Kissing Someone Else Isn't Considered Cheating, Even If You're In A Relationship

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couple kissing lying down on white sheets
Heartbreak

Cheating is one of those really murky subjects where everyone has a different opinion. 

Some people think it's only cheating if you do something physical, while others consider emotional affairs a deal breaker. Some couples break up over it — others work it out. It all depends on the individual situation. 

But is kissing cheating while you're in a relationship?

People are definitely divided on the subject!

In 2013, a poll by YouGov found that 52% of people kissing someone else is not cheating — in fact, it's considered OK (and actually forgivable).

In a more recent survey about what constitutes kissing, where they polled 2000 Americans and Europeans, the results to that pressing question were a bit different...

In the United States, it turns out that only 20% of women consider kissing someone else when you're in a relationship to be OK and 12% of men consider kissing OK.

Wow, that's a big difference from that 2013 survey! But that doesn't change what you should do about cheating — or about kissing other people — in your relationship. You still need to discuss it. 

RELATED: How To Know What Really Counts As Cheating

After all, cheating, like kissing, is personal! And because of that, everyone is going to have a different opinion about whether kissing is cheating. 

So what is it about kissing that makes it so intimate? It's not sex, it's just lips. And yet, most people definitely consider kissing to be intimate enough to be saved for your partner when you're in a monogamous relationship. 

According to philematologists (the scientists who study kissing — yes, that exists!), "the kissing we associate with romantic courtship may help us to choose a good mate, send chemical signals, and foster long-term relationships. All of this is important in evolution’s ultimate goal — successful procreation...

Kissing allows us to get close enough to a mate to assess essential characteristics about them, none of which we’re consciously processing. Part of this information exchange is most likely facilitated by pheromones, chemical signals that are passed between animals to help send messages."

RELATED: 5 Things That Happen To Your Body When You Kiss Someone 

If being a genetic match is all that's standing in the way of cheating on your partner, doesn't that mean you're probably unhappy in the relationship?

While breaking up over kissing someone else might seem a little dramatic and childish — especially if the relationship is long-term — I still believe it's a sign of something deeper that needs to be discussed. Yes, monogamous couples can heal from cheating and move on ... but it's never simple. 

So even if you don't consider kissing to be a total deal-breaker, it definitely means something is not quite right. I'd take this situation as a reason to reevaluate the relationship at least and make sure you both are happy. After all, there is a large section of society that believes that if you cheat on your partner — even if it's just kissing someone else — that means you do not love them.

There really is only one answer to the question of whether kissing someone else is considered cheating: What do you and your partner think? 

And guess what? That's something you need to decide as soon as you become monogamous or when setting up the perimeters of your open relationship. Talk honestly, be open, and go over the "rules" of your relationship act by act. Is kissing cheating? How about sliding into someone else's DMs? 

The more you talk about it ahead of time, the less likely you are to find out the hard way that you two define cheating differently. 

Cheating is one of those ugly things we hope we never have to deal with, but if we do, we should at least be smart about it. 

RELATED: The 10 Types Of People Who Cheat The Most (According To Science)

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Emily Blackwood is a writer and editor living in California. She covers all things news, pop culture and true crime.

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