Cheating. Whether you were the cheater or the unlucky one who was cheated on, most of us have experienced a relationship that has unfortunately involved cheating.
In a recent poll on GirlsAskGuys.com, a website where guys and girls come together to share questions and advice on the opposite sex, almost 50% of guys and girls admitted they were cheated on by their partners. Reasons such as alcohol, temptation, and loneliness scored highest amongst why their partners cheated, but despite the excuses, is cheating ever acceptable in a relationship?
I am not proud to admit it, but I am guilty of cheating on my boyfriend. Though I’m an extremely honest, caring, and compassionate person, I realized cheating isn’t always a malicious act, but instead a fleeting moment of weakness and temptation.
It all began when I was a senior in high school, and I somehow landed my ultimate dream guy – the captain of the football team, Matt. With deep, mysterious eyes, long dark hair, and dashing good looks that made even the teachers swoon, everyday was a moment of bliss with him. I never doubted that I was undeniably and madly in love with him.
Matt was my first real love. We spent every moment of every day hand-in-hand, exchanging love notes, and planning our futures together. We were set to head to college together the next year, and we had no doubts that marriage would follow after school. Though some would call it young love, the love we shared was real and nothing has ever compared to it.
When Spring Break rolled around my senior year, I headed to Mexico with my best girlfriend and our families. Our girls’ getaway was abruptly interrupted when I met Oliver. It was as if time was standing still when he walked up to me. I had never felt butterflies like I did when I met Matt, until this moment. His French accent, classic style, handsome looks, and charming personality instant won me over – and that’s when I fell for him.
Sure, I knew spending the week with Oliver wasn’t the best idea, but I believed as long as nothing physical happened, everything would be ok. We spent every moment of the trip together, from sunrise to midnight, sharing stories, making memories, and falling head over heels for each other. We grew closer and closer as the week went on, where holding hands turned into soft kisses, and eventually passion took over on the last night and that’s when I gave in. It was a night I will never forget.
As with any amazing vacation, eventually it had to end. As I said my goodbyes to Oliver hoping we’d see each other again in the future, reality kicked in and I realized what I had done. I had cheated on my boyfriend, and somehow didn’t feel guilty about it until it was over.
This was the first time in my life I had been faced with temptation that was beyond my control. I still don’t know if it was the vacation whirlwind, the weeklong blur of tropical cocktails, my insecurities giving into the attention, or if I genuinely was falling for Oliver. What I did know, however, was the pain and confusion that I was left with was something I never wanted to experience again.
When reality set in, so did the pain. The pain of understanding how I could have mindlessly cheated on my boyfriend I loved so dearly. The pain of wondering if I should tell him, or simply act as if it never happened. The pain of the secret eating at me with every sweet gesture Matt made towards me. The worst pain of all, however, was the pain of the heartbreak of never seeing Oliver again.
I ended up dating Matt for five years after my vacation romance, and I never confessed to my cheating. Some may think I got away with what I did, but I became the worst critic of my behavior. I never stopped feeling guilty when he said I love you, nor did I ever forget the feeling of what it was like to be with someone else. I realized no matter how much I loved him, the possibility of feeling that same love for someone else was also possible. Though I never regretted that week, I regretted giving into my urges without considering the outcome.
I learned that cheating is a sign of weakness. Temptation surrounds us everyday, but learning to avoid it is the struggle we all have to face. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and believe our actions won’t have any repercussions, but this reckless behavior generally causes more harm than pleasure. One week of bliss for me could have caused heartbreak for the one I loved the most, and that’s one risk I never took again.
I think it’s important to live our lives without regrets, but rather to learn from our mistakes to prevent repeating the past in the future. Though I never cheated again, I dated numerous guys throughout the years who cheated on me – perhaps it was karma. Whether I found out through mutual friends, social media, or texts on his phone, no one I ever dated had the courage to tell me the truth. It always made me wonder, did hiding the truth from my boyfriend make me a coward? Or did I spare him the pain and learn from my mistakes? Either way, the pain of what I did was enough to prevent me from ever cheating again.