And even if you don't accept the above, equating having a coffee with someone you like or have feelings for, as cheating is really going to extremes. Cheating is far far too strong a concept for that kind of activity.
@KC_Patient exactly right! @Pmoi Yes, I agree. Cheating is in the eye of the beholder's SO!
@agracier While your theory on melding cultural norms is interesting, I don't see any relation to what I'm saying. Every interaction with the opposite sex is not suspect, but as the person in an exclusive relationship, you KNOW when you cross the line.
Say I go to a party, with or without my SO. I could meet a woman, we could click, we could have a great conversation and realize that there is a mutual attraction there. Is that cheating or a problem? No, that can/does happen all the time. (well, not to me, but others... 😃
But if I PURSUE this new woman, get her phone number, stop by her work because I just 'happen' to be in the neighborhood - THAT's cheating. To what end am I furthering this new 'friendship'? We may not have gotten physical yet, but what is the intent?
There was a sitcom on TV in the US, King of Queens, where the main characters best friend had lunch with another woman, hiding it from his wife. She found out and was devastated. He kept saying that it was only lunch. And she said something like "You were making an emotional (in a romantic sense) connection with someone else. How is that not cheating on our relationship?"
And I believe some people would actually rather their partner had meaningless sex with someone else, than create an emotional bond with them. If your partner is making an emotional attachment to another person, possibly falling in love with them, how is that NOT cheating, even if they haven't physically touched?
I guess I just have a broader definition of the term 'cheating.' If I'm in an exclusive relationship with someone, I trust them to NOT have sex with anyone else, to NOT fall in love with anyone else and to NOT date anyone else. I don't think that's Puritanical, I think that's part of the definition of monogamy.