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Chisom Winifred: When Is It Called Cheating?



I seldom talk about relationships or read love-related posts. I certainly don’t take relationship advices online, even if you show me a degree from Harvard. You know why? I believe everyone is different. What makes your man angry might be what tickles my man’s fancy. We all have different backgrounds and orientations and the rules of something as intimate as a relationship can’t be decided based on general opinion.

I, however, stumbled upon a huge block lately. A dear friend of mine called, complaining and asking for advice. I always try my best to refrain from giving relationship advice whenever I can. What do I know abeg?
My friend was utterly upset with her boyfriend. She quickly dispensed with pleasantries. “Chisom please listen to this and tell me if I’m right or wrong.”
I could sense from her voice that I would be in serious trouble if I dared to say she was wrong.

Her boyfriend worked and resided in Lagos while she was a student in Port-Harcourt; they had been dating for two years. They had never had the ‘long distance’ issue. Something I greatly admired. She went on to tell me about a guy she met; a stylist and fashion entrepreneur. Need I mention my friend is a fashion freak? The kind that would be willing to sell her birthright just to slay.

She connected with this stylist guy Aaron, they seemed to have a lot in common and they soon became good friends. She mentioned Aaron to her Lagos boyfriend, letting him know they were just friends, but she started to hangout frequently with Aaron, and I quote her:

“Not like I was cheating or anything. We just hangout and I’m helping him plan his new collection”. Whatever that means.

Lagos boyfriend, however, started to get uncomfortable.

“I know Aaron is just a friend, but can you stop seeing him for my sake?”

My friend agreed.

Lagos boyfriend was stalking his girlfriends’ instagram as usual that fateful day when he saw her last post. She totally slayed.
Grey bodicon skirt that accentuated her hour glass figure, navy blue crop top and all white Addidas sneakers.
All hell broke loose when Lagos boyfriend read the caption.
“I am a daughter of grace…styled by @Aaronclothing
#slay #pepperdem #Jesusgirl”

“He called me immediately”. My friend was saying on the phone, “And started asking me is it the same Aaron he knows that I tagged as my stylist? I said yes, any problem? Come and see the way this guy started shouting at me oo telling me after warning me to stay away from the guy I still went to go and do styling with him. I tried to explain that it was just suggestion of cloths I wore that there is nothing else but he wouldn’t even listen. He was so angry, saying I’m cheating on him. But he knows in his heart of hearts the kind of person I am. I’m not one to cheat at all. Did I do anything wrong? Can’t I have friends again because I’m dating? This is not the first time he’s asking me to stay away from someone, once he notices the person has some sort of interest in me.”

She continued ranting, but I had long stopped listening from the part where she said “can’t I have friends again because I’m dating?”

I was thinking hard and fast of the response to give, the last thing I needed was to be caught in a cross fire.
I kinda understood the boyfriend. He was probably feeling threatened and had to do something to secure his territory but at the same time, my friend raised a valid point. Was she not allowed to have male friends because she was in a relationship?

I responded by telling her to calm down and give the Lagos boyfriend a break, if he didn’t love her, he wouldn’t be throwing tantrums now abi? She could state her case later when everything was calm and cool and he was more open to listen to her. She didn’t exactly like my response, I sensed she would have loved me to support her stance and not sound like a godmother dishing out wisdom.

With a “Hmmm…okay oo” she hung up.

I thought about this long and hard. Did she cheat? She didn’t, but she obviously spent a lot of time with this guy which could possibly lead to cheating… Was she not allowed to have male friends? What if she distanced herself from anyone that indicated interest because of her relationship and after a while Lagos boyfriend called it quits?
Must you sleep with someone before you ‘cheat’ on your partner? Or anything beyond a ‘hello, hi’ situation with someone of the opposite sex qualifies as cheating too?

Should you seclude yourself from other guys because you are dating or should it be a 50-50 thing?

When is it cheating?

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Chisom Winifred is a creative/freelance writer, content creator and a self published Author. Find her on Instagram @chisomwinifred or visit her blog


  1. Ehi.

    April 20, 2018 at 6:24 am

    Personally, I feel like you shouldn’t do anything you wouldn’t like your partner doing. Yes, you should definitely have friends outside your relationship but you should always know your boundaries.

  2. Allwell

    April 20, 2018 at 7:16 am

    Anything worth doing, should be done very well.
    Let us give each relationship it’s respect and full loyalty until the relationship proves to be worthless.
    If you hang out and spend time with a guy when you have a boyfriend, you are cheating already. Yes thats! Imagine your boyfriend spent a whole evening with this cute lady who is very much interested in him, how would you feel?

    • Molly

      April 20, 2018 at 10:22 am

      You have a point here, but i feel both parties need to discuss this tho. Because its possible a guy can tell his babe not to have a male close friend and then he on the other hand has a female close friend. But still in every relationship some things need to be agreed upon.

  3. Tijanee Olalekan

    April 20, 2018 at 7:47 am

    Well, to my best knowledge, I feel most guys feel so unsecured when their partner is with someone they don’t know too well or who is in a competition with them on their babe. You might think the guy has no interest but mind you feelings grow. You need to watch it. I’ve got female friends too but I keep an arms length most times. If we are to hangout we hangout in groups. Maybe with a couple of other female friends and everyone goes their way by letting their respective boyfriends know it’s a group thing. I Kuku nor be mumu. I know wah I’m doing.

    And another point you shouldn’t get wrong is, your boyfriend won’t tell you to stay away if he can’t see. You should understand wah I’m saying. Please don’t take offence. This kind of stuff has ruined a relationship to a girl I loved the most. Learn from people’s experiences.

    • Missy001

      April 20, 2018 at 8:59 am

      Did she leave u or u her

  4. Cmbo

    April 20, 2018 at 9:11 am

    Why on earth can’t you be friends with the opposite sex just because you re in a relationship? Truth is you can’t control another individual, if it turns out that your significant other betrays you with their so called ‘friend’ then so be it.

  5. TEE

    April 20, 2018 at 9:17 am


    • Molly

      April 20, 2018 at 10:22 am

      Nah not really

  6. Jess

    April 20, 2018 at 11:31 am

    Trust and common sense is the answer.I’ve been in a long distance relationship and can say that it demands more for it to work than when distance is not involved. distance intensifies insecurity. I had male friends but common sense demands that i dont keep bringing their name up in every conversation with my bf. I also made sure not to hang out so frequently with any of them thereby giving a wrong signal. I had to trust that my bf would do same. To assume he does not have female friends would be naïve on my part. But i don’t want to keep hearing about “funke” in all conversation or see pictures up and down on social media. I’m married to my bf now and some of my male friends have turned family friend sef.

  7. Queen

    April 20, 2018 at 12:01 pm

    Dear poster…check it, her boyfriend might be cheating and feels insecure she’s doing same. it’s not far from it. perhaps she pays him a surprised visit unannounced, she will be shocked at her findings, just to be sure of her stand, so he wont end up chasing potential men away from her only to quit later, that will be double loss for her and don’t think she wants that for herself . have been in this kind of situation before and can relate very well.

  8. larz

    April 20, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    There are two ways to interprete this:
    1) Gf has a too close for comfort rship with another guy. On bfs recommendation, gf toned down her rship with the friend i.e. reduced social interaction from bff level to casual acquaintance/ friendship level. However, given their joint interest in fashion, girl still takes advice from her fashion guru friend. In this scenario, girl is justified and bobo is being overly petty.
    2) Gf has a too close for comfort rship with another guy. After feedback from bf, gf pretended to tone down her rship with said guy but got caught out when the photo came out. In this scenario, girl is definitely in the wrong as she hasnt honoured / respected her bf. In fact it would have been better to openly disagree with him and stick to her guns than lie to him.

    There is also an alternative scenario where girl has done A but guy has perceived B in which case gf needs to be transparent and let bf know what she has done and explain that why she is willing to tone things down, she cant be expected to give up her friendship completely without just cause

  9. Dr.N

    April 20, 2018 at 12:46 pm

    All I read was this is not the 1st time he is doing this. In this scenario you begin to ask if he has control issues. Is he the type that will follow you to the ladies room so no one will ask for your no? Is he the type that imagines you are cheating and begins to accuse you to the point of hitting you? A friend of mine had a bf who showed up at a girls night out and not only made a scene but poured a drink on her.

  10. Aijay

    April 21, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    personally, I don’t think one shouldn’t have friends of the opposite sex simply because he/she is in a relationship. The only thing is knowing where to draw the line and not doing things to make your partner feel insecure.

  11. Odibixxx

    April 25, 2018 at 7:36 am

    Here’s my own contribution, as a guy, I have to understand that my girl had a life before I met her, but in the case where she starts getting cozy with a guy she meets after we start dating just looks improper. On my own side, I don’t get jealous, doesn’t mean I don’t like the person, I just think cheating is a choice. And feeling a develop as a result of spending time together. So she should make a choice, if Aaron is worth the trouble, or stay on in a scripted relationship with her boyfriend.

  12. Britney Writes

    May 6, 2020 at 11:07 am

    I shaa enjoyed the article but I am sorry I don’t have any advice. I literally suck at it. Everyone should just follow the golden rule and we would all be fine.

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