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Is it "cheating" if we aren't officially together?

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  • Is it "cheating" if we aren't officially together?

    So. I've been dating a guy, Tom*, for the past 6 months - and by dating, I mean we do pretty much everything that people in a relationship do, except we aren't officially "boyfriend and girlfriend". I'm 24, he's 30. He actually only lives about a ten minute walk/2 minute drive from my house, so we see each other a lot. I spend 3 out of 4 weekends a month at his house (I work every 4th weekend), and we often stay at each other's houses during the week, too. He even took me on a surprise trip to London for my birthday last month - he has quite a lot of money though so I doubt this was too much of a "big step" for him. I've met his entire family on several occasions and get on especially well with his mum - we've even been for coffee together a few times! But he refuses to meet my family despite me offering several times. I also have a key to his house and I'm insured on his car. We've been through quite a lot together emotionally as well, around three months ago a relatively close family member of mine suddenly passed away, and although I only saw her a few times a year,I was completely devastated. He comforted me and took care of me the whole time, really was my rock in that entire situation. However, despite ALL of this, he has not once asked me to be his girlfriend, become official, anything like that. He pretty much avoids any serious discussion about our relationship. The few times I've mentioned it, he has just laughed me off and changed the subject. We've also never said "I love you" to each other, though he does constantly refer to me as babe, baby, darling etc.

    As well as the whole ambiguity over our relationship status, there are a few other things he does which bother me. Every 4 weeks or so, he suddenly goes completely cold on me. He will randomly stop messaging me, replying to my messages, which causes me to get worried and call him to see if hes ok, he will completely ignore my calls for about 2 days and then randomly come back round and say he just "gets like that sometimes" and needs to be away from people. This can last anywhere from 2 days to a week. He also sometimes does this when we have plans together, for example he will suggest that I take a half day at work or take the day off so we can go somewhere and do something together (he does not have to put in holidays as such because he's a business owner), then when the day comes he will tell me he isnt in the mood to go out or see me, meaning I end up wasting days off doing nothing. I have had words with him about this and he says it's just his personality, that he gets overwhelmed at times and needs to be alone.

    Anyway, back to the title of the topic. On my way back from visiting family at New Year, I met a guy, Mark*, from Nothern Ireland in the train station. We started chatting casually and it turned out we had a hell of a lot in common - he is massively interested in both politics and art, just like me. Tom doesn't really care about either. He reads a lot, like me, and gave me a ton of new book suggestions, and we even love the same TV shows. Basically, I got to majorly geek out with him, which I haven't done in a while. He asked for my number, and I gave him it. Since then, we have been texting quite a bit (though it's only been 3 days). He's made it pretty clear he is interested in me, however I explained to him that I am seeing someone. The messages are starting to become quite flirty at times, so I am now wondering if I should end it. On the on hand, I do feel guilty about speaking to someone behind Tom's back, especially given how close we are (most of the time, anyway). On the other hand, we aren't official, so is what I'm doing really all that wrong? It doesn't help that Tom is currently in one of his phases where he ignores me, I actually haven't seen him since before New Year's Eve. I think at the moment I'm just enjoying the "company" from Mark if that makes sense, as in having someone to talk to who actually takes a genuine interest in me. Plus, it's not like anything would ever happen between us, as he lives in Northern Ireland and i live in England. Should I stop speaking to him? Is what I'm doing wrong? Please give me some advice!!

    *names changed for anonymity

  • #2
    I think you should have a talk with Tom. Ask him if he is IN love with you. Ask him if he loves you romantically. As for Tom disappearing on you, that could be one of two things; onne, he has depression, anxiety, and/or he is an introvert and like me, just needs time to their selves to think clearly, or two, he is doing it to make you miss him via no contact. As for Mark, I think you should only continue if Tom isn't serious about you. You're going to need to visit Mark from time to time because from most people's experience and including my past experience, long distance relationships usually don't last long. Humans crave physical contact and with long distance relationships, they only last a year without someone cheating on the other or both cheating on each other.


    • #3
      I have a general rule "If you have to ask if it is cheating or not, it is cheating".

      I would say Mark is the least of your problems. It has triggered your main issue "Is there a future with Tom?" You have to sort this out fast.


      • #4
        I'd be willing to bet that during those times where 'he gets like that,' he's actually seeing someone from out of town.

        You have attempted to define what it is you have after six months and he is unwilling to define it. Therefore, it's certainly not cheating if you see another man and/or begin a correspondence with someone.

        If you enjoy Tom's company and are willing to put up with his non-committal ways, you should keep seeing him and having fun. However, if you want to be his girlfriend, you need to make it clear that either you become his official girlfriend or you're going to step out of his life. My guess is that he's having too much fun to make you his girlfriend.
        "What lips my lips have kissed and where and why I have forgotten." ~Edna St. Vincent Millay


        • #5
          I'm not sure what's so interesting about Tom. I already see a marriage and life between the both of you that's riddled with loneliness, misconceptions, manipulation, silent treatment, denial and avoidant personality disorders. It's bleak and tragic. At the end of the day his money isn't going to matter because you can drive any car he wants to buy you but he won't be in it. You can have as many houses and vacation homes as you both can afford but he won't be in them with you and you'll still draw question marks at his mysterious behaviour. At six months you'd think he'd have taken you to his secret places in hiding where he apparently needs to get away from people. Ditching you after initiating a day off spent together is plain thoughtless and tells me he's operating on a completely different universal plane and whether he's self-made or not, he's a brat. Unless he's got a chronic illness which requires drastic treatment like day long blood transfusions at a health facility or he's Batman saving the world incognito on random, inexplicable days/nights, this guy is nonsense.

          To me, as sad as it may be to say goodbye to the money, I think you should live it up with Mark.


          • #6
            if you have not committed to be faithful, you are free to do other people of interest without feeling bad. that is central theme to building to a mono relationship such as marriage