it IMMEDIATELY (also - HOW good is chunky peanut butter? SO good, right?)

So maybe you grab some Reese's on your way to work, or start keeping PB&J materials in the office, or just friggin' GO TO TOWN on peanut butter cookies when your partner has to go out of town on a business trip. This is your dirty little secret - eating peanuts, in secret. And really, your partner probably wouldn't even care that you were doing it - they understand that their condition isn't yours, and it wouldn't be fair to deny you certain foods for no good reason. But your own guilt and shame make you keep it a secret, and then it's basically cheating.



4. Breaking Any Pact With Your Partner

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Lots of partners will make pacts with each other about things they won't consume for a while - maybe you both are doing a couple's diet, or if one of you is pregnant (probably a lady involved in the relationship, but - hey - I've seen Junior and can be open-minded), you both agree to not drink alcohol for the duration of the pregnancy (since she can't, you agree not to out of solidarity). You think the positive benefits of these and your strength as a couple will make it easy, but the truth is: it's not. Because eating fatty foods and drinking beer are both objectively awesome things, and not being allowed to have them due to an arbitrary agreement SUCKS.

Again, things just get more and more tempting when you're not SUPPOSED to have them - and this is different from stuff like foods that one of you is allergic to because theoretically either one could break this at any point.



5. Hang Out With Their Friends...Without Them

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When you enter into a new relationship, you semi-inherit your new partner's friends...to the degree that your partner is present, since they are the one common point of interest that unites you and their friends. But at some point, you may begin to actually communicate with these friends and form a genuine solo bond with them, unrelated to your partner. And, then, just maybe, you'll go hang out with them...without your partner.

Here's the thing: it's their friend. I'm not saying it's right or anything, but that's the way it is. For whatever reason, you're just not supposed to hang out with their friend without them, even if you and the friend have grown into regular pals yourselves. At most, you can be polite acquaintances who get along and are comfortable talking about Westworld together.



6. Talking To Their Parents...Unprompted

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One of the greatest betrayals possible in any relationship is talking to your partners' parents on your own accord. There's something instantly uncomfortable about knowing your partner and your parents are talking to one another - probably because those are the main people in your life who you're closest to and keeping the most secrets from. You don't want your parents telling your partner dumb stories from your youth that you prefer to keep in the past, and you don't want your partner revealing anything about your current life to your parents that you have been purposely hiding from them (e.g. the non-stop parade of lies everyone tells their parents to keep them from prying). So when your partner and your parents are communicating on their own accord (and without you present), there's a LOT of potential for things to be revealed to either party that you do NOT want revealed.

Honestly, I'd rather have my partner actually cheat on me than regularly talk to my parents.