We’re Not As Monogamous As We May Think. Remember that quote from former President Jimmy Carter in Playboy magazine “I’ve looked on many women with lust. I’ve committed adultery in my heart many times. God knows I will do this and forgives me.” How many of us do the same thing? An anonymous online survey was taken asking what behaviors would be considered Infidelity. The results are as follows:
1. 73 out of 100 people thought falling in love with someone other than their partner with no sexual contact still counted as an infidelity.
2. 31% thinks staying up all night talking to someone else constitutes cheating.
3. 7% thinks just thinking about another person inappropriately was unacceptable.
So where do you draw the line when it comes to Infidelity. Being nice to someone who is nice to you? Reciprocating a sweet gesture? Human connections are the lifeline of emotional survival. To have conversations with the opposite sex that are genuine, deep and filled with substance can be fulfilling, especially if you aren’t receiving that connection with your partner. Even the most fleeting kindness and flirtations with strangers enhance our well-being. These brief moments of human interchange can heighten are senses all around. Why wouldn’t it spike up intimate feelings? I realize thinking such thoughts and acting on them are two different things, however, the thoughts do exist. We may think because we are with one partner and haven’t had intercourse with another makes us monogamous. In Marital Therapy and Couples Counseling, I speak to men and women who are in monogamous relationships yet talk about how they are attracted to someone at their place of work, a parent at their children’s school or how the neighbor next door is sweet to them. They admit they flirt and like the attention they receive when engaging in “harmless” sexual banter. Sure the energy you receive from that connection is exhilarating.
More importantly, what do you do with that energy? The ideal is to take that energy and incorporate it into your monogamous relationship and enhance that connection. Some people do. The point here is that as much as we say we believe in Monogamy, our behaviors don’t always support it. We continue to laugh and flirt with the opposite sex and encourage the excitement that can make our day.
So when these opposite-sex friendships serve the purpose of enhancing your experiences and adding to your life it’s difficult to comprehend what exactly is so out of bounds about it.
For more information on putting internal and external boundaries in place call me at (858) 735-1139, so you know when you may be crossing that line.