If you kiss and tell, are you still unfaithful?

7 11 2009

Once, weeks after a relationship ended, I was told that we had not been in a relationship. What did we have, I wondered at the time. Is there a word for what we had had? Once, after discovering that the person I was in love with had been holding hands with someone else, I was told that that was not unfaithfulness. What is it then, I wondered. Is there anything in between faithful and unfaithful? I sat down and thought, ‘how is it, that it is so clear to me that it was unfaithfulness, and it was not ‘unfaithful’ to the other person!’ Had we been taught at different schools? had we seen different things in life? had we just not interpreted the dictionary in the same way?

I think the latter. I mean, what else could it be? And I sat down to think about being unfaithful. Randomly, I checked dictionaries. What does it mean, this word? It meant too many things. In the British National Corpus, a search for ‘faithful’ came up with faithful to causes, religion, thoughts, people, and then finally, faithful in love, but a search for ‘unfaithful’ showed everything to be related to love and sex! So the BNC doesn’t help either, I thought. I would just have to sit and think it out.

Would I consider my beloved to be unfaithful if she looked at someone across the room, in that special way that said ‘I see you’? Or maybe if she dances sexily with someone? Or if she holds hands with someone secretly? Would I be unfaithful if I met someone suddenly for coffee and didn’t tell her I planned it? (‘it was just a coffee and not a date!’). If I make plans to be with someone in a different life, is that unfaithful? or is ‘unfaithful’ a term that we use only when sex is involved?

Sex with someone else. That’s it. Yes, definitely unfaithful. But no, another friend said. ‘I don’t care that he slept with someone, it would be worse if he cared for her’. ‘What?’ I said, outraged. ‘You don’t mind??’ Well, maybe it’s not just the sex then. Just maybe. Maybe its the thought that there will be sex! ‘No, no’ she said, exasperated. ‘You are too hung up on this sex thing’. So, yes, maybe I am.

When I sat and thought about it over a cup tea, I realised that even handholding was unfaithful in my eyes. Actually, handholding was worse than sex with another person! Hand holding was romance, chemistry, electricity. And the more I thought about this, I realised that I was actually mixing up faithfulness with something else.

Knowing you know everything she does, and thinks, and feels. Really. Being certain.

Yes, that terrible word that some call trust. You have to be able to know that that person will not hurt you. You have to be able to know that you are told the whole truth and not parts of the truth. You want to feel that you are so important to the other person that she will tell you everything. Everything. That even the hand holding will not be hidden from you. And that ‘knowing’ of the other person is a different ball game altogether.

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9 responses

7 11 2009
thirdworld

But you can never know the other person will not hurt you. And everyone withholds parts of the truth about something at least some of the time. And no one ever tells anyone everything…? EVERYTHING?

7 11 2009
Vak

true, no one tells everything, but the important things? the problem is, what are the important things?

7 11 2009
pol sambol

Sometimes i think we “tell” after kissing just to relieve ourselves of the burden of guilt. too much to bear… If you feel you have done something you want to hide or feel guilty about, you have prob been unfaithful! but the lovely thing is that even degrees of unfaithfulness can be negotiated!

9 11 2009
lg77

Unfaithful :

I think ‘unfaithful’ starts with a thought.

If my lover thinks about another woman in a romantic way, and has feelings about her that’s unfaithful. Even if she doesn’t make any real action like holding this other woman’s hand , flirting or kissing, etc. May be I am an extremist when it comes to this topic 😉

So holding hands , flirting, kissing, having sex are obviously unfaithful , for ME.

Faithfulness and trust go together.

For example, when my girl friend goes clubbing without me, I know she is going to dance with other girls. A little drunk, dancing, u got the picture 😉

Since she is going to lesbian clubs, this makes it worse 😉

But the fact that she won’t have feelings for any one and kiss anyone or make out with anyone , I never have to wonder. We have that trust. I have that trust on her that she wont be unfaithful.

Finally I must say , in relationships, sometimes its better you don’t get to hear “Everything” . 😉

9 11 2009
Vak

Happy for you that you have the trust that many couples hope for 🙂 I’ve heard a lot of people say that they don’t want to hear “Everything”. But I wonder, does it take something out of the relationship to not say whatever has happened? At the same time, if something has happened, there is no way the relationship will be in the same ‘place’ it was before that incident? Any thoughts on this?

9 11 2009
lg77

Wel, yes, ‘hearing everything ‘ affects the relationship, If we are reffering to something BIG like kissing , having sex with another. (now this sounds like cheating ,isn’t it 😛 )

we can forgive our partner, but things will not be the same afterwords (at least for some time) , as she broke the special thing we shared -“TRUST”.

But again ,I personally think that the relationship can be put in to the ‘same’ place again. It entirely depends on how easily u can forgive, forget, how much effort both of you are wiling put on this to make things work out again. To build the trust again – Its not easy, but I think its doable 😉

9 11 2009
Scrumpulicious

I agree with your friend. I would be more upset if there was emotional cheating than physical cheating. Trust is a big deal but it’s about making your other half see that what you think is unfaithful really bothers you. 🙂

10 11 2009
pp

but isn’t physical cheating also a violation of trust?

10 11 2009
Vak

I am still trying to figure out if physical cheating makes people upset, or the hiding it from you makes people upset, or is it both upsetting, and if so, is it the same kind of upsetting. 😉

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