Cheating.

It’s 5:30 a.m., and your alarm goes off.

You open your eyes, and your mind starts racing — meetings, conference calls, and  project deadlines all loom.

Why is there always so much to do, and never enough time to get it done?

You grab your phone and scroll through your notifications as you walk into the shower, half awake.

Knowing she’s not up, you send her a text message. 

“Good morning, baby. I hope you have a wonderful day.”

This text serves as two reminders: You want her to know she’s the first thing on your mind, but more importantly, she needs to realize that, regardless of how stressful or busy your days are, she’s the priority.

Sounds so perfect — but that’s not reality.

Instead, you’ll log into Instagram or Facebook, nosing into everyone else’s life, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll send that text to your girl on the way to work.

Relationships these days lack direction. People “date,” but the hell does that even mean anymore? Is it hanging out twice a month? Texting all day? Kissing here and there? 

Something is missing. What’s causing relationships to falter at the rate they are? Something’s definitely lacking.

Relationships thrive on communication. Our most intimate emotions are reserved for the person we love, so how is it acceptable to never show them?

We’ve accepted so many unacceptable things — sitting at the dinner table with our phones out, arguing over text, publishing every minute of our lives on social media.

Do you know what trumps all that? 

Society has accepted relationships in which we are being cheated on everyday.

When you think of cheating in the traditional sense, having sex with another person comes to mind. It’s an intimate situation in which the person you love is connecting with another while you are going about your life, loving and caring for said person.

Once you find out, all trust is lost. But think about the concept for a minute.

Websters Dictionary defines cheating as the deprivation of “something valuable by the use of deceit or fraud.”

Sure, sex is cheating, and maybe the most hurtful cause, but have you ever stopped to think that you’re being cheated out of your relationship everyday? Lack of communication, attention, passion, intimacy — even lack of love. Why are we OK with this, and all the communication shortcuts that have become so common?

This type of cheating brings damage much greater than that of any sexual affair. You’ve given your heart to someone, you love them with every bone in your body, but yet, you have to beg for their attention. You sit back and watch them post status updates about useless things or post pictures just so people can comment. 

Take a minute to tell her she’s beautiful. 

Call her after work to say, “Get dressed in 30 minutes. I'm picking you up and taking you somewhere special.”

Make an effort.

Old-fashioned love needs to make another round. 

The type that is so exclusive, people can notice a mile away. 

The days of holding hands, opening the car door, taking her out “just because,” sending flowers just to get a smile and leaving her notes on her car.

We have to be children when it comes to love. 

We have to be vulnerable and free. That can’t happen when we’re preoccupied with the details of everyone else’s lives. 

Focus on each other. When it’s all said and done, that’s all you really have. 

Appreciate her. Show her how much she means to you, but more importantly, put your phone down, and dial into what’s in front of you.