Have you ever cheated on a girl?
If your first impulse is to give an excuse (“We never said we’re exclusive!” or “She was out of the country!”), then listen up: Women hold the reins in determining what counts as cheating. After all, we’re the ones who decide whether or not to forgive you once you’ve crossed the line.
To help you guys out, we asked the Men’s Life Today Girl Panel™ to draw that line. Sadly, it appears to be a moving one, depending on whom you ask. There are a few shared beliefs, though. For example, swapping spit with another woman is definitely cheating. And a lot of behaviors, while not technically cheating, are still grounds for saying buh-bye. While these girls seem to be all over the map, we advise the following: Assume yours is on the conservative side. That way, you can’t screw up.
|Jaye, 23||Lawrese, 22||Angela, 24||Michelle, 27||Christina, 23||Arielle, 25|
Define cheating in 50 words or less:
“If you’re with another girl and doing something you wouldn’t do in front of me (beyond a little harmless flirting), then it’s probably cheating. Another good test? Ask yourself, ‘Would I mind if she was doing this with another guy?’” — Michelle
“Being intimate — emotionally or physically — with someone else.” — Arielle
“You have to have the boyfriend/girlfriend title. I don’t care if you’ve been hooking up consistently for a year straight. You can’t be pissed at the guy for hooking up with someone else when you ‘give it away’ without a title!” — Jaye
“It’s not cheating if one person thinks they’re together, and the other doesn’t. That’s just miscommunication.” — Lawrese
Does checking out another girl count as cheating?
“Being in a relationship doesn’t mean you go blind or that other people become suddenly less attractive. You can look all you want, as long as you don’t touch.” — Lawrese
How about flirting with another girl without mentioning you have a girlfriend?
“If it’s kept to a one-time flirtation — no numbers exchanged, no touching — then I don’t see the harm.” — Michelle
“Flirting is healthy. It lets people feel like they still ‘got it’ even though they’re off the market.” — Lawrese
“It’s not cheating, but if it’s conscious and it’s in an effort to get the other person attracted to you, then it’s very shady.” — Christina
Kissing another girl?
“Kissing a girl on the cheek to say hello or good-bye is fine, but ANY other kind of kissing is so cheating and so not OK!” — Jaye
Talking to your ex-girlfriend without informing your current girlfriend?
“If you just want to remain friendly with your ex-girlfriend, that’s fine. But if you’re still interested in her, or if she still wants you, that is unacceptable.” — Angela
“It’s not cheating; it’s just a dick move. And if you’re doing that, who knows what else you’re doing that is cheating?” — Jaye
Dancing with another girl?
“As long as you’re not grinding your junk all over the girl, it’s fine.” — Jaye
“If you dance with another girl in front of me, that’s not cool.” — Angela
Going to a strip club?
“As long as you don’t lie about it and don’t ask for any private dances, there’s nothing wrong with a little visual voyeurism — as long as I can pursue the same.” — Lawrese
“If you’re going once a week, it may not be cheating, but it’s definitely a deal-breaker. Ew!” — Michelle
Watching or looking at porn?
“Definitely not. Boys will be boys!” — Michelle
“We’d actually be more concerned if you weren’t watching porn.” — Lawrese
“It’s not technically cheating, but if it becomes excessive and interferes with daily life, then it’s a problem and grounds for breaking up.” — Christina
What counts as “emotional cheating”?
“Harboring feelings for someone else, and then getting close to her to act on those feelings — that’s playing with fire.” — Lawrese
“When a guy forms a relationship with another girl. Even if it starts off as a friendship, if he begins to favor that person and spend increasing amounts of time with her, it can be worse than physical cheating, because that could be purely sexual.” — Angela
“Talking via phone, text, IM, email, etc., without the knowledge of your partner — especially when confiding personal secrets and problems to the other person — is emotional cheating.” — Christina
If your boyfriend cheated on you, would you want to know about it?
“Yes! Why would I want him to get to away with that?! And I would want to tell his friends and his family — yes, his family! — and embarrass him.” — Jaye
“I would need to know, and then I would most likely break up with him.” — Arielle
“I would rather find out from him than from someone else, or not find out at all.” — Christina
Could you forgive your partner for cheating?
“I don’t know. It would be nearly impossible to get over.” — Arielle
“No. I would never be able to trust him again. I can’t be with someone I don’t trust.” — Angela
“I’d definitely be more likely to forgive him if we were together for a long time (more than 3 years) or if we were married.” — Michelle
“Nothing is forgivable when it comes to cheating. Period. Once a cheater, always a cheater.” — Jaye
If you could forgive your partner, how could he make it up to you?
“Time … flowers … more time … undying attention … and a lot more time.” — Michelle