Ask A Guy: How To Tell If You’re Actually Cheating

Hey Joel,

I was close friends with this guy a few years ago and we recently reconnected last year and he admitted he used to have a crush on me.  He has a girlfriend, but as we have reconnected things have gotten a little bit out of hand. We’ve flirted, sexted, connected emotionally and been “talking” for almost 11 months now, but we haven’t done anything physically. He told me he likes me, but loves his girlfriend and can’t break up with her. I understand he is using me to some extent, but I know there is some genuineness there as well. I am in the wrong, too, but I’m bummed with myself that I have let this sting more than I initially thought it would. I guess my question is, does this sort of cheating happen often (or is it really even cheating)? And how can I still remain friends with him (or become more in the future) after we’ve both created such a mess?


Things seem to have gotten a LOT out of hand, and it seems your hormones are blinding you to the reality you’re in!

Let’s get one thing straight before we dig deep: the way he is communicating with you is absolutely, without a doubt, 110% cheating. There is no way around it. While you may want to think it’s completely innocent because it’s all via phones and computers, even without having any physical interaction, there is no question he is being beyond unfaithful to his girlfriend.

You don’t need to hook up to have it considered cheating. You’ve admitted that beyond just talking, there has been flirting and sexting, and if that’s not part of your definition of cheating, you need to update your dictionary. I am guessing that if your boyfriend was doing the same with another girl, you’d be furious–so think about how his girlfriend will feel when she finds out.

More to the point, he may say he loves his girlfriend, but if he’s making things all steamy with you, he doesn’t love her very much. Truly loving someone happens on all levels–emotionally, psychologically, and physically. My guess is that he is too immature right now to be able to do that, and I also question how much he respects his current girlfriend.

Honestly, I am not sure there is much of a friendship to keep. If you’re okay with being friends with someone who is unfaithful to their partners, then that’s all on you, but I don’t recommend it. However, the bottom line is, this is NOT a guy you want to be dating, as he clearly can’t keep himself faithful to just one girl. If it happened once, it will happen again–and I wouldn’t advise putting yourself in that situation.

The best move is to just stop all the sexting and everything else right now as it will only get more difficult as you continue. Let him know he’s doing wrong by his girlfriend, and go find yourself a guy who is actually available and not already cheating on someone.

Best wishes,


Joel Freimark has done a lot in life and seen even more. From last minute international travel to bizarre places to writing award winning books, he’s here to bring his wisdom to all your problems. He hosts a weekly advice series on Youtube and a music series also on YouTube. No question is too outrageous or personal, so go ahead and fire away! Follow him on Twitter.

Are you confused about a guy? Do you find yourself wondering, “What is he thinking?” Tell us everything in the comments! And if you have a question for Joel, email him at!

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