To cheat or not to cheat, should never be the question

By Alex Pittinsky
March 21, 2010

I don’t think I will ever understand why people in serious relationships cheat on their significant others.  As I sat down to write this article, naturally, guys came to mind.  However, girls, you are not off the hook either.  Cheating is one topic no one likes to discuss, and if someone is willing to talk about it, they usually won’t disclose the truth.

Here’s how I see it, if you aren’t ready to commit to one person, don’t commit! It is not a difficult concept to understand.  If you feel that you want to kiss or do anything else physical with someone who isn’t your declared boyfriend or girlfriend, then you probably shouldn’t be with him or her.

Too many college relationships end in cheating.  In 2008, the National Center for Education Statistics reported that the odds that an undergraduate student ended his or her last relationship because of cheating was 1 in 13.7.  This doesn’t seem like much, but it is.

An important question that comes to my mind when discussing the issue of cheating is whether or not there is a difference between physical and emotional cheating?  Some people think that physical cheating is better because they use the excuse that it means nothing and that it was just sex, nothing more. Sometimes that is the case and some people may be relieved to hear those words instead of the news that their boyfriend or girlfriend has fallen in love with someone else.

I believe that whether it is physical or emotional, it is cheating. If you are committing yourself to one person for however long, you should remain physically and emotionally loyal to that one person.  If you feel that you might not be able to stay 100 percent loyal, then break up and be single for a little while.

In addition, if you are in a relationship and that relationship is not going well or as smoothly as you had hoped, talk to that person instead of resorting to cheating.  In my opinion, it is much better to break up due to differences or disputing beliefs or morals rather than to stay with someone for the hell of it and go cheat whenever you feel it necessary.

One other thing that bothers me about people who cheat while in serious relationships is that a lot of them omit details, or lie about it.  A quote from one of my favorite movies, “Little Black Book”, explains that omission is betrayal.  I completely agree with this statement because by lying or even omitting to tell the truth, you are keeping something extremely important from you significant other.  I can’t quite understand how you would be able to look the person who you say you love in the eyes and not tell them that you cheated on them.

A big factor that acts as an enabler for encouraging these unfaithful partners is technology. The National Opinion Research Center’s General Social Survey said that, between 1991 and 2006, the numbers of unfaithful women and men under 30 increased by 20 and 45 percent, the experts say it is due to technological advances.  Technology has successfully expanded the avenues for people to cheat making everything more secretive and suspicious.

MSNBC’s survey says that 15 percent of surveyed men and 7 percent of women have engaged in online sex or sexual webcamming, which 66 percent of people consider to be cheating.

There might be temptations in relationships, but you are aware of your own actions and you decide how you act on those temptations.  Other people are in such great relationships that they do not ever have temptations because they are so happy with the person that they are involved with and that’s the best kind of relationship, in my opinion.

Alex Pittinsky

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