is kissing cheating?

Is Kissing Cheating?

Stolen bread is sweet. The thrill of a first kiss with a new partner can be magical and exhilarating. But what happens when those lips lock with someone other than your significant other? 

Is stealing a kiss considered cheating, or is it harmless fun? In today’s world, the answer depends on who you ask. Some maintain that kissing someone else is cheating, no matter how “innocent” it may seem. Others believe it’s only a betrayal if it goes beyond a peck. 

So, where do we draw the line? How do we decide what constitutes infidelity when it comes to kissing? 

In this article, we’ll explore the debate around what defines cheating and help you determine your boundaries in relationships. Pucker up as we dive into the controversy over smooching and fidelity.

When Does Kissing Count as Cheating? 

If you kissed someone who is not your partner and are wondering if it counts, here are circumstances in which a kiss can pass off as cheating. 

  • Kissing with romantic intent – If there are mutual feelings and a kiss is shared, this emotional betrayal can be seen as cheating by many partners.
  • Kissing habitually – A one-off kiss may be more easily forgiven, but ongoing kissing indicates more severe cheating. 
  • Kissing with sexual motives – A passionate make-out session that is headed toward sexual activity often constitutes cheating.
  • Kissing secretly or lying about it – Hiding interactions suggests knowing it’s wrong and cheating.
  • Kissing someone close, like a friend or ex – The closeness of the bond can make this feel like a more profound betrayal.
  • We were kissing while in an exclusive relationship – Most monogamous couples expect complete fidelity, including no kissing others. 
  • Kissing while physically separated – Even if a couple is doing long distance, kissing one another is usually still off limits. 
  • Kissing after establishing it’s unwanted – If a partner has vocalized kissing others is cheating on them, that sets a boundary.
  • Kissing without consent – Non-consensual kissing or forcing a kiss on someone against their will. 

Remember, kissing outside the relationship fundamentally breaks trust and affection exclusivity. Clear communication and boundaries are vital to avoiding cheating.

Does a Drunk Kiss Count As Cheating?

In a relationship, we express love through physical touch, which involves kissing. Having physical intimacy with another person can hurt your partner. However, we sometimes can find ourselves in circumstances where we are not of sound mind. 

is kissing cheating

For instance, if you go to a party, get drunk, and kiss another person, the guilt can make you feel terrible. Whether or not it counts as cheating depends on different circumstances. Here are some factors to analyze: 

  • Did you pre-meditate the kiss before getting drunk? 
  • Do you have feelings for the person you kissed?
  • How did the kiss make you feel? 
  • Did you experience guilt or shame after the kiss? 

If you felt the desire to kiss someone else before getting drunk, it counts as cheating. The truth is, maybe you used the excuse of being intoxicated to do what you have been meditating.

is kissing cheating

It is easier to comfort yourself with the fact that you are drunk when you have kissed someone else. While the comfort can provide temporary relief from the truth, it can conceal deep underlying relationship issues. Hence, being honest with yourself and your partner is vital. 

The Loophole

Every situation has a loophole. Below are some circumstances where kissing may not be wrong:

  • An innocent, brief “hello/goodbye” kiss with a friend or acquaintance. Quick pecks without romantic meaning may be deemed acceptable by some couples.
  • Kissing someone on the cheek or hand as a friendly greeting or show of affection. Cultural context matters here. 
  • Kissing in certain subcultures where it is common and not romantically motivated, like greeting kisses between friends.
  • Kissing as part of a game or activity, like Spin the Bottle or Truth or Dare. The playful context changes intent.
  • Kissing for a performance like a theater or a movie role. It’s acting rather than actual romance.
  • An accidental kiss in a crowded space or due to a fall where faces collide unintentionally. True intent is clear.
  • Kissing before the relationship’s exclusivity was defined. Partners must clarify when monogamy began.
  • Certain types of ethical non-monogamous relationships where outside kissing is accepted.
  • One partner has granted the other “permission” to kiss someone else occasionally.

You must communicate boundaries in your relationship to avoid hurt. Letting each other know what you regard as cheating can prevent awkward situations.


Q: My partner kissed someone else at a party. They said it didn’t mean anything, but I still feel hurt and betrayed. Is this considered cheating?

A: A kiss outside of the relationship, even if alcohol was involved, can feel like cheating on the partner; dismissing it as not meaningful rings hollow. While context matters, for most monogamous couples, kissing someone else breaks the trust and exclusivity that’s expected in the relationship. 

Q: My spouse gave an old friend a quick kiss on the lips in greeting. I don’t like public displays of affection with anyone but me. Is my spouse cheating here? 

A: Some cultures and individuals see brief kisses as platonic greetings. But if this crosses established boundaries in your relationship, then it’s cheating regardless of intent. Partners must respect each other’s comfort levels. Discuss what behaviors are unacceptable so it doesn’t happen again.

Q: I had a one-night stand while traveling for work. It was just physical – does kissing someone else still count as cheating if emotions aren’t involved?

A: Having any sexual or physically intimate contact with someone else is usually considered cheating in committed relationships. While some couples have understandings about certain exceptions, kissing and passionately making out implies intimacy and shared affection that would still be taken as a betrayal by most partners.

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