If your man hooks up with another guy, is it time to let him go?
I recently learned my (ex) boyfriend of one-year cheated on me. He confessed it happened a few months ago with an old f-buddy. I pulled the chord on the relationship immediately.
You see, we had an arrangement of exclusivity.
Ever since that time, we’ve stayed in touch. Lately, he’s been asking if I would take him back and give things another chance. He swears he’ll never do it again. The whole thing has thrown me for a loop.
What should I do?
– Hurt and confused
I’ll get right to the answer without messing around. No, do not take him back.
I recognize that’s hard to hear. No doubt, your ex is probably amazing – or at least comes off that way. But if the two of you had an agreement of monogamy and he stepped out on you that fast, it doesn’t bode well for the future.
Look, if this were just some random guy that you were mildly interested in, this wouldn’t be a problem. You would just tell the dude to screw off after the confession and be done with it.
But in this case, you have an emotional attachment. It’s obvious because he’s penetrated your sense of conviction and has you questioning your original decision to call things off.
Some men can be very charming, particularly if they know about certain aspects of your personality. In your case, it may very well be that he really knew how to make you laugh, smile and make you feel special.
While I can’t be sure, I’m going to assume that ever since the disclosure, he’s probably said this was just a onetime thing. Perhaps he even said, “I don’t know why – it just happened.”
Sadly, nothing ever just “happens”. When people cheat (gay or straight) it is a decision and not an accident.
Here’s the thing about stepping out – many of us fantasize about doing it. In fact, some guys even dream about cheating. But if you are a gay man in a relationship with a guy and have promised to remain monogamous, that’s should mean something.
Obviously, there are exceptions.
If two people agree to have an open relationship and set up boundaries that work for them, great. The same holds true if a couple decides to bring in a third.
Some of the healthiest gay relationships I’ve ever seen work well on this model.
But if a commitment has been made, it means the both of you are actively deciding to remain exclusive.
This isn’t to say that you (or a mate) can’t fantasize. Think about it for a moment. How many times have you cruised another guy and mentally undressed him in your mind?
For that matter, how many times have you checked out a hot model on a website or magazine? Is that cheating? I’d say no. And if someone reading this does think that’s cheating, then all I can say is wow.
In many ways, many of us fall victim to the shiny object syndrome. You’ve heard of that, right? It’s basically the situation where we wonder if something else is better than what we’ve already got.
It’s also one of the top 10 reasons same-sex relationships collapse.
In your case, you may have had other people interested in you during the courtship with your ex. Perhaps some of the guys sniffing around were hot and you were super attracted to them.
But at the end of the day, you kept your promise to your former mate and didn’t act impulsively. Even (for example) when that hunk at the gym made it obvious he wanted to get with you.
There were probably tons of other opportunities you could have acted on. The point is you said no to temptation.
You played the tape in your mind and realized that even if nobody ever found out, you would know – deep inside.
The only exceptions are the narcissists and psychopaths of the world; people who don’t have a chip that empowers remorse. My sense is that’s not you.
Your choice to say know is admirable and speaks to your character as a person. On some level, you recognized that a short-term thrill wasn’t worth compromising something meaningful for the long-term.
Your ex-boyfriend faced the same dilemma. He had the same temptations. The difference is he said yes to stepping out, knowing full-well that it violated your agreement.
He made the choice to cheat.
I recognize this is hard to hear. Maybe even painful. But I want you to think about how much it hurt when you discovered he stepped out on you.
What will it feel like if you green-light the relationship and it happens again?
There may be a part of you that wants to believe this was his one moment of infidelity. But the reality is that people behave in ways that are familiar.
He’s likely got other f-buddies, aside from the one he cheated on with you. He’ll feel the temptation to step out whenever one of them texts for a bootie-call and experiences the intoxication of their flattery.
A great way to gauge someone’s future behavior is simply to look at their past actions. That’s not to say he can’t change.
People do this all the time. Still, do you really want to expose yourself emotionally to find out the answer?
You never mentioned if the two of you are still casually hooking up. Sometimes, a physical connection to another can be so powerful that is clouds judgment and distorts reality.
I mention this only as a way of helping to provide clarity.
This will be a difficult talk – no question about it. He’s probably going to tell you how much he loves you and that the two of you were meant to be together.
But honestly – do you really need that kind of love?
Need some dating help? Email Jack, the Gay Dating Coach at: [email protected]