If you know your partner is creeping, can you still call it cheating?
I was presented with this question by my good friend Jessica Simien, and was asked to address it.I think ultimately the answer lies in the nature of the relationship that you and your partner have.
First, it is my opinion that the couple should be responsible for defining their relationship and the rules that makes up their relationship. Not your friends, family members, social, or popular media, because at the end of the day, as and when all is said and done, you are only in a relationship/dating your partner, and not the abundance of opinions of others.
Secondly, until the rules of the relationship are clearly communicated and agreed upon by both partners, couples will continue to run into problems and/or DRAMA! So this begs the questions, are you in a serious, committed, monogamous relationship, are you just friends with benefits, are you causally dating, are you in an open relationship, etc?
Once the type of relationship has been agreed on by BOTH partners, we can then address the original question:
If both parties have agreed to be in a committed, monogamous relationship and one partner is cheating, whether the other partner “knows” or not, I think its cheating, since you are breaking the relationship rules that you had agreed upon.
However, if you are in an open relationship (where you both agree that you can see other people), or if you are just not monogamous in your relationship (and both parties know this), then it is not cheating in my opinion since you are not breaking your relationship rules.
It all boils down to the type of relationship you are in, the roles of both partners, and the rules of the relationship that the couple has agreed on. So talk to your partner, put rules and expectations out on the table, make sure you both are on the same page and go from there. Be clear, things change, as does relationships, so knowing where you both stand will always be the key.