Dating Don’ts: To Catch A Cheater

There is possibly nothing more soul-destroying than finding out someone you love is loving on another.

The first time I was cheated on, I was out at a club with my very first boyfriend. I noticed a beautiful girl across the room staring at him, then the band started playing, things got loud and suddenly my boyfriend was nowhere to be found. Oddly enough, she was gone too. Fifteen minutes later, I saw them skulk out of the bathroom together. Ouchie!But not everyone has the luxury (?!) of catching their beliked in the act and many of us, while we suspect something’s going on, don’t feel comfortable putting the kibosh on a good relationship, just because of a twinge in the gut, so we look for something more.

Witchy Woman

Psychically inclined Chloe had been seeing a gynecologist we’ll call Dr. Dishonest for about five months when he asked her to read his tarot cards. “As soon as I said, ‘You are thinking about cheating with another woman and she’s in Holland,’ he started sweating and was like, ‘How do you know that?’” she laughs. “Then I found out from his secretary that he had a trip planned to Holland that weekend.” He’s now married to the Dutch woman.

Speaking of Which …

Since most of us aren’t blessed with psychic abilities, Chloe’s experience also illustrates that you should never underestimate the benefits of befriending his assistant. “You always become good friends with the secretaries,” she advises. “They don’t want to see you get hurt so they’ll spill the entire bag of beans!” Obviously that’s not true of every assistant (after all, who’s writing their paycheck?), but an ally on the inside never hurts.

Comparing Notes …

When Lena started two-timing her boyfriend, she compounded her mistake by doing so with someone who was also in a relationship. Her affair’s wife got suspicious, did some detective work and told Lena’s man. The fallout was painful not just to her boyfriend, but all of their mutual friends turned their back on Lena as well. “I might as well have stolen an infant and chewed its head off—it was that devastating,” she says.

While Lena’s boyfriend believed the woman who filled him in on her extracurricular dalliance, I know of many cases where the in-the-dark partner either preferred to live in denial or got talked into believing the tattler was just some vengeful crank. So think twice before you dismiss a rattling email or phone call.

Technical Difficulties

The number one way anyone gets nailed for cheating these days is via a cell phone or computer. Between email, texting, Facebook and call histories, there are approximately a million ways to bust a person for shady behavior. Viviane thought she was working out her angst as she poured her heart out into her private online journal. She shared her worries over turning 30, her dissatisfaction with her relationship, and—oh yeah—the details of that random guy she’d slept with the weekend prior.

While she was in the shower one day, her boyfriend read her journal and emailed himself a copy. Viviane didn’t figure it out until days later when he was suddenly, permanently, unavailable.

Some People Are So Dumb, It’s Like They’re Trying to Get Caught …

“He took me back to his place and there was a tampon loose on his kitchen counter,” says one still indignant friend. “Suspicious, I quickly looked around the room and saw lady rain boots, a vintage painted tea kettle, and a lot of pics with the same woman in it—he said it was his sister!”

My friend turned on her heel and left immediately. Melody didn’t have that option. She was in a long-distance relationship and had driven six long hours to see her man.

“I arrived at his place to find the Joni Mitchell CDs out — what guy pulls out his sensitive chick music unless he’s trying to get some action?” she says ruefully. “There was also a mound of blond hair in the shower drain.” Though her gut (and her eyes and her brain) was screaming he was a liar, Mel’s man emphatically denied there was anything untoward going on.

“So,” she continues, “I continued to be a fool, following him to his bed, where I noticed lots of long blond hairs on the sheets/pillows.” Do I even need to mention that Mel’s a brunette? That was the straw-colored hair that broke her back and Melody made the long drive back the next day.

Lest You Give Up Hope …

Though I’ve been cheated on several other times since that first guy, I’m now in a long-term relationship with someone I trust. Sometimes I worry the past will repeat itself—especially after hearing everyone’s stories! But mostly I just try to have faith in my guy. Plus, he knows I have pepper spray and I’m not afraid to use it.