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Recently I talked about relationships with my friends and how cheating is so common. Whether it’s cheating during a relationship or cheating that starts a relationship, it’s all become so normalized that we often overlook past indiscretions in partners because relationships require hard work. It begs the question of how far is too far? How often does it have to occur before we leave bad relationships?

[bf_image id="5gc47hhx2xmgbtmt857jz7t"] As bad as it is, it seems like physical cheating in relationships can easily be forgiven but the line is drawn at emotional cheating. Emotional cheating is the act of one partner having  non-sexual intimacies with someone outside of the relationship. They begin when one person starts speaking about things to an outside person that they feel they can't tell their partner. It’s being uninterested in sexual and non-sexual intimacies - which can include hand holding, being vulnerable, and creating trust - with their partner and subsequently communication becomes non-existent. It’s falling out of love with their partner, and sharing the experience with the outside person. It’s the welcoming of the end of their relationship, without trying to or realizing it. 

Many people say they wouldn't forgive physical cheating but it’s easier to say something than to actually do it. It could be from guilt, because the relationship is a long-standing one, or even because cheaters themselves tend to forgive others for cheating. Nonetheless, physical cheating is more often forgiven by the wronged party than we’d like to think. My roommate said that for her, it’s because the feelings are still there and the physicality of the act itself could be forgiven if it’s a one time thing. A common thing I found being said amongst my friends.

[bf_image id="jx96h9b58zcmxzxfr6kgtfmg"] However, I’m a strong believer that everything we do is a choice. Cheating, lying, not cheating, and not lying are all choices that we make every day and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Despite knowing that so many people say they wouldn’t forgive cheating, I can honestly say that I wouldn’t. Lying and cheating are unpardonable defenses in my book and all it takes is one time. One time to break trust, and for me, it can never be unbroken. Being lied to and cheated on, in any way, can break a person. It creates trust issues with anyone and everyone because if I can be done by the person you love and trust the most… who’s to say someone new won’t do it to you as well.

[bf_image id="q5gb3a-9kvjvk-ca6pnu"] I think that emotional cheating can hurt more, because it’s the act of the person you love most falling out of love with you, but I feel like physical cheating is worse because it makes you question yourself as a person. Was it your body? Your personality? Something that you did that they secretly hated and drove them away from you? Whereas emotionally cheating, in my mind, is that they’ve evolved and found something new to love but it didn’t have to do with you as a person.

Kayli Strawn

UC Riverside '21

4th Year at UC Riv Just a hopeless romantic who wants a Carrie Bradshaw life. I love reading romance novels and eating mac n cheese or sweet potato fries! If I’m not out on an adventure with my friends, I’m either working as a barista or trying to catch up on some much needed sleep!
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