If we were to play a game where you were faced with a group of men, and you had to pick which one of them you thought was most likely to cheat, how confident are you in your ability to successfully identify them? If your answer to that was anything but “what an absurd question.” You’re already losing at dating.
In the high stakes game of love, there is no easy or full-proof way to measure someone’s faithfulness based on appearances, looks, age or other superficial trait. Cheating is ultimately a matter of character first and foremost and second, it is a matter of respect and the value the other person puts on you.
I am inspired to write this post because if you google the word cheating at any point, you will find a number of articles that will tell you how to spot a cheater, how to know a man or woman you’re already with is cheating, and why people cheat. However, from personal experience and what I have witnessed with my friends who have been victims of cheating partners, I want people to realize it’s just not that simple. Well, one of the aforementioned situations are simple: those who cheat do it because they are selfish and disrespectful people who put their basest needs above the relationship. But the who and the how is not so clear.
I got a call from a friend who told me that she recently found out her boyfriend was cheating and she subsequently ended the relationship. As she tells her story, it is hard to play the hindsight game claiming she should have known somehow that this man, who is an older, busy professional, with very little time on his hands, would have the level of immaturity, the desire, the energy and the time to juggle not 2 but 3 women.
What is the profile that we typically draw of the typical cheater? Immature, doesn’t know any better, is not ready for a relationship. S/he is secretive, always lying, has no time for you. All of these attempts at placing the cheater in a box completely disregards the fact that some people are sociopaths who are fantastic liars and won’t break a sweat under pressure. We disregard that someone’s lifestyle may afford them the opportunity to cheat undetected.
This man who is a road warrior and traveled constantly for work, did not have to lie about where he was going. He can and did sleep with women in other parts of the country while on business trips. He had plenty of time of his home based girlfriend during the weekend because his weekday girls were in other parts of the country. He didn’t have to juggle the business trip bed buddies either. He lives a thousand miles away, so you should expect him to be unavailable most of the time.
She invested her heart and energy into a relationship that was going nowhere with a man bent on wasting her time and her love because she thought she could spot a cheater with the age-old tips and tricks of the dating “experts”. What she should have done was heed the warnings of those who knew him. She should have questioned why his marriage ended. She would have gotten much more information from his past behavior than she did from his willingness to entertain her on holidays.
Because old habits die hard.
Because I later found out that he dated another friend of mine who dumped him for the same reason 5 years ago.