Cheating: I am lucky to have never been the victim, and smart enough to have never been the culprit. Like Rachel told Ross (or, technically, like Rachel’s mom told her about Ross), “Once a cheater, always a cheater.” And then his excuse: “We were on a break!” But the excuses can be even worse, like when Don Draper cheated on Betty, his initial response was: “I didn’t do anything.”
But cheating isn’t just something we see on TV; it is a real issue that affects college students. Whether the reason is an unfulfilling long-distance relationship or a drunken lapse in common sense, the cheaters eventually get found out, called out, and in most cases, kicked out. But not before trying to save their dignity with colorful bullsh*t excuses.
“He said ‘It happened.’ I didn’t expect it to happen but he also didn’t stop it,” said Briana Saldaña, a Concordia University Texas freshman. “He then went on to say that he’s never dated anyone like me before and I changed his life forever! It makes no sense, he’s clearly a loser.”
I have friends who have cheated and who have been cheated on. For the cheater, it was mostly based on indecision. She started dating two different guys, which was fine in the beginning. During those early stages they were not committed to one another, just dating. But as time went on, she grew closer to them and, eventually, it became inappropriate for both guys not to know about each other. Gage Daughdrill, a sophomore at Savannah College of Art and Design, went through a similar experience, except he was the one in the dark.
“[My ex-boyfriend] was being secretive with what he was doing on his phone, and his demeanor toward me had changed since the last time we were together. In this case, we went to a movie together and throughout our time in the theater, he was texting on his phone the entire time,” said Daughdrill. “After the movie, I asked who he was texting the whole time, and he responded that it was just his friend, nothing to worry about. When I found out who it was that he was actually texting, he told me that it was a TA student that he once had, and lead me to believe that I was making false accusations against him… It then took another instance of him cheating that I caught him in a few weeks later that he admitted that this time was also a case where he did so.”
But for some people, they don’t even learn about their partner’s infidelities until the relationship is already over for other reasons. I personally do not think that it is better or worse than finding out during the relationship. Cheating is not only about sleeping around; it is about dishonesty — the measures the dishonest half of the couple took to hide their secret.
“Shortly after we broke up, I was more than sure he had cheated and it had been confirmed by a mutual acquaintance. Her name is Stacey. We were at a country concert and she was all excited because some boy was going to meet her to dance with her. She turned and said ‘Colt is coming to dance with me’ and that name obviously flagged in my system. I had known in the past they had worked at the same place,” said Jackie Smelter, a sophomore at St. Philip’s College. “I asked her who he was and she told me it was some guy that she would just hook up with after work. Mind you, while he had this job we were still dating. I confronted him about it and again he denies everything and says this girl, Stacey, is crazy… People don’t like being caught in their own lies and will do anything to get you to believe them.”
Cheaters can have their reasons and they can have their excuses. But that does not mean it is okay, and it never means that cheating is justified.
“I decided not to trust him and I’m glad I made the right decision,” Smelter added. “Some people really need to take a look at the quality of a relationship, the pros and the cons and if it is truly worth the struggle.”
You should trust the person you are with. Sticking with an untrustworthy person is really nothing more than a waste of time. In college, with classes and jobs, time is a precious thing. And if they aren’t worth your time, the definitely are not worth your heart.
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