Men and women have different definitions of cheating

Do Men And Women Have Different Definitions Of Cheating? This Study Says Yes

by Leigh Weingus, mbg Yoga & Fitness Editor

Do Men And Women Have Different Definitions Of Cheating? This Study Says Yes Hero Image

Photo: Aaron Thomas

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Whether or not you think cheating is a deal-breaker, a new study suggests that when it comes down to the very definition of cheating, men and women hold somewhat different viewpoints.

The study, conducted out of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, surveyed 92 heterosexual couples to find out how they would feel in four hypothetical cheating situations. While the consensus across the board was that none of them loved the idea of being cheating on, there was one interesting difference between women and men: how they viewed emotional infidelity.

While women saw emotional cheating—such as flirting and dancing with someone else at a party—as a transgression that was hard to move past and assumed their partner wouldn't forgive them for it, men took a different view on this. Men tended to believe that the act only crossed over into infidelity if sex was involved. "Men understand that emotional infidelity is a problem," the study explains. "They just do not have insight into how great a problem their partner finds it to be."

In a society where data indicates that anywhere between 20 to 70 percent of people cheat on their partner at some point, you don't have to stick with any one definition. Just make sure you and your partner are on the same page.