Is Online Flirting Really Cheating?

With it being so easy to chat with people online any time of the day or night, it can actually become confusing when simple conversations become a little too flirty. In the past flirting has included eye contact, brushing of a leg or flicking of the hair but what about the online dating world, where communication is mainly through text.

The question that has arisen since the explosion of online interactions of is whether it is OK to chat to people online when you have a partner. Well the simple answer would be that if you are engaging in a conversation online that you would not be comfortable with your boyfriend or girlfriend seeing, then you should not be having it.

But is it really that simple?

Flirty Woman

Many people hang out on sites like OkCupid for nothing but some flirtatious fun and to discuss fantasies that they would never even consider acting out in reality. They have no intention of meeting anyone or even giving out their real information, and simply see their online ‘dirty talk’ as if it were a dirty magazine or video. Other people find that chatting to a random person about sex or their personal issues is a good way of offloading their worries without any consequences.

Many feel that if you have no physical contact with someone then it cannot be classified as cheating. They will argue that you don’t even know if who you are talking to is who they say they are so there is not even a connection between you. I however have to disagree. Intentional flirting whether in the real or online world can be a strong sign that something isn’t so great in the relationship. If you or your partner is looking for attention elsewhere (even without any physical elements) then you should maybe ask yourselves the question as to why you are doing it.

The main danger of online flirting is that it can easily lead to more than a nudge here or an animated heart there. All it takes is one comment from either side and you could find yourself spiraling into something much deeper. If you simply find meeting people online entertaining, then chatting to your partner about the subject may be a good idea. Where you both want to draw the boundaries is really important. Is it OK to give out your phone number? Probably not. What about sending private messages? Many couples have their own standards about what classifies as cheating so just make sure that you know what lines you and your partner are comfortable with crossing.

From a single person’s perspective, I know that I wouldn’t feel comfortable chatting to a man online that I knew had a girlfriend, even if it was harmless textual fun.

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