Your girlfriend confesses she cheated. What should you do?
The dating guru offers answers to tough questions men want to know about love, romance, and relationships.
Hi, Dating Geek,
A few months ago, my girlfriend admitted to me that she slept with another guy. While I didn’t get all the details, I know that it happened with her ex while he was in town for a business trip.
After she told me, I was devastated. Immediately, I broke off the relationship. But here is the thing – we never stopped talking.
In the last few days, she’s been texting with messages that suggest we get back together – promising she’ll never cheat again. What should I do? I’m really messed up!
I’m going to give you a straightforward answer – do not take her back.
This may not be what you want to hear. Please know I’m not saying this to be a jerk. Instead, it comes from a place of compassion and not wanting you to experience more pain.
I’m imagining this girl is a knockout – she would have to be for you to even consider this. Let’s be real, OK? If she were just average, you probably wouldn’t even be entertaining this idea at all. Instead, it would be a done deal and you’d be on to someone new.
But this woman is different. Maybe it’s the color of her hair. Perhaps it’s her smile or her contagious laugh. At the end of the day, you just don’t want to let her go.
What’s interesting is how strong your desire is to resurrect this previous romance, particularly since she left you humiliated with a massive hole in your heart.
But I’ve learned over the years that we don’t choose who we fall in love with. It’s not like we can turn our feelings of like a light switch.
So, in your text exchanges, I am imagining that she’s being super sweet … maybe bringing up good times from the past and sending cute pictures as a reminder of what was.
As part of the back and forth, she assures you that her infidelity was just a “one-time thing” and it “just happened”, promising that nothing like this will ever occur again.
And you, feeling vulnerable and lonely, entertain this idea of giving the relationship another try. Sound familiar? If so, it’s super important that you keep reading.
Here’s the hard truth – she’s lying to you. Curious how I know? It’s simple. Cheating is a choice. Yes, all of us have thought about doing it (anyone who says they haven’t is full of sh–).
Think about it for a second. How often do you look at women and imagine what a sexual encounter might be like? Be honest MU, probably a lot, right? That’s the way it is for a lot of guys I know. Well, unless they are the self-shaming type and act like having fantasies is evil (hint: it’s not).
Think of that hot girl down the hall from you at work. Back when you were in your relationship, didn’t you still check her out whenever she passed by? Even just a little?
My point is that the mind has a way of fantasizing. The eyes have a way of wandering. But there is a big difference between looking at the metaphorical menu vs. sampling the food. Follow me?
And let’s face it – attractive people have a way of showing up in our lives at the exact moment we begin dating someone new. And they keep showing up (for some strange reason) during those first critical months of a blossoming romance.
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Assuming you can relate, I’m thinking you made the conscious choice to not partake in extracurricular activities, even though you could have and probably gotten away with it.
Remember when your ex wanted to “get together” and you shot her down? How about the random girl you met at a conference who really wanted to show you her room? Do you recall telling her no, even though every fiber of your being was saying yes?
You get the point. You avoided temptation. You saw the 60-mile per hour training coming at you and said, “No, I’m not going to cheat on my girlfriend.” On some level, you recognized that a quick romp in the sack with a beautiful woman wasn’t worth risking what you already had.
Believe it or not, your girlfriend (well, ex now I suppose) had the same exact challenges you did. You’ve got to believe that more than once, some guy hit on her – and maybe even more intensely when he learned she was attached.
But unlike you, she said yes to temptation. Worse, she did it with someone she already knew. I say worse because she knew full well exactly what would happen when she agreed to meet her ex.
And let me assure you, she wasn’t thinking it would be for casual drinks and a few laughs.
Every single person on the planet knows what a booty call is, especially from an ex. The moment she said “yes” to meeting him was the moment she knew they’d be hooking up. It didn’t just happen out of the blue.
On some level, there probably was a little voice in her head that set off alarm bells. Maybe she did say to herself, “If I do this, I’m going to f—- up something great happening with my boyfriend.” But she ultimately decided to go for it anyway, knowing she was risking a breakup.
You may truly want to believe that this was just a onetime event. And there’s a slight chance that could be true. But in my experience, most folks (women and men) are creatures of habit.
At some point down the road, another guy is going to hit on her. It could be someone from her past or it could be a new dude. Regardless, she’ll probably think about stepping out again and oh, by the way – screwing you over.
Look, I realize this is not going to be an easy talk. But you asked for my opinion and I’m just telling you like it is. She hurt you once – which means she has the ability to do it again. Moreover, she’s demonstrated that she is a cheater.
She’s probably going to tell you that she loves you dearly and that – now – she recognizes the error of her ways. But honestly, do you really want that kind of love?
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