Cheating, or How to Be an Asshole in 1 Easy Step

Dear people dating my friends:

Cheating. DON'T DO IT.

I'd think I'd not have to go into detail why, but apparently there are way too many people out there that have the moral fiber of warm butter. So let Janelle asplain you something: in real relationships, you open yourself up to the other person, and vice versa. Sometimes quickly, sometimes it's a slow process. Different people open up emotionally to different depths, etc. I'm sure you know all this. Unintentional hurts are bound to happen, it's natural, unavoidable, and overcomable, if both of you are willing. But cheating on your significant other is an intentional hurt. Even if you "get swept up in the moment," it's pain you are intentionally inflicting on someone else, damage you are purposefully doing to your relationship. And if you are too "swept up" to see that, then respectfully, you are probably too selfish and inconsiderate to be in a relationship with anyone. Nevertheless any of the select group of people I call friends, over whom I am ridiculously protective. (I re-wrote that sentence three times so I wouldn't end on a preposition. Mr. Zuroski, my 11th-grade English teacher would be so proud.)

*Ahem.* Anyway. Life is about choices. If you choose to kiss, cuddle, sleep with or otherwise engage in romantic intimacy with someone other than the person you're monogamous with, you are choosing to break their trust, choosing to make the connection you two have that much less special, sacred, worthwhile. And I'll think you're a class A asshole for it, personally.

When you find yourself in circumstances that look like they're going to get compromising or complicated, grow a pair, call up your significant other and tell him or her that you are no longer going to be considering your relationship a monogamous one- before, not after the fact. If you care about someone enough to date them, you at least owe them that much, no? But that's the mature, responsible, non-assholish thing to do, so I can see some people might not even consider that an option.

But if you can't handle that, do all the decent, single men and women in the world a favour --and stop dating. At least until you get your shit together, and can know what you want and how to get it without trampling over others in the process.

And as my phone continues to blink at me with the news of yet another friend's fresh pain brought on by the extreme selfishness of his other half, I can't help but think how pointless all this is. This isn't the first time a friend has come to me with this news. And unfortunately, it won't be the last. There was one that cried into my lap. One who stained my pillow with his blood after punching a wall because his anger and pain had to go somewhere, anywhere, before it destroyed him. And one who has only just told me -who won't cry- but will withdraw the rest of what little trust he places in people as it is. And my heart breaks every time. Not just because I've been there myself, and know well how deep that betrayal goes, but because such pain is just so avoidable. So easily preventable if we'd just stop holding ourselves to such low standards when dealing with the feelings of others. Gah.


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