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You Asked: Did I Cheat?

Dear Sugar,

I wanted to know if it's OK to "cheat" on your guy when you first start dating but aren't exclusive yet. We've been seeing each other for a few weeks and one night I went out with some girlfriends and kissed a guy I was dancing with. I didn't feel guilty per se since we hadn't labeled our relationship yet, but just last night we had "the talk" and decided that we didn't want to see other people. I guess what I am asking is, is what I did wrong and is it worth telling him, or should I just keep it in the past and forget about it? Is telling him just going to cause more harm than good? It was just one kiss with someone I didn't even know, so is that considered cheating? — I Needed the Label Laurie

To see Dear Sugar's answer

Dear I Needed the Label Laurie,

If you and your boyfriend were not exclusive when you kissed this other man, than technically you weren't cheating on him. With that said, you have to ask yourself how your boyfriend is going to feel when/if he finds out you were still keeping one eye open.

Relationships are all about trust so if I were you, I would tell him. Starting the relationship out on the right foot will set the standard moving forward. You want your boyfriend to trust you, and while you say he was a total stranger, this is a small world and I can guarantee that your boyfriend will be hurt and disappointed if he hears this news from someone else. Ask yourself how you would feel if the roles were reversed — would you want to know?

Honesty is the best policy so I advise you to lay everything out on the table. Be prepared though for him to be a little upset; even though you didn't technically cheat, he's bound to feel the blow to his ego so give him the reassurance he needs and try not to dwell on the past. Good luck to you.


JessBear JessBear 9 years
I would tell, but that's because I'm a fan of total honesty. It's the sort of thing that will probably upset him now, but if it somehow slips out much later, would upset him much more. (Remember the episode of Friends where Monica wanted to have sex with Joey, not Chandler, and he finds out after they're engaged? Not a perfect comparison, but still valid, I think.)
chicaparati17 chicaparati17 9 years
I dont think you cheated because the relationship had not been defined.
siúcra-gaelach siúcra-gaelach 9 years
i have actually been in this situation, and i guess you could say am currently in it now. i've never felt the need to tell my current boyfriend i made out with someone before the DTR. i wouldn't want to hurt him, and we had a "don't ask, don't tell" policy. although i don't agree with this sort of policy if you are in a committed relationship, i agree that what is in the past should stay there. and as dear mentioned, if i put myself in his shoes, i still wouldn't want to know! it doesn't matter who he has kissed in the past - he is with me now and that's the only thing i care about. :)
You did not cheat since ya'll were not yet exclusive. I do think you should discuss it with him, so that if it ever does come out, you can't be blamed for lying by omission.
vanyvrgs vanyvrgs 9 years
I disagree with sugar and agree with most everyone here. It is not cheating and you should not tell. It would certainly cause more harm than good to say btw, I kissed another guy when we were not exclusive. Moreover, do you want to go down that road with him? You were not exclusive -he and you had a right to do what you pleased with the opposite sex. Do you want him to tell you if he kissed one or 10 others when you were not exclusive? Be happy you have started a real relationship now and do not worry about it.
pinupsweetheart pinupsweetheart 9 years
I agree - it was not cheating and I wouldn't tell him. It was before "the talk" and it really isn't worth dragging up. It was a simple kiss and nothing more.
cubadog cubadog 9 years
No you shouldn't say anything. You just had the talk last night. Past is past do you think he is going to give you the play by play up to last night. I doubt it.
ReverendZelda ReverendZelda 9 years
Also, you lose any right to freak if you find out he did something before the talk. Just a heads up. If you'd freak, then fess up now and tell him you expect the same.
ReverendZelda ReverendZelda 9 years
If you were going to fess up, you should have done it during the talk. Unless the kiss was on his manly bits or involved some heavy breathing, I'd leave it in the past.
PJ-PJ-PJ PJ-PJ-PJ 9 years
You did not cheat. There is no need to tell.
PinkUnicorn PinkUnicorn 9 years
Don't tell him. You guys weren't serious yet, and all you did was kiss another person. Is it really worth ruining a potentially great relationship over something that small and insignificant. If the kiss had happened AFTER "the talk" then it would be a different story, but since you guys were not exclusive, it's not really anyone else's business.
Marci Marci 9 years
You and he had the talk last night. That means effective last night you are exclusive. But up until then, you were both free agents and anything you did was your business. It was also only a kiss, so I say not worth mentioning. It has NO bearing on where you and he are beginning today.
onesong onesong 9 years
No way Jose, keep your mouth shut and if it ever comes up say "no, it was before we were exclusive; in fact, we had just started talking." and let that be the end of it.
LittleLady12 LittleLady12 9 years
Worst advice ever. Do not tell him. You were not exclusive at the time, so it is none of his business. What exactly does "not exclusive" even mean if innocently kissing another guy is wrong, and then going and telling him?? And what will be the benefit of telling him, anyway? Honesty is NOT always the best policy, and now is one of those times.
AujahAcorn AujahAcorn 9 years
what you do B4 you make it official is your deal not his.
jaxon jaxon 9 years
I say dont tell. YOu werent exclusive at the time you owed him nothing and vice versa. But from now own keep you lips to yourself
7kimba7 7kimba7 9 years
I wouldn't tell him... you didn't have the talk yet so it's not his business. it was just a kiss.
princess_eab princess_eab 9 years
Not cheating in my book.
sunami sunami 9 years
It meant nothing and it happened before you were exclusive so it doesn't count. If you mention it, it would cause a whole lot of trouble. Don't make this a 'what if' relationship. Forget it and move on.
nikodarling nikodarling 9 years
Why are you actually worrying about this? Don't bother saying anything. Why unnecessarily bruise his ego or make him wonder about you. You said so yourself you weren't mutually exclusive well now that you are its time to stop kissing other guys. Keep your mouth shut and enjoy your new relationship.
getstinko getstinko 9 years
I totally disagree with Dear Sugar - we are talking about a kiss right? Don't confuse your boyfriend with this stuff, if you are never going to see this dude again and it didn't matter - just move on.
hotstuff hotstuff 9 years
No that isn't cheating! Don't tell I can't believe your even thinking about it!
ThePerfectScore ThePerfectScore 9 years
Oh girl... don't worry about it... don't even tell him....If the relationship was not plainly stated as closed and exclusive then no harm no foul.... the thing now is to move on in a new relationship and trust and respect one another enough to remain monogamous.
Kristinh1012 Kristinh1012 9 years
Don't tell, it was just a kiss. Just make sure you don't do it now.
Marseeah Marseeah 9 years
In my mind, anything that happened before the RDT (Relationship Defining Talk), especially something as trivial as a kiss while out dancing, doesn't need to be talked or cared about, and I wouldn't be upset if the guy who I just started dating had dome something similar - or even worse.
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