I never did make my knitting guild sweater. Never got past the swatching & buying the yarn parts, actually. But you probably already guessed that.
So it's definitely not cheating if you never even established a relationship -- heck, you barely went out a few times, and it didn't buy the drinks.
This is basically all justifying my ogling Snow White (Rav) by Ysolda Teague. Is it free? No. Do I have the yarn for it? No. Am I not on a yarn diet right now? No. (Did you follow that one?) Do I care? Nope.
Am I buying the pattern? Well, no. I think my sister would appreciate if I'd finish her hat and send it to her at some point before her next birthday. Sorry, sis.