Relationships are tricky. Often unclear. But one thing you can generally rely on as a big red flag is anything that starts with the words “is it cheating if…?”

If someone’s asking this question, you know at minimum that there are some trust issues going on.

We can only speculate at the motives of Reddit user pokey_bum_wannk who set off a fairly unanimous firestorm on r/AskReddit when they posted:

If you caught your partner “sexting” would you consider it cheating? Would it break the trust? Why or why not?
by inAskReddit

1. A lot of people immediately wondered what was up

You ok OP?

– c6H1206_Guardian

2. Was someone in trouble and trying to justify their actions?

“Whatever babe, you know what? Ill ask reddit, and maybe you’ll chill the f*ck out”

– C0lby1000

3. The response was overwhelmingly one-sided

Yes, and Yes.

For obvious reasons, is this seriously even a question

– Melioidozer

4. Some didn’t put much effort into explaining why

its got s^x in it, of course its cheating.

– internetpersonanona

5. But there is a distinction between cheating and s*x

Sounds like emotional cheating to me, and it’s hard not to physically cheat when your mind is already moving in that direction

Yes, it counts as cheating

– mignightjenga

6. It’s less about an arbitrary physical action and more about trust

Cheating doesn’t equal s*x.

Cheating is betrayal of your partner’s trust, loyalty, emotions, feelings etc.

S*x is a byproduct.

– Punconscious

7. No one expressed that they’d be cool with their partner indulging in it

I would be devastated is my SO was s*xting someone else.

We don’t even s*xt. It would definitely be a deal breaker.

– gigabytestarship

8. Turn that perspective around, and you get a pretty clear answer

The best test: if you would find your partner do that, you would like that?

probably not.

Don’t do what you don’t want your so would do to you

– vovan45619

9. There’s another litmus test for this

If you wouldn’t do it sitting next to them, you shouldn’t do it.

That’s how you know there is something wrong with what you are doing

– sprocket1234

10. Of course, when things progress slowly, the lines can blur

I once had a female co-worker. She was hot, clearly liked me as she made flirty comments all the time and I enjoyed the attention, though I never intended pursuing her romantically.

Then one evening I was working and chatting with her thru company chat program and my wife came up and I felt the urge to hide the screen.

That’s when I knew it wasn’t okay and I was going down a dangerous path so I cut communication to a minimum.

– SuccumbedToReddit

11. The thread wasn’t entirely decided

Variations of this question come up all the time, and the answer is the same.

Cheating is violating the bounds of a relationship.

There is NO hard and fast rule beyond that.

Some couples would consider flirting cheating. Some couples would not consider having s^x with other people cheating.

There is no right or wrong answer to this question, and it’s something that each couple should navigate on their own.

People also really should have this conversation with their partner and make sure that boundaries are clearly defined – and not left to unspoken assumptions that may be different between them.

– lostPackets35

That makes perfect sense to me. But I’d say for the majority of us, it’s a big no-no. And if you have to ask, you probably already know what the answer is for your relationship.

But what do you think about all this?

Let’s talk in the comments.