Good News, Cheaters: More Than a Quarter of Americans Think One-Night Stands Don't Count

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After reading about new study of what people consider unfaithful behavior now, it's clear that the internet has utterly changed everything about the way we live.

Cheating today, according to this Deseret News report, isn't anything like it was back in the day when dad found the milkman skulking in the bushes outside the bedroom window. 

The News and YouGov surveyed 1,832 people on their ideas as to what constitutes actual fooling around. Given a variety of theoretical situations people mostly responded as you might expect, but there were a few surprises.

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Many survey respondents—73 percent—agreed one-night stands are definitely cheating. But that means a quarter of the people surveyed figured fooling around once is fine

That's striking, since it's easy to assume many might say cheating is cheating, whether it's one time or a dozen.

The study delved into the way communicating over the internet affects ideas regarding fidelity as well. Over half the people surveyed believed merely flirting with someone else on the side counts as cheating, and 63 percent said keeping an updated dating profile was not cool. 

Perhaps most significant, though—69 percent agreed straight-up sexting was tantamount to hopping in bed with another person. Heh.

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Behaviors many might not even consider cheating at all were considered at least a little objectionable. Nineteen percent of those answering the survey said watching porn solo was adulterous, and 16 percent considered merely friending an ex on a social media site was wrong.

About cheating easily facilitated by the internet, psychologist Mitch Fu told the News that the accessible, affordable, anonymous nature of screwing around online has made it very easy to blur lines that may have once been pretty clear.

Katherine Hertlein, a therapist who spoke with the Deseret News regarding the way internet communication affects perceptions of relationships, said avoiding pitfalls that might come with simple flirty messages or even following a friendly ex-boyfriend or girlfriend is easy to test. 

"Consider whatever information you’re exchanging" with others, Hertlein said, "Could you take a screenshot of it and show it to your partner? If the answer is no, then rethink what you’re doing."  

That sounds like a pretty good way to go, before you end up having someone else throw some questionable screengrabs back at you

h/t Deseret News