When I wrote about how "poached" men make for the most dreadful and unreliable boyfriends, I thought it would make for a good "What Women Really Think…" Like me, who made such a dumb mistake in my younger days, the study pointed out that poaching it's exactly uncommon. I already know more than a few friends who had found themselves in such a predicament, so I thought I’d throw it out there for this week’s crowdsourcing question.
I asked women, both those who had and had not experienced such a situation, their thoughts. If they had messed around with a someone who was in a relationship (perhaps, unhappily so), then he/she broke it off to be with you, would you ever be able to trust that person? Is there some sort of safety in knowing that they left the other person for you, so you won’t worry? Or is everything about poaching a bad idea all around?
Here's what the ladies had to say.
Just because he’s been poached doesn’t mean he’ll let himself be so easily poached again.
"I fooled around with a married man while I was very unhappily married before it dawned on me that there was a way out of it: divorce. He was unhappy in his relationship, too. It wasn't meant to turn into anything, but it did. I got divorced but not for him. But somewhere along the way I fell for him. HARD. He just couldn't commit himself to changing things on his end. At all. I ended up being miserable because I was by myself during events I wanted to be with someone for, and to have someone to come home to. So I broke my own heart and ended it while still trying to maintain a friendship with him, watched him start to sleep with random people I have to work with every day, and I now am watching him do the same thing with someone else that he did with me. But at least now he's separated? And still refuses to consider himself committed to the current chick.
"So... do I think that all people who have had a broken marriage from adultery are untrustworthy? Nope. Do I think he is? Yes. (That part hurts the most.) I think it depends on what brought you to the situation and how you deal with things. I don't imagine myself going down that path again. I'm happiest when I'm with one person that makes me want to run home and not runaway from it," says Jen, 35.
"Poaching makes me think of eggs, so let's just say that my current boyfriend was technically on the outs with his past girlfriend when I came along. They had been together for two years and by the time he met me they were already on route to their break-up. My presence may have sped things up and I was called both a home-wrecker and a rebound, but five, almost six years later, we’re still together and things are great, so that study of yours can suck it," says Meggie, 30.
Simply put: It’s never a good idea to get involved and will just end up being a mess.
"I'd say it's a bad idea all around, from both sides. If you're the person still in or in the process of getting out of a messy relationship, then you really need to figure your shit out before you can get involved with anyone else. And if you're the person getting involved with someone that is still married and/or with someone else, you DO have the trust issues and wondering if they can commit on TOP of wondering if you helped cause the other relationship to break up (whether or not that's true, you will always wonder.)
"Things are more complicated when you're poly, but same basic rules apply. Starting something new and focusing on that is always gonna be easier than fixing something old, regardless of relationship style, and is a great indicator of one's level of maturity. It also says a lot about someone's ability to communicate... if they start something with you, but can't bring themselves to tell the other person it's over, how can they possibly handle a new relationship at all?" asks Becky, 29.
"No freaking way. Relationships are dramatic enough. Add exes, break-ups, cheating, hunting, poaching, and all the rest of it? Why even bother?" asks Cindy, 28.
In some cases, it actually all works out.
"I've seen it work out well both times I've been privy to them, and I've never seen the 'they're just going to cheat on you next!’ scenario actually happen. So, although I've never been on either side of this fence, if two people have a better shot at finding love in each other, then giddy up," says Heather, 32.
In the end, it may have just been worth the risk.
"Hey look, it's possible to legitimately get struck by lightning and she's the one; what are you gonna do... how do you justify it? How often are you getting struck by lightening?" asks Christina, 28.