Emotional Cheating vs. Physical Cheating

blind-in-loveMost people would probably agree that cheating in a relationship isn’t generally the best thing to do, even if some of these same people have cheated in the past. But by cheating most are referring to physical infidelity — an intimate touch, a kiss, or more. What is less discussed and less clear to many is emotional cheating — the building of emotional and psychological intimacy with someone other than one’s partner, even while remaining physically faithful. Is emotional cheating actually cheating? Some say no, others say maybe, and I say yes.

Not only is emotional cheating as much of cheating as physical indiscretions are, I suspect that emotional cheating is the much more common form of cheating. This is supported by surveys that show that over half of men and women have formed an emotionally close yet physically platonic relationship with someone other than mate. Emotional affairs seem to be the way out for those who are no longer satisfied with their formal relationship but will not or can not be physically intimate with another. By creating closeness with someone else the cheater renews the spark of romance and feelings they once had, without the disruption of ending their current relationship or worrying about being caught cheating.

It may be much harder to definitively pin down what makes up emotional cheating, but many are aware of its existence. However, as with physical cheating, partners find ways to excuse emotional infidelity. Many turn a blind eye to emotional cheating with the thought that, “Well, s/he’s still going home with me.” Songs have been written describing this situation, the singer unabashedly proclaiming to the other woman or man that their partner will be with them in the end. All is well, as long as their partner remains with them, physically.

But it is my view that emotional cheating is as bad or even worse than physical cheating. Neither are preferable, but emotional cheating violates a relationship at the deepest level. By having an emotional affair, a cheater takes away from the intimacy of their relationship and is less emotionally available, if at all.

What their partner is left with is the shell of a relationship, little of substance remains. One may say the relationship no longer exists once the cheater checks out emotionally. Relationships may be dealt with in the physical realm, but they are created in the emotional realm.

What are your thoughts? Is emotional cheating still cheating and how does it compare to physical cheating?

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Crazy, Stupid, Love

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Alee’s Analysis: A comical look at the familiar bad boy/nice guy dichotomy and what people do for love

Crazy, Stupid, Love is a 2011 romantic comedy about middle-aged family man Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) who attempts to find his manhood again after being cheated on by his wife who has asked for a divorce. Drinking his sorrows away at a bar, he is found by Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling), a noted ladies’ man and young bachelor. Jacob volunteers to transform Cal into the stud he has the potential to be, the man his wife would want to have. What neither of them realized is that life has a way of giving you what you need, which may not be what you want.

Nice Guys Finish Last…Or Do They?

Cal, in addition to be a middle-aged man, is the stereotypical Nice Guy — kind, well-mannered, and completely lacking in perceived masculinity. This, Jacob claims, is a major reason he lost his wife; as he let himself go, he let his wife go. Jacob vows to change Cal’s outlook and appearance, which will in turn change his love fortune.

And it seems to work: Cal’s transformation is successful, on the outside at least. He is able to attract women in large numbers and gains a self-confidence that he never had. At first he is happy with his new lifestyle but he soon finds that the bachelor life is not as great as it seems. To make matters worse, his new identity clashes with what he wants more than anything: to have his wife back.

On Jacob’s end, he realizes that love, true love, is what he really needs. While he is working on Cal, he is soon to get a new persona of his own. Life as a single man no longer satisfies him and he soon finds out just what Cal was pining over.

Love is:

  • Crazy

Cal’s teenage babysitter Jessica (Analeigh Tipton) claims to be in love with him and while he is working on himself, she is working on gaining his interest.  Meanwhile, Cal’s son, who she babysits, claims to be in love with her and is working on gaining her interest. Cal doesn’t know about any of this, but the biggest love surprise is yet to come.

  • Stupid

Love is definitely in the air in Crazy, Stupid, Love, and it causes everyone to act out of character. People, in their one-tracked pursuit of love don’t see that their actions are preventing them from getting what they desire — true love and happiness. Cal’s transformation into an alpha man drives away his wife, Jessica’s focus on Cal leaves her in a constant state of anxiety. And, in what they believe is the end, no one is really satisfied with the outcome.

Love Is Worth It

Despite all the craziness and stupidity involved with love, when it’s all over, everyone feels that it was worthwhile. Going through trials for love helped them to better understand and better appreciate the love they always had. And in the end, everyone got what they needed, and if it wasn’t what they wanted — a fantasy love film at its best.

 

 

Open Question: Is Cheating Inevitable?

flirting-cheatingAre all relationships destined to eventually involve infidelity? Some say yes.

While most people dislike being cheated on, some say everyone will eventually be cheated on or cheat if they are in a relationship. According to a popular evolutionary theory humans are not meant to be monogamous — for most of our existence humans haven’t been sexually exclusive. Long-term coupling is a social phenomena, not a natural one, and puts a strain on human beings’ true natures. A strain which they ultimately find too much to bear.

In contrast to this view, there are people who form exclusive bonds, even many who will remain unpartnered even in the case of the death of their partner. If humans are not naturally monogamous, could these people be the odd ones out — the rare beings who are inclined to monogamy? Or are they simply following the order which has been placed on humans, that which says that monogamy is the only socially acceptable way of mating?

What is your opinion? Is cheating inevitable and have you ever cheated or been cheated on?

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5 Love Lessons to Learn from Elizabeth Taylor

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Elizabeth Taylor (1932-2011) was an American actress known not only for her films, but as a symbol of classic Hollywood glamour. She was also famous for her love of love: Elizabeth married seven men, eight times, besides her many engagements and romances.

Some may call Elizabeth’s love life a whirlwind of drama, secrecy, and restlessness, fit only for a soap opera or romance novel. But as stormy as they were, there are vital love lessons to be learned from Elizabeth Taylor’s many failed relationships.

1. Take your time

Elizabeth first married when she was 18 years old, after having been previously engaged to another man. But beyond her age at the time, Elizabeth was not mentally or emotionally ready for marriage and barely knew her fiancé. She met, engaged, and married her first husband, Conrad Hilton, in less than a year. Both were abusive towards each other and the relationship was shaky from the beginning. As a result, she filed for divorce almost as soon as their honeymoon was over.

Never rush love, and especially commitment. Get to know your partner, and yourself, first.

2. Never act when vulnerable

After the death of her third husband, Michael Todd, Elizabeth became involved with his best friend, Eddie Fisher. Eddie consoled her in her time of grieving. She soon married the already married man, breaking up his marriage. But again, Elizabeth acted too quickly: as soon as she met Richard Burton on the set of their film Cleopatra, she began an affair with him and her marriage Eddie was left behind.

Don’t make commitments in love while going through a hard time. You’re more likely to change your mind later, so save yourself and any potential partners the trouble.

elizabeth-taylor-paul-newman3. A steady relationship can be a good thing

Elizabeth’s first and second marriage to Richard Burton was legendarily abusive, so much so that they were nicknamed “The Battling Burtons”. While their relationship was exciting and dangerously romantic, it lacked a solid base to hold it together. They divorced and remarried, only to divorce again.

Passion and lust may begin a relationship, but a real foundation is what keeps it going over the long run. It’s not all about the chase.

4. Sometimes it just can’t work

Elizabeth and Richard divorced and remarried the next year. Although their relationship was unstable, they couldn’t see that they weren’t meant to be together. That is, until a year after their remarriage, when they divorced again.

You may love a person and they may love you, but if they are not right for you, you can’t force the relationship to work.

5. Always believe

Despite her many unsuccessful relationships, Elizabeth still believed in love. She entered every relationship as if it were her first, always believing that this one would be the last. She loved with all her heart, and even when she broke up with a lover, continued to love them. After her eighth marriage, she never married again, but never gave up on relationships entirely.

Love can be difficult sometimes, but there is hope if you simply believe in it. Even if you fail many times, who is to say that your lucky one isn’t soon to come, or that the experience of loving wasn’t worth it?

Once a Cheater, Always a Cheater?

once-a-cheaterDo you think a person who has cheated in the past is more likely to cheat again?

Recently, a friend of mine found out that her partner of several years had been having an emotional affair with another woman for the better part of a year, which eventually grew into a physically intimate relationship before she became aware of it. As hard as it was to come to terms with his infidelity and figure out where to go from there, she couldn’t say she was surprised. At the beginning of the relationship, he told her that in a previous relationship he had cheated on a girlfriend, due to not having his emotional needs met. At the time she shrugged off his past cheating as a one-time incident caused by the neglect of his ex. But now she believes she should have taken it more seriously.

While some statistics estimate that only around one-fourth of past cheaters cheat again, I would be weary of a partner who had been unfaithful in prior relationships. Like with everything, since they have already done it once, it will be easier to do again.

Every action a person takes indicates their values, mindset, and beliefs. When a person takes the conscious step to go outside of their primary relationship to fulfill their needs, they are sending the message that they consider their own desires to be of the utmost importance; that they will risk their relationship and the needs of their partner in order to have their desires met, however fleeting they may be.

There are situations which simply get out of hand — a person goes too far without deeply reflecting on the consequences of their actions. But most cheating does not occur in this type of situation, and even when it does, the person does know that what they are doing could hurt their relationship. As such, I consider prior cheating to be a major red flag.

Do you agree? Will a cheater always (or most likely) be a cheater? How does knowing a person has cheated affect the ability to trust them?

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