I’ve been postponing this post for a long time because, let’s be real, cheating isn’t a fun topic. It’s horrible and awkward and frankly, something we’d all like to pretend doesn’t happen nearly as often as it actually does. But the truth is it’s a reality in this complex world of dating and the time has come to talk about it.
Over the years I’ve unfortunately had a fair amount of experience with cheaters (a fact that I really and truly hate). However, all this experience has taught me a whole heck of a lot and, thus, I’ve compiled a list below of everything I’ve learned. Now these are just my opinions and I know everyone has very personal beliefs when it comes to cheating, so please feel free to add any of your own thoughts in the comments.
Eight facts about cheating and cheaters
1. Lots of people cheat (not just “bad” people) – Sure it would be lovely if only major assholes were cheaters but, in my experience, that just isn’t the case. I’ve known genuinely quality guys who cheat. And while I’ll never understand how these guys can be a caring, sweet, smart, thoughtful and also cheaters; I’ve learned to accept that sometimes that is the case. That being said, I certainly wouldn’t want to date someone I knew to be a cheater – regardless of their other positive attributes.
2.If you are cheating, you are not in love – Nothing grates me more than a guy who cheats repeatedly and still claims to love his girlfriend. Listen up people – if you truly love someone, you would never, ever disrespect them that way. You would never do something that could crush their heart and make them feel like such an idiot.
I’ve seen guys who are truly in love and who have been put in a position where it would be really easy to cheat (hot girl, lots of alcohol, sexual tension)… and ya know what, these guys pass the test every freaking time. It really is as simple as that.
3. Some people seem to think that if it isn’t sex, it isn’t cheating - Um, false. Cheating is cheating. I don’t care if you stick it in just a little, if you don’t finish, if you don’t make out or whatever variety of the “it’s not cheating if…” excuses. Every single one is bullshit. There is NO girl I know who would be like, oh hey no big deal that you just got a blow job from your ex-girlfriend. Just because you didn’t get the girl you are hooking up with off, does not make it any less deceitful. All it does is make you shitty in bed.
4. People rarely cheat just once – I don’t think I know a single person who has only cheated once. I wish I could say I did, but I don’t. Maybe it’s one of those things that once you cross that line and get away with it, you can’t help but cross it again. I don’t know, I’ve never cheated. But seems to me like most the people I know who cheated, never told their significant others, never got caught, and then did it again. And again. And again.
5. Girls who find out they were cheated on often go batshit crazy and blame the other girl rather than the guy – One time, back when I was 20, I found out that the gorgeous guy I hooked up with over the summer had still been dating his high school sweetheart at the time of our steamy night. This revelation sucked as I actually really liked this girl. She and I had been cheerleaders together and she was one of my roomie’s best friends. So as soon as I learned the truth, I called up the dude and told him he needed to tell her, or I would. I thought it was the right thing to do (especially since he and I had hooked up before).
So he told her and then I spent the next week getting daily messages about how awful I was and warnings that if she ever saw me in San Diego, I better run away. She called me every name in the book, told me I had ruined her life, and quite honestly, made me cry. And after I aplogized again and again, and told her that I hadn’t known they were together, etc., I finally gave up and realized she was a nut. (A fact that was confirmed when she then decided to stay with him).
While I am sure some girls out there would handle this information in a more mature manner, I’ve never been inclined to test that theory.
6. Being the other girl always makes you feel like shit – As you all know, I am just as prone to making mistakes as the next person. And one of my least favorite mistakes has been knowingly helping a guy cheat on his girlfriend. Please believe, on the occasions that I have made this choice, I’ve always felt plenty justified at the time. I told myself… I love him. He was mine first. She watched him kiss me and stayed with him, so clearly she’s a moron. I was drunk/horny… blah blah blah. But you know what, it doesn’t matter how validated you feel in the moment – afterwards, you inevitably feel like shit. The best case scenario only leaves you feeling used and guilty. But in the occasion where you have genuine feelings for the guy you are helping cheat, the hurt is so much worse.
7. No one thinks their boyfriend or girlfriend is a cheater - Now to all my happy, “in a relationship” readers, please do not take offense to this. I am in no way saying that everyone is a cheater. I am simply saying that I don’t know any of the girls who have been cheated on who have been like, oh yes, I think my boyfriend is totally capable of cheating. Instead, there they are, writing “I love you messages” on Facebook while he is off getting naked with someone else.
And finally/most importantly…
8. If someone is hooking up with you while in a relationship with someone else, they don’t give two shits about you – This guy/girl is not your friend. A friend wouldn’t put you in a position to feel used and embarrassed. Period. Every time they say, “I don’t want to hurt you” or “I like you” it is really just code for “please don’t tell my girlfriend…” The truth is, the only person a cheater cares about is himself. So stop trying to figure out why they’ve decided to cheat, or what it all means (who cares?) and cut then out of your life. Cheaters suck and you would be much better off without them. End of story.
So there you have it. Those are the eight lessons I have had to learn the hard way about cheating. Now you go… any pearls of wisdom you can add?