Cheating: we’ve all experienced it in some way. Maybe you’ve never been cheated on, but your best friend might have been. Or your Dad. Or someone that you talked to on the bus the other day. Cheating, unfortunately, seems to be more and more prevalent in our society. There’s a million different ways someone can cheat, but only one way to stay faithful. Is that fair? Well, we don’t think so. Sometimes cheating is justified. Sometimes there’s a good reason as to why someone would hurt someone else like that, and why we think they maybe should. If you’ve ever felt tempted to cheat, it’s worth asking yourself the reason why. Are you not happy in your relationship? Are you missing a key component that helps with your happiness? Sometimes these are valid reasons to cheat. In fact, we’ve listed 21 valid reasons to cheat. If you’re looking for some support, read on. If you’re looking for an explanation, read on as well. We hope that we’ve provided both.
21 You Love Them
Let’s set the scene: you’ve been taking a film studies class every Wednesday night. It’s a three hour lecture during which you watch all, or part of, a movie. The person sitting next to you likes to cuddle up, chatting before and after class and being generally flirtatious. You flirt back, you study together, and you start to find a lot of similarities and interests. One day, you realize you love them! BUT, you still have a girlfriend at home in rural Ontario, where you moved from to go to NYU. If you end up cheating on this long distance person, it’s okay. There’s only so much you can do to control your feelings. Love is love; it’s beautiful, and you shouldn’t let that escape, even if it is technically “cheating” on someone. Whether or not they feel the same is beside the point. If it works out, great! If it doesn’t, then don’t stress. You’ve still got your long distance love back in good ol’ Canada.
20 You’re Bored
It sounds terrible, but there’s a real reason as to why apps like Tinder are some of the most popular out there. When you’re bored, it’s easier now more than ever to open up an app and have a conversation with someone. Talking is the easiest form of communication now, due to things like Tinder, OKCupid, and other stranger-messaging means. Luckily, most people don’t consider it cheating to just talk to other folks. However, if they see that it’s through a Tinder message, you might be in for some raised eyebrows and sad questions. If you’re bored, you’re bored though! There’s nothing more to say. Sometimes it’s more fun to flirt on Tinder than to read the newspaper or do yet another crossword. If you’re using it to pass the time, go for it. Just know that not everyone will be as relaxed as you. Does that matter, though? At least you’re connecting!
19 You’re Still “Dating”
Ladies, how many times have you been seeing a guy and waited for months before they actually commit to being in a relationship? We know that we’ve had upwards of 6 months, 10 months, and even years before the guys thought that maybe it would be a good idea to change the designation from “buddies” to “boyfriend and girlfriend”. It’s just disrespectful! While half the time we’d suggest you drop him, sometimes you don’t want to. And that’s totally fair. It’s hard to let people go, especially if the rest of the kind-of-sort-of-not-relationship is going well. We’d like to offer this layer of justification: if you’re in this strange ambiguous phase with him, it’s not cheating to see other people. As you two are dating, there’s nothing he can really do. He doesn’t get a say on whether or not you can date other people. If anything, it might give him a kick in the pants to get him making a decision. Wouldn’t that be nice?
18 You Support Anything “Casual”
Okay, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Cheating can be anything from flirting, to dancing, to sleeping with someone else, to full on starting another family in another country. There’s tons of different ways to cheat, especially physically. It really depends on your point of view about it, and what your feelings are in regards to physicality and casual intimacy. Some people believe you shouldn’t even brush hands with someone else when you’re dating a person. Most of us are a little more relaxed, especially those of us who believe in the phenomenon known as “casual intimacy”. In case you haven’t been on tumblr lately, there’s a huge support movement for casually hugging, kissing your friends cheeks, and generally being more physical and supportive with your friends. Not to mention allowing yourself to cry, laugh, smile, and generally feel. If your partner isn’t cool with this, and you don’t know, you could have the news broken to you that you’re cheating. The best way to avoid it? Talk to your partner before and make sure you two are on the same page.
17 You’re Breaking Up
Ever had one of those long, drawn out breakups that seemed to last longer than the relationship ever did? Yeah, we’ve all been there. It’s a messy time in everyone’s life, and if you haven’t felt it yet, you’ll probably feel it at some point in the future. Let this be a warning for you: if the relationship feels like it’s ending, just end it. Unless it’s something really special, trying to save it isn’t going to work out. If you do find yourself caught in a long, will-we-won’t-we-when-is-the-time-right break up session, it’s definitely okay to cheat. In fact, it could be the inspiration you need to finally end it with your (soon to be ex) partner. Don’t worry too much if you find yourself cheating on your partner during the break up phase; it’s not the end of the world, and likely they won’t even find out. Besides… The relationship is on its way out! It’s almost like you’ve already broken up.
16 You’re Trying to Make Them Hate You
Believe it or not, it is a tactic that some people use when they want to break up with someone but don’t want to be the bad guy. If you find yourself wishing the relationship would end, but not being sure how to end it, you might be tempted to do this. If that’s the case, know that we totally support you. Breaking up with people is hard, and sometimes you need to just let them do it, rather than putting yourself through all the emotional turmoil. Cheating on your partner is a great way to end it, especially if you know that they despise cheating. Maybe it’s not a deal breaker for you; people definitely make mistakes, and it’s easy to do something with someone when the context supports it. We’re not saying that this is the main reason it’s okay to cheat, but it is a useful tactic if you want your partner to break up with you and have them hate you after. If the relationship was bad, it’s a really useful tactic to ensure they won’t talk to you again too!
15 Old Feelings and Old Friends
Yes, we’ve all got that one special ex we just can’t let go of. Maybe you love them so much you got matching penguin tattoos. Maybe you still talk to them under the guise of “just friends” so that you can hear their voice and keep your love alive. Maybe you haven’t talked to them in months, but then you see them and all the old feelings start to come up again. Whatever happened, it’s totally understandable that there’s some old feelings coming up and causing a potential cheating situation. Say, for example, you’re at a wedding. You see your ex, and you spend the whole night in love with them, and then jump into bed with them that night. If your partner, back home, halfway across the country, asks, don’t be afraid to tell them. They're going to forgive you. How could they not? This old flame and the situation was just begging for there to be some reignition. As long as you don’t keep seeing them, one night of cheating is excusable.
14 You’re Apart For a Long Time
Maybe this means you’ve gone away to school, or your partner had to leave town to go fulfill a broadway contract. Either way, you’ve found that the dynamics of your relationship have changed. If your relationship was very physical to start with, it can be especially difficult to have that physicality taken away. Maybe it’s because of the fact that it’s your entire relationship; maybe it’s because you two are just very touchy-feely people. Whatever the reason, we believe that it’s fine to cheat in a physical manner if it’ll help save your relationship from succumbing to the death by distance phenomenon that so many (especially young) couples experience. Besides, the relief of finally having someone else to touch will do wonders for your own happiness too. It’s healthy to hold hands, and healthy to connect with folks.
13 Tension Breaking
One of the biggest reasons we would say that it’s okay to cheat is when it’s breaking the tension. If you’re finding that there’s a huge amount of tension within yourself, a level of anger that’s unacceptable and affecting your relationship, we fully believe that you have the right to go and blow off some steam. Anger can poison you from the inside out. It’s dangerous to let it simmer, and incredibly dangerous to have it bottled up until it lashes out at someone. If you think that having hot, passionate, angry moments with someone who isn’t your partner will help, go for it. Not only will it save the relationship, but it’ll also feel good for you. And isn’t that ultimately the most important part? You keeping yourself healthy and sane should be the priority.
12 It’s Somebody Famous
Real talk, if we got the chance to sleep with someone like George Clooney or Justin Bieber, we just might take it. There’s no way that we’d turn down the opportunity to share a romantic night in bed with someone whose fame is something we can only dream about. Regardless of if there’s a partner in the picture or not, the fame tends to trump everything. Plus, there’s a feeling of excitement that’ll come from not only the fame, but also how bad it is. It’s fun to be bad, and it’s even better when there’s some scandal involved. Besides, famous people seem to cheat often; at least according to the tabloids. Whether or not you believe those horrible magazines depends on who you are, but if it helps relieve our guilt of cheating, why not take them at face value?
11 They’re Your Muse
Ah, artists. What a flaky bunch, right? Just kidding! As artists, we believe that there’s lots of good to be experienced in the world. While inspiration should come from everywhere, sometimes there is a person that inspires you a little more than everyone else. Oftentimes we lovingly (and jokingly) refer to them as our “muse”. This muse doesn’t have to have any sort of physical relationship with you, but they usually will. As an artist, we feel that you have every right in the world to be intimate with your muse. There’s only so much you can do from a distance. Eventually the admiration poetry wears thin, and you want something more experiential. Let yourself fall for this muse, and don’t feel guilty about it. It’s totally okay to get this inspired by someone. Absolutely. And hey, you might get a good new novella out of it too.
10 Your Family
We’re not talking about cheating on your family with a different family, or cheating on someone with a member of your family. Both of those are kind of weird options. We’re talking about your family in the sense that your family might have a say about whom you should be with, or whom you’re going to marry. Sometimes, that’s not satisfying. It’s reasonable to decide that even if you’re going to spend the rest of your life with someone, you want to play around a bit first. You want something fun and exciting that maybe your family wouldn’t approve of. You have to experience the world before settling down! It’s totally fair to keep a dirty little secret from them, as long as you’re not at any risk of being caught. That’s when things could get bad.
9 You’re Really, REALLY Attracted to Them
Yes, it CAN be as simple as this. If you’re attracted to someone, you’re attracted to someone; it doesn’t matter who knows. While your partner might have something to say about it (for example, leave me alone and never talk to me again), that doesn’t really matter in the moment. When you’re in relation with someone it’s like the whole world disappears. The other things in your life fall away, and you find yourself enraptured in the passion of the moment. Eye to eye with this new person, maybe jiving over a coffee or dancing in a bar, you two spark. It’s only natural for that spark to burst into flame and take over. Don’t beat yourself up if you make one mistake and sleep with someone after a magical moment. The context took over, and you just weren’t all together yourself. While it might make some people guilty, know that overall it’s totally okay. You were just really, REALLY attracted to them.
8 You’re Feeling “Bad”
Your partner might be great in tons of ways. They might have a winning smile, a sharp wit, a lot of compatible intelligences, and a huge amount of curiosity. But they might be totally unsatisfying in bed. Yes, someone who’s level-headed might have that unfortunate trait of being very safe and “vanilla” in bed. You might be level-headed too, but instead of bringing that into your private life, you prefer some excitement. Some scratching, biting, pulling, and tying to get your juices flowing. If you like things on the more wild side and your partner does not, we think that that’s a totally valid reason to cheat. You'll see this again in this list, but we want to be clear: Even if you just want to try it, it’s worthwhile. You never know what you like until you experience it! If your curiosity gets the better of you, go for it. Experiment with something new and let that adrenaline rush!
7 You Just Don’t Care
Yeah, it’s depressing. Sometimes we stop caring about the things in our lives. While it might be a sign of an underlying problem, it can also be a relief. Not having to care about everything releases you from getting hurt by everything. By having the lack of passion about your relationship, it’s not only a sign that something’s going on, but that something has been lost. If cheating on your partner helps you get that passion back, we support it. Living a life without passion is sad and empty. There’s nothing worse than the lack of love that’s prominent in a life without care. If you don’t have any passion, we believe that it’s okay to get it back. Go on a search for it. Let yourself not care, and then investigate why. If you don’t have a reason for not caring, then hey: you don’t need to be held responsible. Sounds like a win-win to us
6 Test the Waters
This is a reason that’ll only work in some instances, but one that’s no doubt really rewarding and satisfying when it works. If your partner is a little adventurous, you might be able to approach them with the idea of adding someone else to the mix. This is a fun way to bring some excitement into the mix, and to have a new, shared experience with your partner. But what if you’re not sure if this other person is going to be a good fit? Maybe sleeping with them first is a good way to test it. Not having tried it, we can’t speak to the virtue of this reason. But if you’re motivated by the comfort and safety of your partner, there’s no way it could be a bad thing. While it might be an idea to discuss the topic with your partner first, there’s probably no harm in testing out the chemistry before things get going. Gotta keep your partner happy, right? Just make sure everyone is on the same page and you’re golden!
5 Nobody’s Communicating
This is the worst. Have you ever been with someone that refuses to talk to you? That doesn’t let you get a word in edgewise, or ask you about your thoughts and feelings? It definitely sucks, and we know that it’s not exactly what you signed up for when you started seeing this person. If this communication breakdown is coming at a point when you two have only just started dating, sure, maybe there’s time to backtrack. If you’re in too deep, we think you’re totally fair to sleep with someone else. If you and your partner haven’t established any ground rules, or haven’t established whether or not you’re in a relationship, it probably means you’re not. People who are passionate about relationships will talk about relationships. You have all the right to see other people if your partner hasn’t said you can’t or shouldn’t. At least, that’s our thoughts on it.
4 You Were Under an Influence
Whether this influence was excessive or not is another question. If you and your hook up were drinking, and had both come to the conclusion you wanted to sleep together, it’s a good choice. You two might have been talking all night, fooling around, or had previously discussed sleeping together. If your inhibitions and anxiety had been disappeared by the magic of alcohol, we think it’s totally fair that you technically “cheated” on your partner. Maybe there’s a little too much love in the air, mixed with a little too much loosening. Obviously, no one should feel they have the right to take advantage of you. And if you don’t feel that you’re in the right mindset to make a decision, definitely don’t sleep with them. BUT, if the influence is a gentle influence, and you and someone you have chemistry with is working towards a big finish for the end of the night, let it happen!
3 You’re Emotionally Unfulfilled
Yes, emotional cheating is cheating. Maybe this takes the form of promising to run away with someone. Maybe it’s all about the fact that you’re flirting with someone over text message. Maybe you and your friend have a long-running romantic flirtation. These things aren’t harmful, but it’s definitely considered cheating. Why? If your partner isn’t fulfilling you emotionally, you need to think about whether or not you actually want to be with them. It’s okay to cheat emotionally to fulfill your needs; especially if it keeps you from going crazy. However, we do suggest you think of your partner in all this as well! A lot of times it hurts someone more to have someone emotionally cheating on them than physically. If you find yourself getting closer to someone else and emotionally cheating on your partner, consider the fact that maybe it’s time to end the partnership.
2 Your Partner Cheated
Oooh, this is a vicious reason. We fully admit to having done this before, not that it really ends well. If your partner cheated on you, we believe that it’s almost justified to cheat on them. An eye for an eye, right? No doubt the relationship is on the rocks at this point anyway. Who cares if you had the perfect fairytale romance for a while? Clearly, it’s gone now. We hate to say it but if your partner cheated on you, it’s time to reevaluate. If you two decide to stay together, we believe it’s totally valid and fair to cheat if you find yourself in that situation. Talk about it, though. Maybe it’ll be the start of a great open relationship, or it’ll add a new level of trust and dynamism to your relationship. Whatever it is, just take it as it comes. Your relationship will be okay. Or, in the worst case, you’ll find the relationship wasn’t what it meant to be anyway.
1 You’re Not Satisfied
Isn’t it obvious? One of the biggest reasons people cheat is because they’re no longer satisfied with their partner. Maybe the concept of “vanilla” (plain jane, regular old) routine seemed really novel at first; you, usually of the more wild loving variety, decided to embrace your partner’s preference as something new and exciting. Unfortunately, that newness wears off quick. There’s only so much you can put up with before you start wanting a little more (and a little rougher) passion in the sack. You start to miss the scratching, the hair pulling, the ropes, and whatever else floated your boat. If your partner isn’t comfortable introducing those elements into the bedroom with you, we believe that it’s totally justified to go look for them somewhere else. While maybe it’s worth talking to your partner about why you need this aspect of yourself fulfilled, we think it’s also totally fair game to check out some kink parties or special nights to literally scratch your itch. Nobody even needs to know!