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When Does Online Cheating Cross the Line?

  • March 06, 2007
  • by PInow Staff

Online cheaters connect with other partners in cyberspace for adventures that range from erotic virtual encounters to basic flirting. While some don't consider it cheating, many experts agree that online infidelity crosses the line and can lead to real cheating in person.

Online cheating has many forms. Some internet users log onto online dating sites or specifically, online dating sites designed especially for discreet married people to meet someone in person. Many others simply flirt and have affairs online, without ever meeting the person they are speaking with.

What is online cheating?

Some justify hot chats as harmless fun, but this sort of behavior has caused marital rifts and has even lead to in-person affairs offline. At best, cybersex means that a partner starts spending time with someone besides their partner time that can better be invested in the relationship. Since online flirting or online sex is simpler and fantasy-based, it can fuel the desire even more, leading someone to seek a real-life affair. Of course, there is always the real possibility that the cheater's partner will be upset and hurt when they find out about such online activity.

Flirting, and even having an erotic encounter online, is as simple as logging onto a chat group to meet people. Partners who meet this way can even go into private online rooms to continue their virtual conversations. Instant messaging, email, and forums are all communication devices that can allow online couples to have virtual encounters. Thanks to fictional usernames, these encounters can remain completely anonymous and completely online.

Why online affairs?

There are many reasons why people turn to online affairs. For instance, these relationships are really not relationships at all. They require far less work than a real marriage or partnership. In addition, virtual affairs are also fantasy-based in some cases. There is no need to discuss or face responsibility, and there is no need to work on the relationship. Fake usernames make many people feel that their online activities are remote from everyday life and completely anonymous.

Many experts view online intimacy as a move towards a relationship break-up. Some partners who start going online for intimacy start displaying addictive behaviors by spending more and more time online rather than in their real relationship. Others start taking their online fantasies to the next level by meeting in person with those they have met online. In either case, the partner of these online cheaters is left alone in a relationship, and the relationship starts to deteriorate quickly when two people are not communicating. The partner of the online cheater may start to feel envious or insecure about the online intimacy and resentment may formulate.

What can a couple do?

In any event, getting the facts straight is always the first step. In rare cases, a partner may be completely honest about their online activities. However, in most cases, a partner will simply see some signs that an online affair is taking place, such as noticing that their other partner is spending a lot of time online, getting very secretive about online activity, and/or withdrawing from the relationship. In all these cases, it is important to find out what is going on. Knowing whether an affair is virtual or in-person, and knowing the scope of the affair, can help bring closure and answers that lead to some concrete decisions.

A private investigator can provide concrete, indisputable answers even answers that can stand up in court if an affair leads to a divorce. A professional investigator can tell a partner whether a spouse is having an affair, and can often identify the other party involved. In many cases, an investigator can set up a simple computer surveillance system that can track online chats and messages, thus revealing the real scope of an online affair. Finding a local, qualified investigator is as simple as visiting the Worldwide Directory of Private Investigators. The Worldwide Directory of Private Investigators allows users to browse an online database of investigators and browse free cheating resources that can bring real peace of mind and real answers.

About ( is a Worldwide Directory of Private Investigators that enables law firms, corporations, and the general public to find investigators anywhere. strives to be the most trusted resource on the web to locate qualified investigators. All investigators listed on are pre-screened and must meet specific listing requirements. was developed by the team that brought you the Process Servers Directory (

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