It's time to figure a few things out.
The other week, we gave you the 10 key clues that would indicate, much to your surprise and chagrin, that you’re a “side chick,” i.e. not a man’s main squeeze. This week, we’ve outlined below the five questions you’ll have to ask yourself in response to such shock. And should you be inclined to kid yourself while under romantic duress, we’ve also suggested your best answers.
There you were, on your way to falling in love, imagining the dates you two went on and the sex you two had as something truly special and exclusive. But now you find out not only was he cheating on you, but you weren’t even number one! Why? Why did he lie? Why did he make you his side chick? Why would he do this to his girlfriend?
A: Because he’s a lying, cheating, immoral dirtbag! Obvs.
2. Could I have done something to prevent this?
A: You couldn’t have changed his lying, cheating ways, so please know it’s not your fault.
That said, perhaps you could have taken a few more precautionary steps. For example, did you ever ask him if he was seeing other people? Did you just assume exclusivity? Never assume! Did you make it clear that you were only interested in a monogamous relationship? If you ever had any doubts, did you demand satisfactory explanation? As Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”
3. Should I tell his girlfriend?
This is a tricky one. On the one hand, who knows what kind of understanding they might have; who knows if she’ll even believe you or try to retaliate, blaming you instead of him. It’s certainly cleaner to just stay out of it and move on. Then again, wouldn’t you want to know if your supposedly committed boyfriend had a side chick? You could let her know anonymously, but that might make you seem like a creeper, or at the very least like an unreliable witness.
A: You’re on your own here. But whatever you decide, just make sure your motives are altruistic, not vindictive.
4. Should I continue to sleep with him?
Even when you’ve been crushed like this, it’s hard to turn off your love faucet completely — your feelings may still be flowing (or at least drip-dropping). Plus, maybe the sex was absolutely amazing and you don’t want to give that up...
A: Don’t do it! Letting him off the hook like that sends him (and the world) two negative messages: that it was okay to lie to you, and that cheating works. Continuing your relationship also implicates you in the crime — now you’re no longer an innocent bystander, you’re an accomplice. Don’t become a part of the problem.
5. How can I get revenge?
He hurt you, now you want to hurt him back — bad. You imagine interrupting a romantic dinner out with his girlfriend by throwing down some naughty pics you two took of each other. You fantasize about giving the IRS an anonymous tip about his shady deductions on his tax returns. You consider breaking into his apartment and leaving his pet bunny boiling in a pot on his stove. After all, karma’s a bitch, right?
A: We know it’s tempting, but don’t go there. The best way to get revenge is to live your best life, so that if he ever saw you again down the road, he’d rue the day he ever made you #2. And remember, if karma’s a bitch, then getting revenge in a negative way means it’ll just come back around to bite you in the ass.
6. Is there something wrong with me?
A: No. You’re beautiful and smart and just plain fucking awesome! Some people are just great liars. Sometimes, no matter how many probing questions you ask, cheaters like this just drop so few clues that, short of accidentally finding some damning evidence or administering your own lie detector test, you’d never know the truth.
All you can do is be your best self, know what you want from a relationship, and don’t settle for anything less.
7. Will I ever love again?
This article was originally published at Em&Lo. Reprinted with permission from the author.