Would you date someone who cheated? What’s the reason for your answer?
Now, if the guy is someone I know…and he happens to be a serial cheater–and I know this because I know him, that’s a different story. And no, I wouldn’t date a known habitual cheater because I don’t want to get my heartbroken. But if it was someone I knew who had previously had one small indiscretion from which he learned? Yeah, I’d give him a shot. Because every situation is different. And people do change. Just because he cheated once, doesn’t mean he will again (but I’d be wary).
Can they articulate the reasons behind their behavior? [I just answered a question with a question. I now, officially, suck]
The non-question answer is…perhaps [just as bad]. To evaluate how much a person has changed and if they are safe enough to be dating, I need to ask specific questions about their past and pay close attention to how they answer:
- #fail “I was unhappy” or “My needs were not being met”. Generally speaking, any deflecting the blame onto the relationship and/or his/her former partner is a clear red flag. This person is still a high-risk cheater because, in their own mind, they were absolutely justified for their behavior. According to their logic, they did nothing wrong. Cheating is NEVER justified under any circumstances [Men come up with some redonkulous logic arguments to justify their cheating1].
- #fail “…Sorry Bro!” [Watch it here with Spanish subtitles] Last week’s rerun of How I Met Your Mother featured an ex-girlfriend of Ted’s [Played by the always yummy Laura Prepon] who used cheating as an exit-strategy to a failing relationships. These people are almost always repeat offenders and will likely fuck your best friend before you finally break up. These people cannot be trusted:
- Strategy #1: Securing a new potential relationship to safely exit and not be alone.
- Strategy #2: Creating trust issues in current relationship so they can blame their soon to be ex-boyfriend/girlfriend for being a psychotic crazy person [They may be crazy, but exploiting that weakness to your own benefit is diabolically calculated2]
- Strategy #3: Leaving clues and planning to get caught. Some people want the other person to find out so they do not have to do the dumping.
- #fail “Things just happened. It was a mistake.” This person clearly has no clue how to keep their pants on. Nakedness doesn’t “just happen.” Next time they are alone with a member of the opposite sex, they will just happen to forget to keep their clothes on…again [Send her to me. I’m offering private therapy sessions…in low-lighting…with candles].
- #epicfail If, at any time, you think to yourself, “That was her…he will never cheat on me. I’m different. He will never want to cheat!” you are not smart enough to be dating anyone. That’s right. It doesn’t matter whether he’s changed or not. You are too stupid to be dating. Please try again later when you’ve gotten a clue [But please, call me].
- #win So, what defines a former cheater as a safe bet? They usually start with phrases like, “I was a complete asshole!” and follow it up with a clear, complete, and detailed analysis of the character flaws and identified behaviors that led to the cheating in the first place.
- If they are aware of what those flaws are, they can then elaborate on steps they have taken to improve themselves over a lengthy period of time. Change does not happen overnight, in a week, in a month, or often even a year.
- Remember, someone is rewriting how they address the fundamental flaws in their emotional/mental DNA. This takes a great deal of analysis and series of positive choices.
- To undergo this amount of change requires so much self-reflection, that they will be able to detail it for you. They have to know themselves that well. If they don’t, they haven’t changed.
- My wife no longer gives me BJs. I want a BJ. My intern can suck a golf ball through a garden hose. Therefore, I can bet a BJ from her. [In Bill Clinton’s defense, this does qualify as a logic argument…albeit an extremely shitty one].
- Both Guido and Cindy used this tactic to try and convince other people that I was paranoid and they were not fucking…Thankfully, no one actually believed them.
I would never ask someone if they cheated, so I might never know. My focus is on my relationship with them, not their past relationships. I might ask why past relationships didn’t succeed and I would expect an objective insightful answer and not just, “he cheated on me,” or God forbid, “I cheated on him.” In short, yes I would date someone who has cheated, but I’d rather not know about it.
Update coming soon…
Thanks to all my contributors!! – TJ
Stay Tuned, Tomorrows Question – If you’re friends with a cheater at what point do you step in and say something regardless of the possibility of dividing up a group of friends? If you don’t say anything are you condoning cheating by being silent?