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Grading On The Curve

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A friend of mine has a problem. He doesn’t know if what he does should be considered cheating. Here’s the situation: His girlfriend is upset to find out that he communicates with a lot of other women who have no idea she exists. He wanted to know if I would consider this cheating. In a confused, why wouldn’t I, tone of voice I said “absolutely”.

He thinks that there is nothing wrong with what he does because he isn’t doing anything more than conversing. I tried to explain that there is nothing wrong with the conversations but there is something wrong with the other women not knowing he is involved with someone.

I also let him know that the circumstances in which he met them were not appropriate. They were not co-workers or friends of friends. These were women who he met while out on the town.

When I told him that I knew the question of a relationship had to come up; he said that he would always change the subject so he wouldn’t have to lie. I was so shocked and taken aback that he would think avoiding the question of her was somehow better. “I just enjoy conversation with different viewpoints and personalities and if I told them I was involved the conversation would change” was his (in my opinion, excuse) justification.

Asking around, I found out that everybody has different views on cheating. Some of us view exchanging contact information as cheating, some see having internet friends as cheating, and others don’t see anything wrong short of physical contact. Then some of us think that it isn’t cheating if we don’t get caught.

Remember when you were in school and some teachers would grade on the curve? You know, the person with the highest score would set the standard for the grading process. I wonder, in our relationships; how do we grade cheating? Is what we considered cheating in direct correlation with how much we ourselves cheat? I find this to be true.

Ask a person who is straight forward what they consider cheating and ask someone who likes to creep and you will see two different ends of the spectrum.

With this being said, when dating someone, maybe we should take the time to find their stands on cheating. Instead of asking their favorite color we might need to ask their position on secret friends. It might let you know, up front, how much of a cheater you’re dealing with and if your opinions are parallel.

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