A few friends and I were catching up at a cafe the other night when my friend started sharing about this boy she had met at a house party. As we’re all single, we get excited when one of us meets someone and we discuss it in much detail. This was no different, so we all attentively listened to her share about this boy and his charms, ‘oohing’ and ‘ahhing’ along with her. The story started out great; he was attractive, attentive and funny. Funny is important because life can be serious and miserable at times, so you need someone with humour to brighten things up. But I digress. Back to the boy. As the night went on, she realised that they had similar views on thing and he was easy-going, so they exchanged numbers and continued chatting into the wee hours of the morning on the sidewalk (this was a neighbourhood party, so everyone was able to walk back to their house at the end of the night). Eventually, she left to go home and bed, saying goodnight and walking away. More ‘ooohing’ ensued from us as she told us he was a complete gentleman throughout, however after she left, his intoxicated state got the better of him and he started sending messages asking her, then eventually pleading with her to come back outside to continue chatting (this is where the oohhing started to simmer down a little!) She went to sleep, so fast forward to the next morning and she awoke to all the pleading messages, so she decided to message back and chat, and that’s when things shifted. The ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ were replaced by ‘huh?’ and ‘booo!” because gone was the funny, chatty charming boy and in his place was a short, minimal responses boy with absolutely no charm. Alas, she left it alone and went on with her day.
Later in the day, while chatting to one of her friends about it, her friend managed to track him down on Facebook (keep your profile private people!) and found out that this boy was actually in a relationship with another girl (booo!) and had been for a period of time. In that instant, any flattery felt by his attentions was gone. Needless to say we were all a little peeved at this boy and there was lots of ‘booing’ aimed at him. But here was the sad part; while we were surprised and disappointed by his actions, unfortunately it was something that we had all experienced before. All of us had, at some point, found ourselves being charmed and chased by a nice lad, only to find out that said lad already had a lady attached to him that likely had no idea of the attention he was showing others. It’s a yucky situation to be in and it leaves you feeling like garbage. As someone who has experienced this, it’s not flattering in any way, it’s the complete opposite. You’re left feeling like you’re just some chic on the side who would be okay with getting involved with an already attached man. When this had happened to me, I found myself thinking, “am I not worthy enough to be the only person in someone’s life, just the chic on the side?”. That might seem like a dramatic reaction but it seems to be a standard reaction by most females that have been on the receiving end of this (the ones I’ve spoken to, anyway). Not too sure how the men on the receiving end of this would feel, but I would imagine that a guy would be just as disappointed if he knew the girl he was keen on and that was flirting with him already had a guy. When I found out that they guy that had been chasing me was already in a relationship, I found myself feeling angry and struggling to keep past insecurities at bay. I’ve since dealt with all that and now see people’s actions as a reflection of them, not me, however it still raises one question, and that is WHY?
Why do that for in the first place? Why put a girl (or a guy, because there are plenty of girls that cheat as well) through that? Why make someone feel special with your attention if you already have partner/spouse? If you have made a commitment to be with someone, honour that! Honour the promise you make when you agree to be in a relationship with someone and uphold the trust they put in you. Don’t abuse that trust by chasing someone else on the sly. Don’t try to charm someone when you already have someone else at home, because all you’re doing is hurting people and making yourself look like a heartless person. I know relationships go through their bumps and sometimes people are unhappy in the relationship they are in, but that doesn’t excuse cheating or chasing someone to try to get physical with them so that you can get your kicks. If you’re that unhappy, chasing someone else isn’t going to make things better. It won’t fix your relationship, it will only add to your dramas when the truth comes out, which it will, because it always does. We can convince ourselves otherwise, but the truth always comes out at some point and when it does, the proverbial will hit the fan. If you’re unhappy, try to work it out, don’t ignore it by looking elsewhere.
I get relationships are hard and I get that people make mistakes and things happen. I also get that it can be easy to get caught up in a situation and find yourself in too deep. Sometimes, what starts out as something innocent gets out of hand very quickly and you find yourself asking how it all happened. I understand all that and know how it can happen. But what I don’t understand is when people intentionally chase someone when they are in a relationship. And I’m not passing judgement on anyone because at the end of the day, we’ll all stand before God and answer for our actions, so I’ll leave the judgement to Him. But I just don’t get it, I really don’t. I don’t get how someone can go be with someone, then go home and act like nothing happened and be with their partner. I don’t understand how someone can say, “I love you” to their wife/husband while they are getting ready to go and meet someone else.
My question for those that intentionally cheat and chase while committed is this: what if it was you who was being cheated on? Or your best friend? Brother? Sister? How would you feel? Would you justify their behaviour the way you justify your own? Or would you be hurt? Angry? Rejected? Again, I’m not standing here passing judgement on people because I am by no means perfect and have myself done things that I am not proud of. But I just see this so much and have had so many of my friends go through this. My heart aches with each person that is cheated on because I know how it feels. I know how much the betrayal hurts and I know how hard it can be to pull yourself back up and recognise that the cheating wasn’t a reflection on you but on the person who is cheating. I’ve counselled people who have been cheated on and people who have themselves been doing the cheating. No one wins. Everyone gets hurt and wounded and walks away with some deep scars that can be hard to heal. I’ve counselled people who have spent years carrying guilt and shame and hurt over their actions and I think to myself, was it worth it?
If you’re tempted to cheat or chase while you’re in a committed relationship, don’t do it. Please, just don’t do it. Walk away. If you’re faced with too much temptation, walk away and remove yourself from the situation. And if you can’t be with someone anyone more, deal with that first before looking to someone else. Try and work it out. But don’t cheat. Don’t destroy someone’s confidence and your reputation and honour by cheating because you will only regret it later.