Cheating causes strife in high school relationships; students speak about experiences

Sam Crosby

     What is cheating? Cheating is defined as acting dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage. But does that apply to cheating in relationships? Does a person really gain anything when cheating on a significant other?

     There are two parts to cheating; the cheater and the cheated. The cheater is the person who made the decision to partake in any kind of flirting or sexual interactions that are not with their partner. The cheated is the victim of such acts that were committed by their “loyal” girlfriend or boyfriend.

     People may have their different opinions on what cheating really is. Some say that even harmless flirting with a person of the opposite sex is cheating. Others say that cheating is only present when a person committed a sexual act with a person who they were not dating. Let’s look at it from both perspectives.

    The cheater thinks that they are just “talking” to another person but in reality, if their boyfriend/girlfriend were talking harmlessly to another, they would be enraged with them. I can understand that if they were having relationship problems that they could make a mistake, but that won’t make the situation correct. A confidential source said she cheated because she “wasn’t happy with the other person” and that “he made her feel better then her boyfriend did.” Even though she cheated on her boyfriend, she still has regrets. “It was a stupid mistake. It was an easy way out of the relationship and I know I learned from it. I hurt him, and I regret it. I cried the whole way home after it. If I could go back I would.” she said. Her view on cheating was that “emotional cheating is just as bad as physical. If you have a significant other, act like it. Acting single when you’re not is cheating. It was a mistake, I’ll admit that, but I did it for some reason.” she said.

    The viewpoint of someone who has been cheated on is somewhat different. Instead of being hurt as much, they are more angry about it. A confidential source said, “I felt like it was a shot to my pride. It didn’t help that she cheated on me with one of my good guy friends.” He also said that he “wouldn’t forgive her for what she did, especially because she didn’t tell [him] personally. [He] had to find out from someone else.” He thinks that it was for the best, and that if it didn’t happen, he might be with a girl who doesn’t feel the same about him. His definition of cheating is “any physical and emotional relationship with someone other then who you are in a relationship with.”

   From a professional stand point, Guidance Counselor Ms. Susan Slater stated that “relationships aren’t as meaningful anymore. Now that social media and texting come into play, there isn’t as much emotional attachment as there was when I was in high school.”

    Elize Radziwill, a student counselor intern from Loyola, agrees with Ms. Slater and said that “relationship boundaries are completely different. They are more flexible and the lines are more blurred now compared to even when I was in high school.”

     Nurse Ms. Amy Pearson doesn’t necessarily look at cheating from an emotional viewpoint, rather from a medical view. “Having sexual relations with someone whose past is unknown to you creates a greater risk for contracting an STD or STI,” she said. “Multiple partners can cause a chain reaction of illnesses if the past isn’t known and/or protection isn’t being used properly. Students need to know how to balance their feelings and differentiate between right and wrong.”

     Whether you have cheated before or been cheated on, we still have the same view of what cheating is. It doesn’t matter if it’s physical, emotional, unintentional, or benign, its still cheating. It will end with people getting hurt. Don’t do it. Cheating is cheating, whether big or small.