If you are suspicious that your spouse or partner is cheating on the Internet, you probably are asking yourself, will it become "real" cheating later? Can my relationship be threatened by a cyber-relationship?
There are several ways to cheat on the Internet and there are several degrees of cheating on the Internet as well. I will detail them below.
How do they cheat on the Internet?
Cheating on the Internet implies getting in contact with another person or persons through different methods, which are mainly websites or dedicated software made especially for this purpose.
It is important to mention that Internet is particularly successful in putting people in contact as it provides a way to interact with less inhibition and more caution when knowing somebody else than the real life.
The initial contact will be usually made by chat or email, which immediately will evolve into a chat conversation too. Once in communication through one of the hundreds of chat software programs available, any kind of information can be exchanged between the two persons like text, images, sound and even live video.
The places where people can meet on the Internet are thousands, and they are can be classified into the following categories:
1. Chat rooms. (MSN and Yahoo are the most used).
2. Friend networks. (Hi5 and Orkut are very popular).
3. Direct contact through chat profiles. (Looking through the profiles of MSN members)
4. Sites to match couples. (Perfectmatch, match, etc)
5. Relationship sites. (Passion, Adult Friend Finder, etc)
After the initial contact made through any of these resources, people eventually will start chatting. In fact, most of the times the initial contact will be made only to exchange mail or chat addresses.
When people start getting acquainted with the other person through those chat conversations, they will start to share their problems, likes and dislikes, getting an enormous amount of sympathy from the other person.
This happens naturally because in our fast world, we have no time to calmly talk with our partners during days, but also because this kind of communication gives us unparallel confidence to speak freely as there is no real contact with the other person. He / she is the ideal receptor letting us to say whatever we want, without questioning it and usually agreeing our point of view.
That sympathy will turn into affection afterwards and if the relationship last for sometime, sooner or later one of the persons will ask the other to meet somewhere to know each other. During this process, a photograph exchange is common and if both have web cameras, they probably will see live images from each other.
A chat conversation is the ideal media to forge intense human relationships (of any kind) and therefore an ideal platform for cheating.
The intensity of the relationships created is such that I have knowledge of people going directly to bed on their first "real" meeting.
It is important to understand that not everyone who chats or even meet in real life is a cheater. Internet is a great and wonderful resource and we all are responsible on how we use it.
For some people, having their couples such strong feelings towards other persons is enough to think that they are being cheated even though sex is not involved. Others do not care if their couples have cyber-friends as long as they do not know each other.
Finally, there is another set of people, especially those who live in different towns, which will practice cyber-sex, as natural outcome of what I have been describing above. Cyber-sex usually evolves into phone sex, but the chances of cheating are less probable as they need to travel to meet each other. I do not need to mention, but I will, that as you probably know, there is a lot of people who actually travel to meet each other as result of first meeting on the Internet.
Even more, experienced cheaters will contact people in advance in those places where they know that will be traveling soon.
Regardless this sophistication, there are several ways to catch a cheating partner if he / she is having a cyber-affair, but I will describe them in a following article.