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Cheating Hearts & Other Parts

So the folks over at got me thinking.  They did this He Said/She Said column about cheating and, according to them, men are more upset by a partner’s sexual infidelity while women are more upset by emotional infidelity.  Or something like that?

So a would be more pissed off if his had a little tawdry fling with some guy she met on a business trip and is never going to see again, than if she fell in love with someone else.  While a woman might be able to shrug off a similar fling but could never forgive her guy’s emotional connection to another woman.

Personally, I don’t get it. If you’re going to commit to (which I think should be a choice/option) then both of those scenarios is betraying your commitment.  I can’t see why one is better or worse.

But then, I’m weird. I also don’t think monogamy is a great idea for many people.  So…

Anyway, I’d like to test out this theory.  See if it makes sense to you.

Women Only

Is Emotional or Physical Worse?

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Men Only Poll

Is Emotional or Physical Cheating Worse?

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Cheating Hearts & Other Parts dating polls  loading Loading ...


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17 to “Cheating Hearts & Other Parts”


  1. Beth says:

    I voted “It depends” in the women only poll. Why? Because emotional cheating is only worse when coupled with physical cheating. Having a crush or semi-romantic flirtation with another person isn’t good but it isn’t cheating. It’s really only a problem if it extends to the physical realm. And of course that is worse than a purely physical, possibly drunken one night stand without any emotional ties.

  2. I think I would be devastated either way, a physical fling would be enough for me to break up but an emotional fling would spell disaster for the future. Speaking as someone very deep in love, I think I would find it too hard to forgive. hurt me once, shame on me…..

  3. Lucky Girl says:

    This is such an interesting post, Simone. And I have to say that I understand the point that the authors are trying to make. What is unsaid is that statistically (certainly not always but often) when a woman strays physically outside of a committed relationship, she is at her rope’s end. For her, this is often the cry for the ferry outta town. Statistically not so with the men, where the physical tryst can often be meaningless and they can still be very much in love with their partners. Again, I’m not saying that either is ALWAYS the case (OR that either should be acceptable in a relationship), and I don’t intend for this to be a lambasting OR defense of either sex, but this would be the generality. And if we accept this tenet, then it makes sense that men would find the physical betrayal to be the more severe – because it is essentially the woman’s last stop, and conversely for women, once the man goes beyond a one-night stand into an emotional attachment with another woman he’s at the end of his line.

  4. CJ says:

    Emotional affairs and physical affairs are both betrayals. I don’t think I can quantify one as being “worse” than the other. (So I didn’t vote.)

  5. LaGuy says:

    Emotional betrayals don’t directly result in unexpected offspring.

  6. Jane Wonder says:

    Honestly? Both hurt in different ways. A physical betrayal is clear cut and easy to outline. An emotional one feels dirty and wrecks trust, but it leaves you without a clear platform to stand on. “I love him but I never touched him because I’m with you and I’d never do that to you!” or “We had cybersex but I never touched her so it doesn’t count!”… right. It’s a betrayal but it lacks the obvious evidence that a concrete physical betrayal has.

    Anyway, my bottom line is that I can’t say one is worse than the other. They are both betrayals and are both to be avoided.

  7. Patricia R. says:

    It’s a very interesting question to ask if emotional or physical cheating is worse, but I almost think it’s a moot point. Cheating is cheating if monogomy is agreed to by both parties. I’m trying to imagine myself being cheated on (or cheating) in either situation and they both are equally offensive to me. However, I voted emotional cheating. It’s more dangerous because it’s harder to define.

  8. NewWaveDave says:

    I think they both are the same. They both mean that you’ve checked out of relationship that you are in. That being said, I am envious of people in open relationships aka swingers. They leave themselves open to most if not all possibilities. In that case, I think you can allow your spouse to physically cheat, but if you are capable of not geting emotionally involved it all works out. Wow, am I babbling here or what?

  9. Cheating is wrong – I don’t care if it is physical or emotional. Regardless whether the result is an STD, a child or just a phone or e-mail connection – there is still the fact that someone has let a third party enter what is suppose to be a monogamous relationship.

  10. anna says:

    I think, either ways–emotional or physical, one could be just as debilitating as thew other

  11. pups4me says:

    I think both are equally bad.

  12. martin says:

    cheating is cheating, just like lieing is lieing. if you’re honest your gonna be honest, if you’re a dog, you’re allways a dog. if u can’t be honest in dating you are not going to be honest in marriage. when people find out that marriage is not a game but something thats real, and not for boys and girls but men and wemem who have stoped the games and are ready for the real thing. in the presence of friends and family and the ONE and only true God.

  13. Erin says:

    I’ve never been sex-cheated on — to my knowledge. If that ever happens, I’ll probably end up facing aggravated assault charges, and I’ll be all, “Yeah, I stabbed the guy, and I’d do it again!” And the girl he cheated with would have to get a stalking injunction against me. At least until I’m jailed for the stabbing.

    After that, I don’t have any energy left to care about emotional cheating. I don’t know how I’d be able to differentiate that from a guy’s friendships with other women, anyway. I’ve been left by guys who went straight to someone else (a “friend”), and that was humiliating and sucky and eating-disorder-inducing. But I’d have felt way worse if they’d told me they slept with the new girl before breaking up with me. I’d just rather not know. The thought makes me sick. And a little violent.

  14. Holly says:

    I voted “it depends” because it really does. Honestly, both emotional and physical cheating are horrible and shouldn’t really be tolerated. I thought people committed to relationships for a certain reason, not to mess them up. Anyways, physical cheating is bad for obvious reasons. It show disrespect, it can be harmful for both people’s sexual health (STDS, etc.)and it betrays trust. Emotional cheating is bad becuase it leaves the one being cheated on thinking they are not good enough and it also opens the door for physical cheating. I am in a Human Sexuality class and our professor talked about this exact same topic.

  15. I find that article misleading…because they’re not really saying which hurts more physical OR emotional cheating, they’re saying which hurts more physical cheating or physical AND emotional cheating, which is a drastically different comparisons.

    I have to say, I don’t really think it’s a gender issue at all, I think it’s a who’s happy in a relationship vs. who’s oblivious to their relationship and possible partner unhappiness vs. who’s unable to get out of their relationship issue. I think the level of hurt/betrayal etc. is directly related to how happy/connected/compatible the relationship is to begin with. Mass generalizations on this subject about gender are straight up ridiculous.

  16. I voted “it depends.” It mainly depends on the length of the affair, mostly. But that really goes hand in hand with the emotional attachment as well. The longer the cheating goes on, usually the stronger the emotional relationship.

    It also really depends on how long you’ve been in the relationship and the extenuating circumstances. It’s extremely case by case.

    In a truly committed relationship, I don’t think cheating should ever happen though.

  17. We all wonder “what if” I were with a different person at some point in our lives, but the only safe way to enjoy an affair is to read about one. A fictional affair is unfolding as we speak at http://www.afacebookstory-oneclickaway.blogspot.com
    This steamy read will have you and your partner wet between the thighs and open up the conversation, which makes straying less likely to happen, and builds intimacy which leads to great sex.

    Who knew someone else’s affair could be so good for your relationship? Take a peek and enjoy!

    Elizabeth