You Cheat, I Cheat, We All Cheat.

What constitutes cheating? I’ve wondered about this ever since the discussion around the campfire in the L Word. And I’ve realized that for a lot of people, sleeping with someone else is the first and last straw. I think this is very interesting, because this begs a very simple question: are emotional and mental fidelity not as important?

I feel a relationship is built on three solid pillars: emotional, mental and physical involvement. And all three are equally important. Quite often, the physical bond follows when you’re emotionally attached and mentally involved. So what is it about the physicality that makes it so easy to pass judgement on your partner’s transgressions? Especially since the very base of a relationship is made of emotional and mental attachment?

Assuming I’m in a relationship (one that’s not open by mutual agreement), will it be cheating if I turn to someone else for emotional support? What if I’m thinking about someone? Just thinking, not undressing them in my mind or wondering what it would be like to make love to them? What if I do fantasize about making love to them? And what if I’m thinking about someone else when I’m in bed with my partner? And what if (I’d love an answer to this one, really) I’m immensely enjoying someone’s company – no flirting, just a deep connection – and I get wet just because of all the intellectual stimulation? What then? Would I be cheating then? Are there degrees of betrayal? A spectrum on which you’re judged?

What I’ve seen is this. If you’re talking to someone and enjoying their company, it’s all good. If you’re seeking out emotional support from someone else, even that’s fine. But the moment it gets physical, it’s like you’ve crossed an invisible line.

So help me understand something, people. Why is a physical betrayal so much worse than an emotional and mental one? Why is it the yardstick for determining whether one has cheated or not?

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Lady Jughead lives and writes in the city she loves and hates, Bombay. Without meaning to and harbouring mixed feelings about it (You’ll see the irony in just a bit), she’s forever wandering in the murkiness that exists between straight and gay, clear and clueless, butch and femme, cute and hot, and genius and insane. All of which leave her with a question that often occupies a significant portion of her cognitive capacity – is she Just Perfect or is she falling fast into the deep chasm of obscurity called Just Average?
Lady Jughead

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