There was an interesting article in Sunday’s New York Times “You May Call It Cheating, but We Don’t.”
Basically, it discusses the idea of being attracted to other people while you are married or in a commitment relationship, and how different couples deal with it.
This article really stuck a chord with me since I have quite strong opinions about monogamy – seriously, this whole concept of one person for the rest of your life is a little dated, don’t you think?
I mean, it’s like saying “oh no, I will never change my mind about anything. I’ve obviously liked the same things since I was 10 years old.”
Dude – when I was 10 years old, I liked My Little Ponies and running through the sprinkler system in our garden. Hmm – I may have been a slow developing 10-year-old come to think of it now…
Anywho – I digress. How can you know that in 10 or 20 years time, you taste in partners will not have changed? Can you really say that the type of guy you were attracted to when you were a teenager is exactly the same type of man you married?
When I was in my teens and early 20’s, I loved the pretty boys – the guys that would make other girls jealous because you were dating him. As I progressed into my later 20’s and early 30’s, looks become less important – you know why? Looks fade. And after a while, you don’t even see them anymore. I remember after dating a ridiculously handsome man for 4 years, girls would still come up to me and swoon “Oh, your boyfriend is so dreamy!” And I would take a step back and look at him, and think – eh. I guess? I really don’t even see it anymore.
As you get older, you realize that other things are important in making a sustainable and long-lasting relationship, such as mutual respect, similar beliefs and a very large bank account.
The article also raises the valid point that being married or in a relationship doesn’t stop you from being attracted to other people, and it’s absolutely true. I still meet men who I find incredibly attractive. In fact, I’ve found that now that I’m married, I’ve met more men that I’m attracted to than when I was single. I’m totally honest about it with Husband too – in fact, he’s met the majority of them. It’s not a crime to find someone else attractive when you’re involved; the key thing is how far you take this attraction.
Every couple has different rules; for me, flirting is harmless – it’s a victimless crime, like punching someone in the dark. Kissing? For me, kissing is okay too. Sex? Is having sex cheating? Well, that really is between you and your partner. Every couple is different. For me, sex and love are two very different things. Sex is literally just the physical act of sex – I don’t even have to like the person to have sex. I can pretty much just have sex with a person and be like – peace out, please leave and I don’t ever want to see or hear from you again.
I know a lot of other people are different and tend to involve sex with love and other emotions, and that’s okay too! Everyone is different, and I don’t judge.
For example, Husband is going to Vegas in a couple of weeks for a good friend’s bachelor party. Much like when he went to Vegas for his own bachelor party last year, I sat him down and gave him this talk:
Me: Babe – you’re going to Vegas, and you’re going to have an awesome time. I know, because I’ve been to Vegas and it fucking rocks. You’re going to be with a group of super fun dudes that party hard and are awesome. I know that there will be strippers, hookers and I know that there will be girls that you pick up in clubs. All I ask is that you keep it STD and disease free, and I don’t want to hear any details when you get back. Deal?
For me, him having fun with other girls on a weekend is fine. For fucks sake, he’s a bachelor party and I don’t want to be thinking about “what is my wife going to think?” the entire time. Would I consider it cheating? No, because not only did I give him permission, but I also know that he’s not emotionally attached to these girls. The bigger betrayal which would break my heart is if he actually gets emotionally involved with someone, or fall in love with another person.
Sex is sex – love is a completely different thing.
My favorite quote from the article pretty much sums it up: “Infidelity doesn’t kill a relationship – indifference does.”
I’d love to hear what you guys think about all this! Feel free to leave a comment.
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