Nevertheless, since online affairs are real they do often cause actual harm to one's primary, offline romantic relationship.
Accordingly, many people will be just as disturbed about a partner's online sexual affairs as they would be if they discovered that their spouse was exchanging steamy love letters with someone else.
Consider this reaction: Just as casual sex is not necessarily inherently harmful, neither are online affairs.
But they may be so when participants are also involved in another primary offline relationship, because of the harm imposed on those partners.
Moreover, when online affairs are revealed to the significant other, which is done more often than when offline circumstances are involved, it could be considered as something less than cheating.
Thus, people may agree not to develop a relationship, permitting themselves only virtual one-night stands, or an uncommitted affair, or a promise with a partner to tell each other about each online affair.