How Do You Define Cheating?

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Matt Titus Matchmaker/Dating & Relationship coach/Author/Speaker

Justin Timberlake. He is a superstar. He is handsome (according to the ladies I know). He is extremely successful. And, he has a beautiful girlfriend. But, according to today's New York Post he was seen as he "partied and flirted with a gaggle of gorgeous girls." So, with such a publicized monogamous relationship with Jessica Biel, some gawkers are asking is this a form of cheating?

Here's my take. This is not so much a form of cheating as it is a complete disregard and disrespect of an existing relationship. Bottom line. When celebrities allow their relationships to become public domain, they need to take the same care in maintaining the relationship's public image as they do in their own. The relationship's public image becomes a reflection of their personal morals and values. Justin Timberlake has a squeaky clean, kinda hot geek image going on that gels nicely with his very public relationship with Jessica Biel. He is a heart throb that gets involved in many monogamous relationships which the public loves and embraces. He is not known as a CHEATING WOMANIZER.

This recent flirting behavior is not cheating, but is potentially very damaging to his public image as well as extremely disrespectful to Jessica. There is no proof that these flirting actions have led to any cheating which makes this totally different than Tiger Woods situation. What I worry about is if Justin Timberlake's squeaky clean boyfriend public image matches his private persona. I mean, any celebrity can manufacture a wonderful public image through 30-second sound bites. Is Justin Timberlake a philandering, manipulative, womanizing cheat in his personal life? We most likely will never know. Cheating to me is the deceitful act of intimate physical contact, with a person other than who you are involved in a monogamous relationship with.

So, Justin, not to worry, as far as we know. Fantasizing, flirting and desiring other individuals who you are not in a monogamous relationship with is absolutely not cheating. God, we are only human!

How do you define cheating?