The Nondating Life

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Part Three: Cheaters Always Die

(Previous post)

When it comes to dating and relationships, I'm not a big fan of the rules as handed down by the holy trinity of Cosmo, Maxim and Candace Bushnell. It's not that I think such rules are useless. It's only that I'm completely incapable of following them--and, in turn, I automatically assume that those who can follow them are broken on the inside and know nothing about the spontaneity of true romance (which is one of the most foolish things a person can believe, but such is life.)

And, like any good hypocrite, I have my own rules. And over the course of this project, you'll be getting plenty of them.

And tops on that list?




As Chris Tucker said in "Friday": Never, evahevahevahevahevahevah."

And let me add: Ever.

But, I can hear you saying, "What about in this situat--"


It could save your life.

What's cheating? Oh, you know what it is. It's messin' around. It's creeping. I don't care if you've just started dated or you've been married for 50 years. Cheating is cheating, and unless you've entered into a relationship in which it's been made perfectly clear by both parties that dallying elsewhere is acceptable, you should keep your naughty bits to yourself and your partner.

And yes, hookers count as cheating. (You know who you are.)
And yes, in my book, making out counts as cheating. (You know who you are.)
As does internet sex. (Actually, don't know anyone who's done that, but still.)
And yes, I'm such a moral prig about this that I believe there is such a thing as emotional cheating. (More on that in a subsequent post).
And girl on girl action without the express knowledge (and, preferably attendance) of your man is cheating, too--no matter how hot it is. (Hey, these arguments do come up.)
I'd say that guy on guy action is cheating, but I've never heard of a mostly straight guy doing it, or anyone else trying to claim that that behavior gets a free pass because it's just experimentation.

All this goes for both genders. So ladies, if you come to me with tales of derring do and sexual freedom and exploration, I will not say "You go girl!" I will say, simply: Go.

Carrie Bradshaw, I ain't. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Society does not gain by women reducing themselves to the same stupid sort of behavior engaged in by men who actually use Maxim's relationship advice. Sure, "Sex and the City" was an entertaining show. So was "The Sopranos." That doesn't make it okay to drag a person out into the woods and pop a cap in his ass, now does it?

Of course, after taking such a firm moralistic stand, I have to make the obligatory full disclosure. I guess.

Have I ever cheated?

Well, that depends on who you ask.

You ask me, I say yes. You ask some other people--normal people--they tend to let me slide. As explained earlier, I've had three (count 'em, three) girlfriends. And it was only during the reign of the first that I wandered over into other pastures. I'd say once was a clear case of cheating--I basically smooched with another girl (and it partly had to do with some unresolved issues with that whole girl-on-girl argument above, but that's a story for another day). Still, I think we can all agree that was cheating. And what did it get me? It got me my very first panic attack is what it got me. Worlds upon worlds of guilt crashing down on me (thank you Catholic Church!) until I just had a freak-out in the Friendly's in Smithtown, Long Island.

And there were a few other transgressions that I considered cheating, but most others wouldn't. Pardon the "Friends" reference, but these minor sins all happened while we were "on a break." Seeing other people. Doing that whole break-up, get-back-together thing. Technically, I was free to do much more than I did, but the yardstick I used at the time was how guilty I felt (again, thanks Rome). And while my chronology might be out of whack, I'm sure that those all happened during the middle period of the four-year relationship.

After that? Nothing. Kenny was a good boy. Not too shabby considering the second two were long-distance affairs.

But I'm not patting myself on the back here. I do have to own up to other unsavory behavior, namely helping others to cheat a few times, playing in another fellow's garden so to speak. This, to me, is just as inexcusable, but it's amazing how quickly a little alcohol will have that voice whispering up from your pants: "Hey, it's not YOUR problem. That's between her and her guy." (Which I believe might be the "rational person's" take on the situation. Maybe I'm only rational when drunk.)

Well now that I've completely shamed myself and my family ...

The main reason you shouldn't cheat is out of respect for your partner. I don't care what sort of self-delusional excuses you make for yourself. Maybe I'm an overly romantic fool, but if you love the person and respect the person, don't cheat. Even if you only really really like the person, don't cheap. That simple.

If that's not reason enough, then do it to avoid the guilt. But, hey, I understand you might not have been raised Catholic or Jewish, so guilt could be a foreign concept. So if the guilt isn't doing the trick, don't cheat out of the fact that refraining from such naughty behavior will keep your life so much simpler and free from drama.

And if you can't do it for your partner and you can't do it for yourself, do it for all mankind. Cheating doesn't just hurt your own immediate relationship. You decided to go rock in someone else's boat, it sends ripples throughout the community, the waves landing on and eroding other shores you might never even dream of. Ladies, all those bitter guys with trust issues? You think they were born like that? Hell no. Either they've been cheated on before or have done a fair amount of cheating themselves. Guys, same goes for you. And guys, if you cad about town, cheating on your partner, then go bragging to your girlfriends about it, you're going to give them a complex, and they're going to take that complex out on some other guy. (Thanks a lot, jerk.) Girls, same goes for you. (One of the drawbacks of having as many girlfriends as I do is seeing that women aren't a fairer or better sex. Just as many of them are prone to creeping as guys--it's enough to break an idealist's heart.)

And if there are kids involved? Forget about it. (Let's just say I come by my issues with cheating the old-fashioned way).

See, so what started out as you just fooling around eventually turns into an entire country of neurotics unable to trust one another. Way to go. Hope you're happy.

Finally, if none of this gets through to you, these pleas for your partner, for humanity, for your own mental well-being, just remember the moral lessons of Hollywood. Oh, yeah, your preacher might tell you not to watch all that filth coming out of the movie industry, but it's got some important lessons to teach you. What happens when people cheat in real life? Broken hearts, broken homes, broken bank accounts. What happens when people cheat in the movies? Motherfuckers die, that's what happens.

So, for the love of God, if you don't want to die, don't cheat!

Of course, you could be a nymphomaniac drama-queen with suicidal tendencies. If that's the case, you definitely don't need to be listening to someone like me. You should be out enjoying yourself.

(Next post in series)


  • Wow! And here I thought I was in a vacuum. Found myself the ex-girlfriend of a guy who was emotionally cheating on his current girlfriend with me. What woke me up was his asking if I trusted him. I'm out of the enabling loop now, not in touch with him, but it still smarts. On many levels I love the guy.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:28 PM  

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