If Your Jealous Boyfriend Tells You These Things Are Cheating, He’s Wrong

If Your Jealous Boyfriend Tells You These Things Are Cheating, He’s Wrong

Getting cheated on by someone you love is a nightmare for sure, but some partners really go overboard with what they consider to be infidelity. Everyone has different standards when it comes to what is and isn’t okay to do with other people when you’re in a relationship, but he’s dead wrong if he criticizes you for doing these things just because you’re with him:

  1. Checking someone out. You can browse a store without buying anything, and you can check out a hot dude without sleeping with him. Literally everyone looks at attractive people — and yes, your boyfriend is included— so don’t let him convince you that looking at another guy’s 10/10 bum for a second is a type of infidelity.
  2. Texting another guy. Obviously, sexting isn’t included in this (and emotional affairs are a whole ‘nother subject entirely), but most of the time, texting another dude in a platonic, casual way is not a form of cheating. In fact, a boyfriend who tries to control who you talk to or limits your contact with friends could be displaying early signs of abuse. As long as you’re not saying anything you wouldn’t be afraid to let your partner see, you probably have nothing to be ashamed of.
  3. Watching sex online. Some couples put their foot down when it comes to the other person watching sex online, but I fail to see anything wrong with watching a pre-recorded video of two people getting it on to help you get off. Things can get a little less clear when the sex online in question is of someone you know or was recorded personally for you, but in most cases, using a bit of visual stimulation to get off isn’t a no-no in a relationship.
  4. Fantasizing about someone else in bed. I wouldn’t exactly recommend shouting out your hot college professor’s name while your boyfriend is between your legs, but thinking about someone else every once in a while when things get hot doesn’t constitute foul play. Sometimes, even if we’d never dream of banging someone other than our partner in real life, it’s fun to imagine doing it.
  5. Anything done without your consent. Did some creepy stranger send you a penis picture on Facebook? Not cheating. Did someone you thought was a friend try to kiss you at a party despite your attempts to push him away? Not cheating. If it isn’t consensual, it’s harassment or assault, not infidelity. Any decent partner wouldn’t hold it against you if some douchebag pushed past your personal boundaries to try to get what he wanted.
  6. (Harmless) flirting. You can deny it all you want, but all of us occasionally do a bit of light flirting with other people. Really, though, it’s okay. As long as you’re not doing it right in front of your partner as a way to be manipulative, and as long as you know how far is too far, you’re not cheating — you’re human.
  7. Accepting a compliment. If another guy tells you that he thinks you’re beautiful, you’re not a crappy person for telling him “thank you.” Innocent compliments make the world a better place, and as long as you’re not saying, “Thanks, wanna see what’s underneath it?” when a guy tells you he likes your dress, you’re not doing your boyfriend wrong.
  8. Giving a compliment. I appreciate a good beard, so I compliment random guys on their beards all the time. I have attempted to hook up with exactly zero of those guys. Making someone a little happier by telling them something nice about themselves doesn’t mean that you want to have sex with them, and if your boyfriend tries to make you feel bad for dishing out an innocent compliment, he’s in the wrong.
  9. Dancing. Some people are OK with letting their S.O. grind all over someone else at a club and some aren’t, but that’s not the kind of dancing I’m talking about. There are some folks out there who get super pissy when they find out that their partner shared a dance with a family friend at a wedding or had to (gasp!) partner up with a member of the opposite sex during salsa class. Sorry, but no — dancing with someone for the sake of dancing isn’t even remotely scandalous.
  10. Anything that is within your shared and established boundaries. In some relationships, it’s cool for both people to openly sleep with other people. In others, going to a strip club is a huge “nope.” Whatever you and your partner consider okay and not okay is up to you, but the important thing is that you both adhere to those limits and don’t chastise the other person when they do something within the boundaries you’d both set. If you do something your boyfriend had previously said was fine, but he then backpedals once the deed is done, he’s in the wrong, not you.
Averi is a word nerd and Brazilian jiu jitsu blue belt. She's currently hanging out in Costa Rica with her cat and a lot of really big bugs.