Is It OK To Cheat Once?

According to our homeboys at BroBible, it’s OK to cheat once in a relationship. “Call it what you want — quarter-life crisis, cold feet, or the fear of commitment — but the fact remains that it has become human nature for a man in his twenties to question his future with a girl,” they say. So what’s a guy to do? Why, cheat, of course! But only once. If he does that, “It will either scare a man straight or set him free.” The idea isn’t altogether as godawful a concept as it may sound. If a guy thinks the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, well, maybe what he needs to do is find out. That way, he can choose his, um, current yard, or he can break through the fence and spend the rest of his life humping stray female dogs who may or may not have fleas, mange, and whatever else wayward dogs have. Although, we’re not so sure this is such a great idea. Basically, there are two issues at hand, from the ladies’ point-of-view.

First of all, there’s the issue of whether or not the dude should be “allowed” to cheat — only once and to find out if he should stay or go. Does he tell the girl that this is what he’s going to do? Does he come home from work one day (does this guy have a job, btw?) and say, “Hey, honey, I’m feeling a little stifled by our relationship and the relentless nature of monogamy, so I am going to get busy with this random chick who eyeballed my kumquats at the supermarket”? And then, you’re supposed to be like, “Oh, sure, I understand, because I, too, feel overwhelmed by the prospect of being with you for the rest of my life, so, please, by all means, have your way with her, and consider this my blessing”? Because, um, that is not going to happen. Unless you are swingers. Which is another post for another time.

My guess is that’s not how this is going to go down, if it does. Instead, he’s probably going to slip out some evening, sow his wild oats, and not tell his significant other about it. Which is what is commonly referred to as “lame.” Not so much because it’s “cheating,” but because that makes him a stinky, filthy liar, and cheating is one thing in a relationship, but being a stinky, filthy liar is a real dealbreaker. If you’re lying about one thing, you’re probably lying about a lot of things. Like that you cheated, and what you spent your last paycheck on, and how wasted you were the other night. Before long, the room of your relationship is very chilly, indeed, and cheating is the least of your problems, seeing as the gulf between you two has become too wide to bridge on account of your propensity for lying.

Other related cheating issues come to mind. Actually, they aren’t issues, per se. They’re words. Like “herpes,” “pregnancy,” “HPV,” “crazy stalker chicks,” “gonorrhea,” and I’m sure others could think of many more. If you’re cheating, we don’t know that you can be trusted to practice safe sex. Besides, safe sex isn’t some sort of guarantee. If you’re going to cheat, we don’t want your STDs. So, maybe don’t come home if that’s the way you want to go.

But the guy is not the only issue at stake here. What if the situation were reversed? What if it was the woman who could cheat, but only once? Oddly! The idea becomes somewhat more attractive, or, er, reasonable, when one is the one potentially doing the cheating, and not the one being the one who is being cheated upon, which is never fun.

When it’s you, the woman, at least in theory, the idea seems somewhat more … dare we say, reasonable? I mean, who hasn’t been there, wondering in a relationship? Is he really the one? What if I run into George Clooney, and he wants to bone me — what then? If he never knows, what’s the problem? Perhaps being able to cheat once on your man isn’t the worst idea after all. You could find out for sure if you were meant to be, and then, at least, you’d know for sure, even if it resulted in a break up.

Let’s say you did it. You cheated on him. Now you’re keeping a secret from him. Plus, you picked up a little something along the way, you discover at the gynecologist. And you can’t stop feeling like a heel, because you’re sure now you have a good thing — only he’s the good thing, and you? Well, you’re a cheater. That much is true.

In the spirit of quid pro quo, we’re going to have to say, no, you cannot cheat once, and neither can we. If we break up, we break up. But if you’re a cheater, then you suck.