Cheating, Love and Trust

"But if loving harder means constantly changing the boundaries of cheating, it’s evolution of love."

Cheating is wrong. When done in exams, financial books, reimbursements. But in love?

I’m sure most of my readers would agree cheating is wrong, very, very wrong. Unforgivable and unforgettable. How can someone break someone’s trust, right? How can someone be so selfish, how can someone lack self-control or how can someone not see the disastrous aftermath of cheating?

Wait, hang on here. Do you remember the friends’ episode where Joey’s dad is cheating on her mother and she’s completely fine with it? Do you know at least one real life story where someone has cheated and they are still happily together? Have you been a person who has cheated or been cheated on or cheated with?

Before I start, people who believe in orthodox ways of love should not read further. I respect everyone’s’ way of loving and all kinds of love are perfect!

Cheating is not right or wrong. It’s the definition of cheating that makes it right or wrong.

The first question I’m going to ask you is – what is cheating for you? Is it kissing, having a physical relationship, flirting or falling in love with someone? Will committing a one-time mistake also be cheating or conscious choice of being with someone else will be?

For example, some of us would even consider flirting as cheating. It might be or might not be the case for everyone. On the other extreme, some of us would not even consider having physical relationship with someone else as cheating, only an emotional involvement and “falling in love” is. For some people, getting attracted to someone outside the relationship will be considered a huge crime, whereas for some, it’s absolutely normal and healthy to seek out people of interest in their lives.

I wouldn’t advocate for one way or the other. I believe every relationship has an essence to it which demarcates what crosses the line of adultery. Essence, in ways which some of us would term “trust”.

Trust is when you know the partner won’t crossover to the other side of the line, a line defined by both of the partners together. It’s restrained by emotional or physical “brackets” in which a person can get involved with someone else.

And then again, the question will arise, what is love? If it can be shared both emotionally and physically with someone else? And this is where we know “unconditional love” is. It’s the act of being there, act of prioritizing, taking care of someone else. The partner’s involvement with someone else should not matter if it’s within the boundaries of trust defined.

But if loving harder means constantly changing the boundaries of cheating, it’s evolution of love. A couple who is fairly “open” at the start of a relationship might choose to become exclusive later on. A partner who falls in love with someone else can be accepted because he/she is happier (the case of Joey’s dad).

Like most of the concepts of young life, “love”, “trust” and “cheating” are fluid and evolves over time. If there’s only one easy definition of love, then it is what makes you and your partner happy and comfortable.