When does chat become cheating?

Sometimes it's not clear when you're crossing your own boundaries.

When does chat become cheating?

I'm no expert in relationships, but one thing that every couple has to navigate is defining the boundaries. What are the rules?

If you follow the example of Hollywood romances, and most heterosexual relationships, the default is monogamy. If you're committing to someone, you're at last starting off with the intention of being together in an exclusively monogamous partnership - ideally for life.

Luckily, as gay guys, we've got a bit more flexibility. There's an assumption that there's going to be a few more options on the table when it comes to defining your relationship. However, it still requires a conversation, and ideally that conversation happens up-front or somewhere near the beginning of a relationship.

Lots of gay couples opt for monogamy, that's totally cool. Trust is pretty much one of the main foundations of any relationship, and agreeing to be exclusively monogamous is a good starting point to help you build trust in each other.

Beyond that, there's almost endless variations. Some of the most common relationship options for gay guys include:

  • A completely open relationship. There's really no rules to this one - you don't place any restrictions on each other, if you want to have sex with someone then go for it. You might play together or separately, whatever works or feels right.
  • A relationship where you play together. In this kind of relationship, anything is on the table as long as you're doing it together.
  • A relationship where you share the details. This is pretty much an open relationship, but there's an emphasis on talking about it and turning each other on with your sexual exploits. You go out, have a wild night, then you come back and tell your partner all about it.
  • A don't-ask-don't-tell relationship. There's an understanding that you've both got the freedom to have sex with other people, but it's not something you want to discuss with each other. Go off, have some fun, but I don't want to see it or hear about it or talk about it.

Whatever type of relationship you've agreed on, and whatever rules that you've set for yourselves, there's inevitably going to be times when you contemplate crossing those boundaries.

One of the grey areas is often online chat, texting or sexting.

You're bound to be on multiple social media platforms, and inevitably someone is going to slide into your DMs.

Depending on what you're chatting about, things can often escalate from a polite compliment or a quip about Drag Race to getting a bit saucy with other. Before you know it, you're sending each other dick pics.

Is that cheating? At what point does a bit of saucy chat on social media cross the boundaries that define your relationship?

Obviously it depends on the rules that you've set for yourselves.

Communication with your partner is what's key. If you're not sure where saucy chat and sexting fit within the landscape of your relationship, have a conversation about it. Make it a hypothetical scenario, but talk about it - don't assume that you know how your partner feels. Maybe they've been receiving some great dick pics that they could share with you?

Follow Gareth Johnson on Twitter


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