9 Behaviors That Are Considered Cheating In A Relationship

behaviors that are considered cheating in a relationship

Do you know that certain behaviors are considered cheating in a relationship?

Sending flirty messages to someone who’s not your partner, having deep conversations online, and creating an account on dating sites are all tagged as cheating.

Sadly, many people engage in these acts without knowing they’re being unfaithful to their partner.

For most people, the word cheating is often associated with physical intimacy, but there are different definitions of cheating in modern dating.

According to Urban dictionary, cheating is when someone in a committed relationship breaks the trust of a partner by getting physically or emotionally involved with another person.

Some common forms of cheating include kissing on the lips, having romantic chats, and making out with someone.

So you don’t have to sleep with another person before you realize that you’re not being loyal to your partner.

If you’re sneaking behind your loved one to do something you know they won’t approve of, you’re already cheating on them.

Once you start hiding pictures, messages, chats, and videos from your significant other, you’re guilty of infidelity.

Obviously, when your partner realizes that you’ve been secretly entertaining someone without their knowledge or approval, they’ll feel hurt and betrayed by you.

In this article, we’ll look at some behaviors that are considered cheating in a committed relationship.

But first, let’s look at the types of cheating when it comes to intimate relationships:

behaviors that are considered cheating in a relationship


Romantic betrayal in a monogamous relationship can be devastating and even traumatic to the person who’s cheated on.

However, some people do things that they don’t even know fall under the category of infidelity.

To help you identify some of these unhealthy habits, here are 5 types of cheating in a relationship:

• Physical infidelity: This is one of the most common forms of cheating, and it’s when someone has intimate relations with another person who’s not their partner.

• Emotional cheating: When an individual has romantic feelings for someone else instead of their significant other, it’s considered emotional cheating.

• Cyber cheating: This means engaging in questionable behavior online such as exchanging romantic messages, sending and receiving nudes, and viewing adult content.

• Object infidelity: This is the most subtle form of cheating, and it’s when a person pays more attention to their phone or work and neglects their romantic partner.

• Financial infidelity: When one partner hides money, lies about their personal debt, or spends money on someone outside their relationship, it’s considered cheating.

behaviors that are considered cheating in a relationship


Giving someone else your time and attention or entertaining them behind your partner’s back is tagged as cheating by most people.

Whether you do it out of curiosity or for fun, it’s not a good idea to nurture a relationship with someone else when you have a serious partner.

If you’re engaging in any of these behaviors below, you’re being unfaithful to your partner:

1. Flirting with someone who isn’t your partner

Whether you’re dancing intimately with someone, sliding into their DM to say hi, or smiling flirtatiously to let them know you think they’re cute, this is considered micro-cheating.

However, most people think it’s harmless to encourage other people to connect with them.

But if you’re in a committed relationship, you shouldn’t be flirting with other people or entertaining them in any way, especially if you know they may be interested in you.

It’s a different case if you’re chatting with a close friend your partner already knows about and is comfortable with because they trust you.

When you’re sneaking behind your partner to interact with another person and you hide all the chats, text messages, and pictures you exchange with each other, that’s cheating.

As long as your significant other will not be happy when they find out what you’re up to, it falls under the category of infidelity.

So avoid fostering emotional closeness with other people outside of your romantic relationship.

2. Exchanging romantic messages with another person

This is one of the most common ways people cheat in a relationship without knowing it because it looks innocent and harmless.

However, since most relationships start off as platonic friendships where you slowly get to know each other by revealing little bits of your everyday life, exchanging messages with another person is not acceptable behavior.

If you’re secretly chatting with someone on your phone and building an emotional connection with them, you’re already in the cheating zone.

You don’t need to sleep with them before you can classify it as infidelity.

Once you’re developing feelings for someone else and detaching from your current partner, you’re being unfaithful in your relationship.

This is because you’re likely to fall in love with your new partner as you continue to chat with them frequently, which will prompt you to explore your bond and deepen your relationship with them.

As a result, you’ll fall out of love with your current partner and eventually cheat on them physically or even end the relationship altogether to be with your new love interest.

Cheating behavior in a relationship

3. Hiding details from your partner

The key to building a strong relationship as a couple is, to be honest, and transparent with each other.

This means that you tell the truth no matter how painful it is and don’t ever keep secrets from your partner.

If you’re not willing to disclose a piece of information to your significant other, you’re not being loyal or trustworthy, and this can be considered cheating in a relationship.

When your partner finds out you’ve been lying all along and hiding things from them, they’ll be disappointed in you. Plus, they’ll feel hurt and likely never trust you again!

Try to be completely honest with your loved one and don’t breach their trust by hiding information from them, especially when they’re always straightforward with you.

4. Complaining about your relationship to someone else

Most people do this without realizing that they’re cheating on their partner.

It’s not okay for you to share intimate details about your relationship with someone else, especially if your partner is unaware of it.

Even when you have a fight with your partner, try to resolve your conflicts and misunderstandings as a team instead of going to another person to complain.

If you complain about your relationship problems to a third party or seek comfort in the arms of another person, this is considered cheating behavior.

It’s totally inappropriate for you to tell another person intricate details about your partner or romantic relationship.

When you have any issue with your significant other, try to work on it together and find healthy solutions that can benefit both of you.

Going behind their back to rant or vent to a third party is not a good idea.

You’re disrespecting your partner and violating their boundaries when you seek solace elsewhere.

The only time it’s okay to talk to someone else about your relationship issues is when you’re working with a therapist or counselor.

6. Signing up for online dating apps to meet new people

When you’re in a committed relationship, you have no business creating an account on dating sites.

Unless you’re looking for a romantic partner with whom to have a casual affair, which is categorized as infidelity in a monogamous relationship.

If you’re already dating someone, it’s not a good idea to secretly exchange flirty messages with another person online or have deep conversations with them.

You’re breaching your partner’s trust if you establish an intimate connection with someone else on the internet.

Whether you’re just chatting or sending each other voice notes, if you don’t want your partner to find out about your social media activity, you’re obviously being unfaithful to them.

behaviors that are considered cheating in a relationship

7. Sending and receiving nude photos or videos

Whether you intend to sleep with a person or not, if you’re exchanging nudes with them on your smartphone or laptop, this is considered cheating.

It may seem as if you’re doing it for fun, curiosity, or excitement and that it doesn’t hurt your partner because there is no physical intimacy involved.

However, when your significant other finds out that you’ve been engaging in flirty chats with another person, they won’t be happy about it.

And there is a high chance that you could lose interest in your partner because you’ve found a new lover to give your time and attention to.

The bottom line is that sending and receiving nude content from someone who isn’t your romantic partner is just plain disrespectful, and it definitely counts as cheating.

8. Spending money on someone else behind your partner’s back

You may be surprised to know that when you spend money in secret without telling your partner, you’re being unfaithful to them, especially if you manage your finances together as a couple.

Typically, this type of infidelity only counts in marriage because that’s when many couples choose to merge their finances.

If you’re dating someone and you both have separate bank accounts, you can choose to spend your money however you like without consequences.

But when you’re married, you’re supposed to be financially accountable to your significant other even if you don’t have a joint bank account.

You should share the bills, save money toward big purchases, and invest together.

If you’re stashing money away secretly, buying expensive items for a lover, or sending money to an ex without your spouse’s knowledge and consent, you’re financially cheating on them.

This classification often arises when your spending habits negatively impact your romantic partner or your relationship.

It’s unfair not to disclose your financial activities to your significant other, especially if they’re being considerate and transparent with you.

9. Fantasizing about another person during lovemaking

Most people think that it’s normal to fantasize about someone they find attractive when making love to their partner.

Even though you do this in secret and your significant other can never find out unless you tell them, it’s not a good habit.

Thinking about someone during intercourse means you’re intimately attached to them and can’t get arousal without them.

You’re supposed to focus on your loved one’s body during lovemaking and find healthier ways to get aroused instead of thinking about another person.

If you always do this and think it’s okay since you’re not making love with another person, ask yourself if you’ll be happy if your lover did the same thing.

How would you feel if your partner confessed that they fantasize about a friend or celebrity when you make love together?

If that doesn’t sit right with you and you find it uncomfortable, then you shouldn’t be doing it either because it can be classified as cheating in a relationship.

Being more attracted to a fictional character rather than your romantic partner is not a healthy habit and you should try to get rid of it as soon as possible.

behaviors that are considered cheating in a relationship

9. Hiding to give yourself pleasure

When you sneak off to watch adult videos and touch yourself in the middle of the night while your partner is asleep, you’re cheating on them.

If you do this once in a while, it may not be a big deal for most people.

However, when you constantly satisfy yourself and refuse to make love to your partner, that’s not fair at all.

To stay happy in a relationship, both partners need to have their intimate needs met on a regular basis.

And if one person is secretly pleasing themselves and leaving the other partner unsatisfied, your relationship may develop some cracks in the long run.


Cheating can be anything you do that violates the boundaries of your romantic relationship and results in a breach of trust.

This means if your partner finds it offensive, hurtful, or threatening, it can be tagged as infidelity.

Most people don’t know that if you are connecting with someone emotionally and exchanging romantic messages with them, it’s considered micro-cheating.

They feel they need to actually sleep with someone before they can call it cheating.

But sometimes infidelity starts as harmless flirting or chatting with someone you find interesting.

And before you know it, you’re daydreaming about them, secretly spending money on them, and sneaking around to sleep with them.

If you truly love your partner, try to refrain from engaging in these unhealthy behaviors because it’s a sign of disrespect and betrayal to your loved one.

Do you have any romantic fantasy you want to explore in the bedroom? Tell your partner to see if you can act it out together instead of cheating on them.

Infidelity has a lot of serious repercussions, and it’s one of the reasons why relationships fail.

When you’re faithful to your significant other, and they reciprocate that loyalty, you’ll have the most loving and intimate relationship you’ve always dreamed of.

However, if you do things that make your romantic partner feel jealous, insecure, or unloved, you’ll have a tumultuous relationship with each other.


Recommended Reading:

How To Tell If Someone Is Cheating In A Long Distance Relationship

14 Warning Signs Your Partner Is Cheating On You

How To Catch A Cheating Partner Red-handed

About The Author

Jennifer Dagi
 | Blog

Jennifer Dagi is happily married to her best friend and the love of her life.

As a relationship coach, she is passionate about helping couples build healthy and happy relationships.

She strongly believes communication and intimacy are the most important ingredients for building a successful relationship.

Join her on a fabulous journey to improve your love life one step at a time and don't forget to subscribe for weekly blog updates.

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