If you cheat on someone you're dating, you don't love that person. I'm sorry, but it's true. If you are unfaithful, you are not in love.
I don't care if people “make mistakes.” I don't care if we're “all human.”
Cheating is not a mistake you make when you truly love someone.
Let me just clarify this for a second, in case you missed it the first time: YOU CANNOT CHEAT ON SOMEONE YOU LOVE. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE.
Full disclosure: This article is kind of personal and very preachy. If you are a person who has cheated on someone and still believes you love that person, you're about to have your ass handed to you.
When I bring up this subject in my social circle, it quickly dissolves into a heated debate. Allow me to explain why I am undoubtedly correct when I say that you cannot cheat on someone you love.
Let's start at the very beginning. I should probably note that I'm not a saint when it comes to relationships. I know... shocker! I'm, in fact, a true, undoubted sinner. I'm a notorious cheater.
I believe that my past urge to cheat comes from never really wanting to commit to a relationship -- but still selfishly wanting all the benefits of having one.
I've always valued my independence and ability to do what I want, but I also enjoy having someone to cuddle and go to dinner with.
During my bizarre and dreadfully muddled dating history, I've been the gluttonous harpy who must have her cake and eat it too.
My ideal situation was having my boyfriend wait for me at home while I was off kissing strangers in sketchy dive bars. In an ideal word, my boyfriend would have understood my need to be free. But that doesn't happen in reality.
In reality, I lied. I was "in a relationship" only when my boyfriend was present. I was a bad girlfriend. I openly admit this.
On top of all of this, I'm pretty transparent about my habits and the insatiability that stems from my deep-seated FOMO. But every guy who comes my way is positive that he will be the guy to change me. He will be the guy to make me give up my cheating ways.
I had to wonder what was so wrong with me that I felt compelled to cheat on my boyfriends. I had to question why I never really felt guilty.
I came to realize that everything had to do with the tepid feelings I had for the men I was dating. I didn't care enough about my relationships to not risk ruining them. I didn't respect my partners enough to treat them like they were my partners.
After a lot of contemplation, I've become absolutely sure that if you love someone and respect someone enough, you cannot cheat on that person. You simply cannot. It would kill you.
Let's talk about respect.
It all comes down to respect. If you truly respect the person you've committed to, you will never be able to cheat on him or her. You would just not be capable of doing that to someone you care deeply about.
For the first time in my crazy, messed-up love life, I believe that I am truly in love -- madly, head-over-heels kind of love. The difference with this relationship is that I have a deep and profound respect for my boyfriend.
He treats me beautifully, he challenges me, and he is there for me whenever I need him. He is my best friend. I'm repulsed by the thought of letting another guy touch me. It makes my skin crawl.
The idea of hurting someone I respect so much breaks my heart. I couldn't. I wouldn't. The only time I would do something like that would be if I didn't honor him the way that I do.
If you cheat on your partner, you do not respect him or her enough not to betray stray. You may as well leave now. Your infidelity is all the proof you need that the two of you are not right for each other.
You can certainly care for your partner, but you don't care ENOUGH.
I've cared for the men I have cheated on. I have loved each and every one of them in my own way.
But I didn't love them enough to be faithful.
You can certainly care for -- and love -- a person you betray. You can obviously have feelings for this person. (You two are in a relationship, after all.)
But you don't love him or her enough. If you truly loved this person with all of your heart, there would be no one else. Other men or women would not even exist for you.
It's understandable that you don't want to give this person up. You love him or her. You want to be with him or her.
But this is what you need to understand: If you cannot sacrifice the touch of another person -- if you cannot resist the physical urge to screw someone else in favor of honoring your relationship -- you do not value that relationship enough.
You can feel that love, but it does not burn brightly enough. If you cheat on someone, you simply don't love or respect that person fiercely enough.
Allow me to restate my thesis: YOU CANNOT CHEAT ON SOMEONE YOU LOVE. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE.
I should know. I've been there.