Yes, Cheating Is OK

Yes, Cheating Is OK

She did not steal him from me, she followed her heart; and, for that, I will always credit her.
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Before you plot your attack on me, I have been cheated on. I have the platform to be able to make the statement I did to make you view this. Hear me out.

Would I stay with, or get back with someone who was cheating on me? No.

Have I ever? No.

I will never stoop to that level. Cheating for fun, alcohol-induced reasons, attention, a good night out, or for any reason that is not emotional is unacceptable. I believe in that, and I know you do as well. However, if you are cheating, soberly, with an emotional tie to an individual who you do not call your own, then let's talk about it. I've been on both ends, and I have come to an understanding of it.

There's a reason behind it.

Cheating does not only mean physical touch. We always come down so hard on those whom physically cheat on us, but answer this: which is actually worse? Physical cheating or emotional cheating?

I know, no cheating is good cheating, and it shouldn't even be up for discussion. But that's why I love to write because I want to bring to the table the things people don't want to talk about — or do want to talk about but are too scared to. Cheating happens, wouldn't you want to try and find out why?

I have been cheated on, and at the time, sure, I was bitter. I had a notion it was happening before I actually brought it to the conversation or ended the relationship. I thought it's just a phase, things are too good, and he will realize. He stuck with me through a time in my life that no one should have had to deal with me during.

I would have never blamed him for leaving, but that's why we worked. We had baggage and we happily packed it in the same suitcase. We were each other's rocks. We had life 'happenings' that no one else had ever understood before, and you just couldn't pull yourself back from that once you were able to have it (and call it your own). I loved every ounce of him with every particle of me, and why would I throw in the towel so quickly? Almost everyone who cheats regrets it, so why would I make a scene if he would come back to our reality?

I could not have been blinder. Truth be told, being cheated on was the best thing that could have happened to us, and his cheating on me was the best thing to happen to him.

I knew he was emotionally being pulled elsewhere before I had a suspicion of anything physical happening. I still do not have the confirmed answer that anything physical did indeed happen while we were still together, but that does not mean it wasn't cheating.

Our relationship wasn't perfect, but together, we were. We had a routine, we had balance; it was equal, and it was and will always be one of the best times of my life. I felt emotions that I never thought were possible to feel. I was so filled with happiness that I couldn't even sleep—just because life was that good. We were that happy, and I had no worries.

Some people find it so hard to accept the fact that if there is a slight issue, a reoccurring one in your relationship, or if there is that one thing you will never stop arguing about, that it's a sign that maybe it isn't your person. That unmatchable happiness is out there, but it's only in reach if you're open to accepting that it's possible to be even happier somewhere else.

Obviously, as I type this being single, I know now that he wasn't meant for me. We talked about buying a house, we looked at rings, and I was living with him. I thought he was my forever, and if you would've told me at any point in time in that relationship (besides the last two weeks of it) that this was not the man I was going to marry, I would've laughed at you and walked away. I would have never thought someone could pull him from me. But she did.

I hated her at first, but I can't anymore. He was torn; he was constantly upset while in front of me (an emotional wreck, to be specific) and we both knew it was because we were ending. We were so madly in love, but both of us were smart enough to immediately realize that if we were truly meant to spend our lives with each other, neither of us would have had a thought of anyone else. Physically, emotionally, anything. This is something I wish people in relationships would start accepting. It sucks, but it's life.

That does not even mean that the 'other person' is the person for the 'cheater', but that person is the street sign that your relationship needs to stop speeding by.

We always hate the outside person, but when it comes to emotional cheating, how could we? They are hurting just as bad. They are invested on a level that they cannot physically pull themselves out of. It is not an ideal situation, but since we were children we were always told to "follow your heart," why is that so bad now?

My ex and the 'other woman' are still together to this day. I see his smile wider than it was with me, and that doesn't mean that we weren't happy. But he followed where his heart was leading him at the time, and it led him into another universe of happiness. How can I be mad at that?

Emotional cheating sucks. But everything truly does happen for a reason, and once that sucky part is over, it could be the best time of your life. That girl didn't take my boyfriend from me. I broke up with him, I ended it before even knowing for sure, I was the one who left. She followed her heart, and for that, I will always credit her.

I've tried to explain this to so many people: people who have been cheated on, people who have cheated, people who are emotionally split. Most understand but refuse to accept it. I get it, but I'm happy to say that I support people following their hearts no matter what. Happiness is not handed to us, and even when we treat it like gold and protect it, it can get ripped from under us quicker than we can blink. So, why not enjoy it while it lasts, and find another happiness when we're supposed to?

This does not mean you'll get away with murder by dating me and then cheating on me. Hell no!

I might just be a little too understanding, but I wouldn't trade that trait for the world. I sympathize with hardships, and I know that people make big deals out of little things. I also know that those people do not realize that the deal is actually a little thing because they never dealt with anything bigger. For that, I am jealous. But you cannot hate them for not ever having to go through a larger hardship. You cannot control the hand of cards that people receive. Some are just luckier than others.

Just because I'm single does not mean I'm unhappy. I am my happiest single. Since my relationship ended, I have met, reconnected, and fallen for some of the most amazing people. The strangers I meet have made me feel things from an initial conversation that guys I have a huge past with have never made me feel.

You never know what someone is about to mean to you.

And I think that, within itself, is something worth waking up excited over every day. I am a true believer in timing and that every single person you meet is meant to have their own time in your life.

I have been reconnected with people due to the most unfortunate circumstances, but things happen in a crazy way; I will always pat myself on the back for being able to say that I gave my time to people I feel deserve it, regardless of the circumstances.

And that has yet to backfire on me.

Cover Image Credit: Cheyenne Santoro

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I'd Rather Be Single Than Settle: Here Is Why Being Picky Is Okay.

They're on their best behavior when you're dating.
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Dating nowadays described in one word: annoying. What's even more annoying? when people tell you that you're being too "picky" when it comes to dating. Yes, from an outside perspective sometimes that's exactly what it looks like; however, when looking at it from my perspective it all makes sense. I've heard it all, "He was cute, why didn't you like him?" "You didn't even give him a chance!" "You pay too much attention to the little things!"

What people don't understand is that it's OKAY to be picky when it comes to guys. For some reason, girls in college freak out and think they're supposed to have a boyfriend by now, be engaged by the time they graduate, etc. It's all a little ridiculous; however, I refuse to put myself on a time table such as this due to the fact that these girls who feel this way are left with no choice but to overlook the things in guys that they shouldn't be overlooking, they're settling and this is something that I refuse to do.

So this leaves the big question: What am I waiting for?

Well, I'm waiting for a guy who...

1. Wants to know my friends.

Blessed doesn't even begin to describe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do. I want a guy who can hang out with my friends. If a guy makes an effort to impress your friends then that says a lot about him and how he feels about you. This not only shows that he cares about you but he cares about the people in your life as well. Someone should be happy to see you happy and your friends contribute to that happiness, therefore, they should be nothing more than supportive and caring towards you and your friendships.

2. Actually, cares to get to know me.

Although this is a very broad statement, this is the most important one. A guy should want to know all about you. He should want to know your favorite movie, favorite ice cream flavor, favorite Netflix series, etc. Often, (the guys I get stuck on dates with) love to talk about themselves: they would rather tell you about what workout they did yesterday, what their job is, and what they like to do rather than get to know you.

This is something easy to spot on the first date, so although they may be "cute," you should probably drop them if you leave your date and can recite everything about their life since the day they were born, yet they didn't catch what your last name was.

3. How they talk about other women.

THIS IS CRUCIAL FOR FINDING A NICE GUY. It does not matter who they're talking about, if they call their ex-girlfriend crazy we all know she probably isn't and if she is it's probably their fault. If they talk bad about their mom, let's be honest, if they're disrespecting their mother they're not going to respect you either. If they mention girl's physical appearances when describing them. For example, "yeah, I think our waitress is that blonde chick with the big boobs." Well if that doesn't hint they're a complete f* boy then I don't know what else to tell you. And most importantly calling other women "bitches" that's just disrespectful.

Needless to say, if his conversations are similar to ones you'd hear in a frat house, ditch him.

4. Phone etiquette.

If he can't put his phone down long enough to take you to dinner then he doesn't deserve for you to be sitting across from him. If a guy is serious about you he's going to give you his undivided attention and he's going to do whatever it takes to impress you and checking snapchat on a date is not impressive. Also, notice if his phone is facedown, then there's most likely a reason for it. He doesn't trust who or what could pop up on there and he clearly doesn't want you seeing. Although I'm not particularly interested in what's popping up on their phones, putting them face down says more about the guy than you think it does.

To reiterate, it's okay to be picky ladies, you're young, there's no rush. Remember these tips next time you're on a date or seeing someone, and keep in mind: they're on their best behavior when you're dating. Then ask yourself, what will they be like when they're comfortable? Years down the road? Is this what I really want? If you ask yourself these questions you might be down the same road I have stumbled upon, being too picky.. and that's better than settling. :)

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An Open Letter To The People I Decided To Stop Fighting For

"Stop begging and fighting for people to love you the right way. Stop investing time in people who don't mind if you stay or leave." — Reyna Biddy

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To the people I decided to stop fighting for,

It's not you, it's me. It's me who made the choice to put your needs above mine for longer than I should have. It's me who let myself be involved in an endless cycle of giving, without taking. It's me who continues to see the best in people even when shown a million reasons to take off the goggles-- to not float back down to Earth, back to reality. But to crash into pieces of what was once a flawless facade.

But it's you who were never going to change.

You were never going to see all the ways you hurt me, and I was never going to force you to. Just as you failed to understand, I failed to tell you there were repercussions... because there weren't.

I am a kind person, and I will not stop being kind. I am a compassionate person, and I will not stop being compassionate. I will, however, stop letting my kindness and compassion act as a gateway for mistreatment, for not second chances but third and fourth and fifth chances. Chances that you never asked for, but that I gave you anyways.

I have to walk away from the one-sidedness, from the excuses that I handed you on a silver platter. I let you walk all over me, and I even shined your shoes in the process. I am done using amazing memories as a means of masking toxicity with a happy past. The thing about memories is that they're used to reminisce about the previous, but I used them to excuse the things that you do in the present.

You were never going to stop making me feel small when all I'd do is try to lift you up. I suppose the more you let someone treat you as though you're small, the more they believe it is OK to do this, it is OK to belittle you. But it was never OK, and that's on me. It was me who'd tell you the ways you had hurt me, only to have you repeat them over and over again without consequence. And it was me who was fine with this.

I am without anger, without frustration, and without sadness.

I feel nothing but love for you, but I must also love myself enough to stop fighting and to let go of things not meant for me, things that no longer bring me joy and peace in my life.

Now I am exhausted, far too tired to fight for people who judge instead of love, who bicker instead of trying to understand. Because you weren't going to change. You won't change. And that's OK, that I've made peace with. But I have to change — I have to stand up for myself, and I have to walk away.

So I lay down my armor and I throw up my shield because it's time to start protecting myself, to start fighting for me.

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