How do I stop myself from cheating?
May 7, 2007 9:27 PM   Subscribe

I have a girlfriend I'm in love with. But I'm also in love another girl. She's leaving town, and I want to sleep with her. Why shouldn't I?

So, I have been with my girlfriend for a long time. I miss her when I'm not around her, we talk constantly, and all that good stuff. We're far into the comfortable stage of our relationship, and that's just fine with me. I have zero doubt about my love for her. And wanting to keep her in my life. And she does not know about:

Enter girl #2. She briefly worked at the same place I do. When we met, it was an entirely professional thing. But over time, I got drawn to her. I kinda knew something was going to happen from the first time I saw her, even before I knew who she was. But I kept it to myself, and treated her as I would any other co-worker. I was friendly with her, but I wouldn't go out of my way to end up in her office, and would sometimes go a few weeks without seeing her. As her temporary stint here drew to a close, however, I ended up in her office to help her out with something, and it took a few hours. While we were working on the problem, naturally we struck up conversation. We got along very well, instantly. So after that, we would get lunch together. And email each other during the day. I ended up helping her out again, about a week later, and after we finished up our work... you can see where this is going. The electricity was there, and we were thisclose. But we both had to leave for the night, so we said goodbye. I went home that night and I was totally shaken up. I thought about it a lot, and decided that I had to have a talk with her the next day. I told her, "Hey, so I have a girlfriend. I really like you, and I don't want to stop talking to you, but it is the way it is right now." She was ok with this. At this point, I couldn't deny to myself that I had feelings for her, but I was doing the right thing and it felt right.

When I saw her the next week, we continued to spend occasional time together. And we kept getting closer. And we kissed. And we kissed again (all while NOT on work premises). We're so similar that we barely have to talk to understand each other. I'll agree that this is typical for most relationship beginnings, but it truly feels different in this instance. I've had a lot of girls as friends, but never have I connected with one like this.

So fast forward to the very recent past. I texted her, essentially so I could talk to her for a bit before she left town. I had limited my contact with her to work-only, but I felt like I needed to talk to her. An hour later, and she's at my place. We're both pretty drunk. And we're well on the way to doing something we clearly both want. But we stopped. Not a 'let's stop' type thing, but it just gradually slowed down. She spent the night sleeping next to me. But no clothes ever came off. I even managed to convince myself that by resisting it, I was being respectful and mature to all parties involved, including myself.

And now? I cannot stop thinking about her. She's in town for a few more days, and I'm having trouble finding a reason not to sleep with her, just once. I can guarantee I'd feel guilty about it, but the guilt wouldn't even be close to the desire I'm feeling right now. I've been trying to figure how I'm in love with two girls at the same time. But it's absolutely true.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (108 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

Why shouldn't you? Because while you're spending all that time with her, being distant from your girlfriend, she may be doing the same thing. How does that make you feel?
posted by mhuckaba at 9:34 PM on May 7, 2007

Break up. If the guilt doesn't come close to the desire, then your love for your other girlfriend isn't as strongly as you thought - or maybe your relationship is too comfortable, and you crave that spark. Maybe the only reason you are even still hesitating about sleeping with Girl 2 is because you don't want to lose what you've had with Girl 1. It's comfortable. You've come a long way. And to build that up again can be scary.

Don't delude yourself though, you're not being fair to either of them. You can cut it off completely with Girl 2, which, from your tone of voice, doesn't sound very possible, or you can break up. There is no middle ground, IMO.
posted by Phire at 9:35 PM on May 7, 2007 [3 favorites]

Hmm...I would say (sincerely, without snark) that if you are looking for a group of strangers on the net to convince you not to sleep with girl #2, you're already too far gone for anything we would say to actually prevent it. Seriously, you've listed the reasons. If you feel that sleeping with the girl would jeopardize your relationship and you absolutely don't want to lose your current g/f, then you can't do it. But I wouldn't put my money on you listening to that.
posted by Asherah at 9:37 PM on May 7, 2007

Why shouldn't you? Don't hurt people you love. She will find out.
posted by null terminated at 9:37 PM on May 7, 2007 [2 favorites]

To answer your literal question: Why shouldn't you? Because you made a commitment, I assume, to be loyal and monogamous. You're breaking that commitment, regardless whether or not she finds out (and I agree with null terminated, she WILL find out, if only cause of the way you're acting).
posted by Phire at 9:38 PM on May 7, 2007

I can imagine the desire you're feeling for woman #2. But the real question isn't whether you'll feel guilty for sleeping with her; the real question is how you feel about woman #1--you know, your girlfriend.

You say you have "zero doubt" about your love for her and wanting to keep her in your life. If you sleep with woman #2 you will be betraying that love, and, if she finds out (which she probably will) very likely getting her out of your life forever. Is that worth giving in to your desire?
posted by cerebus19 at 9:40 PM on May 7, 2007

You shouldn't do it because you are an adult in an adult relationship, and you can't go around doing everything you want to just because you want to do it, like, really bad.
posted by kitty teeth at 9:40 PM on May 7, 2007 [31 favorites]

well, it sounds like being in love with two girls at the same time is the least of your problems.

the reasons you should not follow up on this, if you want to stay with your girlfriend include:

1. it would be a major breach of trust and if she ever found out she would probably have a hard time ever trusting you again. on the other hand she might break up with you right away, or if you stayed together she might have lingering anger and other changed feeling toward you and probably treat you differently
2. it would subject your girlfriend to an increased risk of stds without her knowledge or consent, even if you used protection
3. you would never ever be able to be completely honest with your girlfriend without vastly increasing the risk of #1, and wouldn't it suck to have to keep a guilty secret indefinitely from someone you are supposedly in love with?
4. the guilt will probably last a lot longer than the desire, like maybe forever. of course, ymmv.

this is all assuming, though, that you want to stay with your girlfriend. there are probably arguments against breaking up with her or sleeping with this other girl and then telling her, but in general those situations would seem much less clear cut to me.
posted by lgyre at 9:42 PM on May 7, 2007

I think you need to differentiate your conceptions of being in love, as it were, and experiencing intense chemistry with someone. The entire phenomena of being in love with someone demands a certain amount of respect (along with all the other great characteristics - excitement, compassion, understanding, openness, attraction, and above all trust. True love will also, at times, require sacrifice, patience, and a willingness to 'see things through.'

That being said, sleeping with girl #2 seems to nullify your respect for the feelings of girl #1 (your girlfriend). Though I cannot comment on this with certainty, I shall assume that your girlfriend would be absolutely crushed and devastated if she ever discovered that you had cheated on her. Knowing that this is the likely outcome, if you act on your desires for girl #2, you neglect the feelings of and the emotional impact of this upon your girlfriend. And that certainly doesn't sound like love to me.

It isn't fair to your girlfriend to act upon your sexual impulses with this other woman. I really can't make a suggestion, other than to be honest with yourself and those around you. What do you want, in the long run? Do you feel you and girl #2 are 'meant to be?' Then perhaps you ought to give it a shot. If you do act on your impulse, just remember that you are endangering your girlfriend's health with your possible exposure to STDs. At any cost be safe; don't be an asshole.
posted by numinous at 9:44 PM on May 7, 2007 [1 favorite]

hey, love is a verb, not a noun. I can't see how you can claim to love either of these women when you treat them so shabbily. You're telling us what they mean to you but do you do for them? What level of committment, trust, generosity, kindness etc do you have for them? Perhaps none if you're willing to cheat on one with t'other.

So now that you know that you don't love either, you can sleep with both with a clear conscience, right?
posted by b33j at 9:50 PM on May 7, 2007

Break up with your girlfriend and go for it. Or realize how incredibly impulsive you're being.
posted by phrontist at 9:51 PM on May 7, 2007

I was in a similar situation (cept I wasn't actually going out with girl A but the door was open. OH and they were sisters, but I digress).

Girl B was the professional one, we connected on a lot of intellectual issues and found we suited each other perfectly (much like you describe). However I had been living with Girl A for about a year (although not going out the whole time) and in the end (depsite having a fling with B which i later regret) I came clean and said I was still in love with Girl A, and whilst I found her amazing I couldnt blank out those feelings.

So: my end advice, dont do it. Whilst it may feel great now... it'll probably ruin any chances you have with either of them should the shit in the fan.

Your girlfriend has shown you commitment and dedication and you should show her the same. Whilst the fantasy of someone different will always be there, decide whether you want a commited consistant relationship, or to waste time fucking people left and right. This is why we invented masturbation. If, in a few months/years/etc you guys cross paths again and you're single again... hey.. THEN it could be the best thing which will happen to you.
posted by chrisbucks at 9:51 PM on May 7, 2007

Dude, just do it. I don't know what you expect to get out of the answers here which I'm sure will be incredibly well intentioned but just do it. It's life. You are going to make this mistake. And you will make many mistakes. You will hurt your girlfriend. You will hurt yourself. You will hurt girl #2. You might hurt people you didn't even know would be effected by this decision. Why? Why just do it? Because you sound young. And right now, it's all about you. You and your need to get it on.

Just go forth and have your relations with the other girl. But you're going to suffer the consequences which can range from (but are not limited to) these fabulous prizes:

-Your guilt
-Your guilt being so overwhelming you start mistreating girlfriend in an effort to have her break up with you so she is the bad guy
-possible sexual harassment suit
-confrontation! from whom? who knows! it's a surprise - yay!
-girlfriend rejecting you
-girl #2 rejecting you
-being alone and having no one and knowing you fucked up and no amount of sleep, cookie dough, crying or Joni Mitchell can fill the void
-girl #2 sleeping with you then never contacting you again
-everyone in the office knowing

I wish I could say something that can persuade you not to do it, but based on your post, I think you're going to end up doing what you really want to do regardless of the answers here. This is just a useless exercise for you in an attempt to allay your guilt that you tried to not do it.
posted by spec80 at 9:52 PM on May 7, 2007 [21 favorites]

How do you stop yourself from cheating? Throw your phone in the toilet. By the time you have a phone that works again, girl #2 will be gone.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:57 PM on May 7, 2007 [2 favorites]

To be the lone voice of dissent: Do it.

You love your girlfriend. Being attracted to someone else doesn't mean you don't love her. Hell, acting on it doesn't mean you don't love her. You have a solid life with this person and no intention of leaving her (maybe you should, but that's not the point).

You're probably never going to have the chance to sleep with this girl again. And as much as everyone else has pointed out that guilt about cheating will haunt you - so will the possibility of this one great night.

You're obviously not perfect. Neither am I, neither are most of the people here who make it sound like they are. Maybe you need this, we don't know. Love is subjective, don't let the other people here tell you different.
posted by Roman Graves at 10:03 PM on May 7, 2007

oh, also, to answer your actual question:

try calling your girlfriend and explaining what is going on. you will probably find yourself not cheating after that either because you will not be in a relationship anymore or because you'll be too invested in trying to fix it to think about something else.
posted by lgyre at 10:04 PM on May 7, 2007

Ask yourself: if your girlfriend had a guy on the side that she was experiencing "intense chemistry" with, how would you feel if she slept with him? More importantly, how would you feel if three weeks from now you woke up with a raging case of herpes that you caught from her?
posted by watsondog at 10:05 PM on May 7, 2007 [1 favorite]

don't be a dickhead.

You may be confusing "love" with lust

If you can't figure out the rediciously simple answers to why you should not sleep with girl #2 then perhaps you need to find someone who won't mind the both of you seeking out external sex. This issue is going to come up time and time again, either accept what being in a monogamous relationship means, or avoid them.
posted by edgeways at 10:09 PM on May 7, 2007

You know, you've created all these justifications in your head, and from where you stand, they probably seem very very rational, very logical, and very convincing. You might even convince yourself you've transcended emotion and conventional morality, and are viewing the situation with total dispassion, and, hell, are perhaps seeing with pure clarity something that those of us whose eyes are clouded by traditional mores cannot. Why shouldn't you give in to such a strong desire, when right now, on the little scale in your head, the pros outweigh the cons?

Whereas it's painfully obvious to everyone outside the situation that you're being a selfish, self-centered little boy who's willing to sacrifice his integrity and the trust of someone he claims to love, turning the relationship she thinks she's in into a lie, just because he wants to bang a girl he's convinced himself he has a connection with.

Seriously, do not do this. Nobody likes a cheater, and that's what you'll be if you do this. A cheater. You'll be that guy. You'll be spunking all over your sympathy tokens for the next seven years. And you'll look like a complete toolbox if you try to pull the whole "well I convinced myself that desire outweighed the guilt" and blah blah blah please when explaining it to anyone in the future.

But I mean, if you really, really want to.
posted by granted at 10:13 PM on May 7, 2007 [4 favorites]

What kind of person do people think you are? What kind of person do you want to be? Don't betray yourself or the people you care about. Especially yourself.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 10:21 PM on May 7, 2007

If you hang out in a barbershop long enough, eventually you'll get a haircut.

Don't kid yourself into thinking that this will end well and that you can play both ends. I tried and failed miserably. Of course I didn't heed the warnings of millions who went before me and learn from their example. I was different. I was special. I was a fuckhead. I paid dearly. Don't do the same thing.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 10:29 PM on May 7, 2007 [5 favorites]

No reason why you shouldn't sleep with her!

Wait, you don't want to break up messily with your current girlfriend? You don't want to be a dickhead and hurt both of these girls you claim to love?

THEN DON'T DO IT. Jesus. You're probably going to anyway, but from what you've said here it sounds kind of like you're suffering from boredom with your current girlfriend and are maybe building this thing up with this other girl into a great love affair because you don't want to admit you're just looking for something new. Do everyone a favor and don't get involved with this new girl, and break up with your current gf if you really just can't control yourself. You don't sound like you know what a committed relationship is. Maybe you shouldn't be in one; nothing wrong with that, but be honest with yourself, again, for the benefit of everyone involved.
posted by MadamM at 10:35 PM on May 7, 2007

You shouldn't do it. Cheating becomes a habit. The behavior will follow you.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 10:36 PM on May 7, 2007

Why shouldn't I?

For the same reason(s) you shouldn't sleep with #3 when she comes along. It will hurt #1, you, and your relationship.

If you can't see why that is or why it matters, then try to figure out the difference between love and lust and work out whether you're actually experiencing the former with your supposed #1.
posted by scheptech at 10:38 PM on May 7, 2007

I'm sitting here thinking, "Do it," but maybe that's because I just like to stir things up and I am on the internet.

If you do it, you won't have the lifelong regret of "I wonder what it would have been like to sleep with her?"

But then, if you don't do it, you won't have the lifelong regret of "I wonder what it would have been like to be faithful?"

I guess it comes down to which regret you're more comfortable living with.
posted by jayder at 10:39 PM on May 7, 2007 [2 favorites]

Don't hurt the people you love, not even behind their back, not even when you know they'll never find out. That's a shitty kind of person to be.
posted by rndm at 10:39 PM on May 7, 2007

It will hurt #1, you, and your relationship.

I don't understand how it will necessarily hurt #1 or the relationship, if #1 doesn't know about it, and assuming all the stuff about how he loves #1 is true. Depending on the nature of his conscience, I am not even sure it would hurt anonymous.

Doesn't everybody keep some secrets from their significant other?

Why can't this one-time sex act just be one of that handful of secrets?
posted by jayder at 10:42 PM on May 7, 2007

Feeling like this is fine. Acting on your feelings may have results you don't like, particularly if you're not honest with one or more of your partners.

I disagree with some of the previous responses- I think your love, respect, and relationship can be solid even if you're sleeping with multiple people, as long as you're honest and open with everyone involved (generally a good life principle- and easier to keep track of that way).

A disclaimer, of sorts: I have no idea what I'm talking about, beyond the fact that I have two polyamorous friends, both of whom have had multiple partners during their ongoing LTR with success. The key seems to be, well, talking about it. Could you tell your girlfriend about your attraction to girl #2? There might be a number of unexplored outcomes.

Regardless, I'll recommend The Ethical Slut, which is a great book for people interested in learning about and experimenting with polyamorous relationships.

Good luck with your decision.
posted by arnicae at 10:47 PM on May 7, 2007

Why can't this one-time sex act just be one of that handful of secrets?

Because it undermines the very foundation of their relationship, which, presumably, is monogamous. Breaching the terms of a monogamous relationship isn't just a run-of-the-mill secret. It means you've decided, of your own accord, that the foundation of your relationship doesn't apply to you. You can breach it, change the terms, when it's convenient to you, while the other person (presumably) continues to follow those terms in good faith.

Those terms are the very essence of a monogamous relationship. If you're not going to abide by them, either you shouldn't be in a relationship at all, or you should be in an open relationship. Nothing wrong with either of those options. But if your partner believes that she's in a monogamous relationship, and you let her believe this while doing whatever the fuck you want, you're turning your partner's life and love into a lie. For no other reason than selfishness.
posted by granted at 10:53 PM on May 7, 2007 [5 favorites]

You should understand more about the meaning of your attraction to girl #2. You think it means you want to have no-strings intercourse with her. Sure, it means that.

But it also means that you want to sabotage the current, good relationship you're in. It means that you want to have a secret you keep from your girlfriend. It means that, for some reason deep down, part of you wants to be a man who lies and breaks his promises. You want to put something over on your loved one; to feel the power and mastery inherent in your narcissistic delusion that you can treat your current girlfriend badly and get away with it scot-free.

And by exposing this side of yourself here, you are revealing a desire to experience the opprobrium of perfect strangers, a particularly masturbatory form of masochism.

It all speaks to a pretty beat-down sense of self-worth, Mr Anonymous. When folks like you decide to change, they can spend some time and money on psychotherapy; until they do, they will keep screwing up their own lives.

I have no particular advice for you. Do what you're going to do. It is your life; you can shape it however you wish, to fit your conscious and subconscious expectations about how your life is going to be.

(We're all assuming your current relationship is monogamous, but I think that's a pretty safe assumption; else it wouldn't really be an issue, would it.)
posted by ikkyu2 at 11:04 PM on May 7, 2007 [11 favorites]

You shouldn't do it. Cheating becomes a habit. The behavior will follow you

You know, this is the best reason of any given here. I say this as someone who has cheated on many sig others and gotten away with it most times.

Now I'm married and I take my commitment to my wife very, very seriously. But when I talk about my past, I talk about it in alchoholic terms. In other words, that temptation will always be there and I'll know that I could possibly get away with it once. But I won't stop. It might take months, it might take years, but I'll fuck up and lose the best thing that ever happened to me.

Break up with one girl, talk to both of them, do whatever you have to do, but don't cast yourself in the role of the snake. It's very, very hard to get rid of.
posted by lumpenprole at 11:07 PM on May 7, 2007 [1 favorite]

As a female speaking here, I'm going to say do it. If it would really hurt your girlfriend to the point where you couldn't stand doing that much harm to someone, then don't. If you think you can not get caught and even if you did and you think she would eventually be ok with it, do it. But PLEASE use protection. I know if my guy were to cheat on me, I would mostly just be grossed out if he didn't use a condom. But if a girl #3 comes around after #2 that you want to cheat with, then you know you have a problem with infidelity and you should prob break up with her. It's worse to be cheated on multiple times with multiple women than once with one woman.
posted by greta simone at 11:26 PM on May 7, 2007

Do you know right from wrong?

The reason you shouldn't do it does not have to do with your feelings of guilt or desire or satisfaction or curiosity or regret etc. It has to do with it being morally wrong independent of how you feel about it. You have (I assume) effectively promised your current girlfriend that you won't sleep around or become involved with other women. So: don't break your promises, don't cheat, don't lie.

(If you're determined to sleep with girl #2, break up with your gf, or discuss a "one-time pass" with her. Maybe she will say it's ok. Then it would not be morally wrong.)
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:27 PM on May 7, 2007 [2 favorites]

Look dude I'm using my sock puppet account I'm so ashamed to admit this but I've cheated on my (now ex, for unrelated reasons) boyfriend before.

Just imagine your gf's face. Now imagine it contorted with pain and hurt and embarrassment. (This isn't a hypothetical - if you go through with this, you *will* deal with at least this fallout.) Whatever mind blowing electrically charged transcendent screwing you think you will have with girl #2 will be diminished, and I guarantee this, when the shit hits the fan.

You'll feel like crap. Your beloved's tear stained face will haunt you. And however much you think you'll regret not going for it, you'll regret hurting someone you love more.

My ex and I stayed together for 3 years after I cheated on him and he never brought it up again, but I still dealt (and deal) with my actions. I try not to let it, but it informs my self perception. I cheated. I hurt someone I loved. It doesn't matter how I rationalized it. He didn't know my justifications. He didn't know about my "connection." All he knew is that we were supposed to love each other and be monogamous and I went and made him question everything we had together.

Well sorry if I just worked out my issues here, and maybe what I'm saying doesn't apply to you. But I think about this all the time, and it happened 4 years ago. I stayed with the bf and still speak to him now that he's an ex. I still speak to the person I messed around with. For all intents and purposes, it worked out the best way cheating *can* work out. But I still don't think 2 hours of screwing with someone I loved (my best friend) was worth it. And I don't think I'd be thinking about *not* having done it nearly as much as I now think about having gone through with it.
posted by Sock Muppet Acct! at 11:29 PM on May 7, 2007 [6 favorites]

If I was girl #1 and I found out what has been going on, I'd dump you -- even if you decide not to take it any further with #2. Your promise that you slept next to each other but no clothes came off, I swear! is going to sound lame and deceitful.
posted by robcorr at 11:33 PM on May 7, 2007 [1 favorite]

I'm with arnicae. Feeling this way isn't betrayal, but acting on it is betraying your girlfriend's trust and is not an act of a loving boyfriend.

That said, what do you think she would think of it? Maybe she's the kind of person who, if you're open and honest about it, will be able to handle it: "I love him, it makes him happy, therefore it's alright". Maybe she's not that kind of person. If you really want to sleep with Ms. #2, then you either don't tell the girlfriend (then you're cheating, it's wrong, it's betrayal, it will hurt someone you love) or you do tell her and either she's alright with it or she's not and then you'll have a fun little conversation.

It's up to you. Loving more than one person is understandable and puts you in the wonderful but tortured situation of having to choose. Hiding that love from your girlfriend is not an act of love. If you do love her, either come clean or choose not to follow up on your feelings with #2.
posted by twirlypen at 11:45 PM on May 7, 2007

posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 11:53 PM on May 7, 2007 [2 favorites]

Well, by my definition of love, you don't seem to love either girl. So it comes down to this: You're trying to have both, but you can't. You have to choose. I don't care which one you choose, only you know. But if you don't decide, it will either be decided for you (your girlfriend if you vacillate too long) or you'll have lost both of them (GF will find out, and a girl who poaches guys with boyfriends probably isn't going to be the one you marry).
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 11:55 PM on May 7, 2007

Actually, I reconsider thusly: (using my definition of love, of course)

I know you don't love the first girl because you're considering cheating on her. And I don't mean "Hmm, she's hot" considering but "Already slept with her" considering. So, you've betrayed her and that's done - she'd dump you if she found out, and IMHO you should do the noble thing there and break up with her. Tell her everything and break up.

The second girl, however, could still be the love of your life, despite my suggesting otherwise above because she was "poaching" you. Well, since you kind of set the honey trap, I can't blame the bee. So go for the second girl, but be prepared for disappointment (as usual).
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 12:02 AM on May 8, 2007

"I've been trying to figure how I'm in love with two girls at the same time. But it's absolutely true."

It pretty much boils down to the expression of game theory in the genes. Like some bird species, Humans are nominally monogamous and seek (in a genetic sense) to maximize their gene's chance of replication at their partner's expense. Having this drive is simply the human condition.

Acting on it is another matter. I second b33j's comment to think of love as more of a verb than a noun. If you choose to sleep with this girl you will cheapen the relationship with your current girlfriend and reduce your interaction to a mindless animal competition between genes. Real love is so much more and honesty between partners is an essential component for its most exalted expression.

To be dishonest to someone is to do them a violence. You deprive them of the ability to make good decisions for themselves about interacting with the world. You also deprive yourself of the supreme joy of being with someone who loves you for exactly who you are, unedited.
posted by Manjusri at 1:20 AM on May 8, 2007 [2 favorites]

Because you're not in love with the second girl. If you were you wouldn't want to sleep with her "just once", as if that would somehow rid her from your system.
posted by liquorice at 1:43 AM on May 8, 2007

I want to sleep with her. Why shouldn't I?

Because you will be a shit if you do. A complete and utter shit.

Either you get this, or you don't.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:50 AM on May 8, 2007 [2 favorites]

Only you can decide whether you should or shouldn't, but at a bare minimum, man up and realize that "I have zero doubt about my love for [#1]" is blatantly false. Because if it were actually true, you wouldn't even be asking this question.
posted by juv3nal at 1:56 AM on May 8, 2007 [1 favorite]

You want to put something over on your loved one; to feel the power and mastery inherent in your narcissistic delusion that you can treat your current girlfriend badly and get away with it scot-free.

Yeah, I'm going to second this. And follow it up with "And you want a whole bunch of strangers to know that you're going to do it to further validate this twisted bad-boy image you're trying to establish for yourself."

C'mon man, you knew exactly how this thread was going to go. You know there's going to be a whole bunch of outraged people telling you not to do it for a whole bunch of reasons and you are loving it. I mean, Jesus, you are so obviously boning for this girl and this one-night-stand-pulling-the-wool-over-my-girlfriend's-eyes experience that none of those above reasons are going to make a difference. You want this shit bad! You're a man on the edge!

Of course, what you're missing in this little "I am an XTREEM dude" construction you've got going on in your head is how utterly banal it is, and how utterly typical sleeping with her will be as a response. Browse the previous AskMeFi questions about flirting outside one's relationships and managing open relationships and dealing with being attracted to multiple people and being stuck in a "comfortable" phase. There are about two-fucking-billion. You are the freakin' norm. And cheating on her? I think in the US at least its estimated about 60% of guys cheat (It's like 40% for women). Yeah, you're basically like most everyone else there, too.

But I'm sure your boner for Girl #2 is raging so hard you can't possibly conceive of the notion that others have felt this before and the ability to not act on that lust is in fact the crazy-dude, out-of-the-box option, so I say go ahead and fuck her. Integrity is overrated, anyway.
posted by schroedinger at 2:50 AM on May 8, 2007 [14 favorites]

Be happy with the knowledge that you could, but didn't. Ego wise, there's not much difference between sleeping with a woman and knowing that you could sleep with a woman (and let's face it, if you don't want to see her again afterwards, it is about your ego). But mentally there's a big difference between being strong enough to say no, and caving in.

A word to the wise: If you choose not to, don't blame your girlfriend. These situations can foster resentment to the innocent third party for being the reason you "missed out". You do not deserve appreciation from her for making the responsible decision not to cheat on her.
posted by kisch mokusch at 4:51 AM on May 8, 2007 [1 favorite]

I recently saw Slavoj Zizek's film "The Pervert's Guide To Cinema" which is in large part about the cinematic exploration of desire. I'm paraphrasing, but he says something like, "In English, we have the perfect word for the fulfillment of our deepest desires...This word is 'nightmare'."

Not always true of course, but true enough to be resonant.

Really you've already cheated on your girlfriend. You've already betrayed her trust and done all those other bad things people are warning you about above.

That's why you find yourself in this partial nightmare of intense desire vs. your guilty instinct to want to 'right the wrongs' and stop.

It's a difficult situation you are in, but there has been lots of sensible navigational advice here if you want to get out of it.

You'll find your own way though eventually. It might not be pretty, but you will get through.

One always wakes up.

Good luck!
posted by extrabox at 4:54 AM on May 8, 2007 [2 favorites]

Imagine the look on your girlfriend's face when she finds out. Imagine it really really vividly. Imagine how hurt she will be. Now realise that you're the person who will be making her feel like that.

Because she will find out.
posted by gaspode at 5:45 AM on May 8, 2007

You're not in love with either of them. Love is about service, dedication, trust, and the desire to bring happiness and remove pain from a person's life. You are not driven by any of these motivations. Rather, you are driven by lust and selfishness.

Since this is true, I'd say none of this matters. But it does matters to one person, girl #1. Even if you don't follow through on your stupid I'll-hide-my-infidelity-and-deal-with-the-guilt plan, break up with your girlfriend. Or at least be a man and tell her what a jackass you've already been and give her the option of kicking your ass to the curb.
posted by milarepa at 6:12 AM on May 8, 2007 [1 favorite]

You don't love either of them. You're far too selfish.

Tell your current girlfriend you kissed the other girl and you want to sleep with that person. She'll take care of the rest of this problem for you.

Let me put this another way.

Q: I want to sleep with her. Why shouldn't I?... *snip* ... I'm having trouble finding a reason not to sleep with her.
A: I have a girlfriend I'm in love with.
posted by sephira at 6:19 AM on May 8, 2007

If you're going to sleep with this girl (and really, it sounds like you're planning to), then the only responsible thing to do is to break up with your girlfriend. Yes, cheating would make you a total asshole, but it's the STD exposure that's the big deal here. Maybe she gets herpes, or HPV (with bonus cervical cancer!), how would you feel about that? If only from a health standpoint, you shouldn't do this. Seriously, man, grow up.
posted by robinpME at 6:30 AM on May 8, 2007

I don't think you love your girlfriend. You have three lines about her and three whole paragraphs about this other chick. Plus, your description of your girlfriend is how I would describe my relationship with my mother, my grandparents, my best friend, or even my roommate. It is NOT, however, how I would describe my relationship with my long-term boyfriend.

Your behavior is selfish and not fair to your girlfriend. Seems that in this case, since you've already gone way to far to really be asking this question, the best way to stop yourself from cheating is to extract yourself from relationship #1. Personally, I would (and have) cut off contact with #2 during this time, but that's just me.
posted by ml98tu at 6:32 AM on May 8, 2007

Your question made me blanch. About six years ago I was Girl #1. He did sleep with her and when I found out, I put him and our relationship through two years of hell. He said a lot of the weasely shit you did (no clothes ever came off? Wow, I’m having a really hard time seeing how you justify that as being respectful and mature) and was deeply apologetic after I found out. He was so guilt-ridden and pathetic that he didn’t even have the balls to straight out tell me – I had to pull it out of him like teeth.

I don’t think you’re going to stop yourself from cheating. You’ve made it this far and you’ve been able to justify your actions each step of the way. Christ, Girl #2 already been in your bed! If you do manage to worm your way back into your relationship with Girl #1, realize that she’ll probably have a really hard time not being grossed out by the sight of your bed, or your face for that matter.

Do your girlfriend a favor and break up with her so you don’t have to put her through your weak-willed bullshit. If you had really loved her you wouldn’t be “having trouble finding a reason” not to hurt her.

I was burned pretty badly which is probably the reason why this reply is a little strong. I gave as good as I got and I hope that I hurt him as much as he hurt me. Your girlfriend may not be so vindictive.
posted by KathyK at 6:42 AM on May 8, 2007

You can quibble over technicalities, but you've basically been having an affair with this girl for quite a while. Cut it out, keep your dick in your pants, and have a serious discussion about this with your girlfriend. If you can't bring yourself to do that, then you don't love her the way you say you do, and you should break up with her so you can tend to your poor, neglected ego.

Doesn't everybody keep some secrets from their significant other?

Why can't this one-time sex act just be one of that handful of secrets?

Spoken like a true lifelong bachelor.
posted by mkultra at 6:42 AM on May 8, 2007

The classic reasoning to talk yourself out of this affair is to imagine yourself in your girlfriend's shoes -- would you calmly accept the explanation that you're providing here and still be able to look her in the eye?

Make sure you include the part where, upon finding out, your imagination gets really vivid. If you think you'd be okay with your girlfriend pursuing a short fling, don't forget to imagine some other guy fucking her.
posted by desuetude at 6:58 AM on May 8, 2007

Don't let people here tell you what love is. "If you loved her you wouldn't hurt her" makes as much sense as "If you were hungry, you wouldn't puke up your food". Sometimes people do things that they know are wrong. It doesn't mean that they don't have feelings, or that their feelings are somehow false.

Don't cheat on your girlfriend though. Break up with her and sleep with the other girl. It sounds like you're too comfortable with her.
posted by 23skidoo at 7:07 AM on May 8, 2007 [1 favorite]

This is why you can't do it: Do you think this new girl is the only girl you'll ever be this attracted to? honestly?

If you do, then you should break up with your girlfriend and be with her. If you don't, do you plan to sleep with every girl you have chemistry with? Why not? What makes this different?

If you do want to keep acting on this sort of impulse, you need to negotiate that with your girlfriend (or you're just an asshole serial cheater), and the worst time ever to do that is when you're trying to get permission to fuck a specific person.

So, leave your girlfriend for the new girl, decide to be really monogamous, or decide you don't want monogamy and you're going to try to work towards something different for the future... all of these are ok options, but cheating isn't.
posted by crabintheocean at 7:09 AM on May 8, 2007

My vote is for break up, personally.
posted by crabintheocean at 7:11 AM on May 8, 2007

There's no better way to tell your girlfriend that you don't really love her than to tell her you're in love with two people. That you're sleeping with the second girl will give it an extra kick too.

You'll cheapen your own words. You'll say "love" to you means what you feel when you really want to sleep with someone. You'll show that you can understand intimacy but that you just don't get trust. Which means, of course, that whether or not you really loved anyone at all is not clear.

It's one thing to cheat and mess up and be contrite about it. What you're about to do right now is even worse because you don't understand what it means so you cannot see why it's wrong.
posted by cotterpin at 7:28 AM on May 8, 2007 [1 favorite]

you clearly want to sleep with her, do it. there's nothing that strangers on the Internet can tell you to change that fact. then don't be a dick and don't confess to your girlfriend just to unload your guilt. just come to terms with your being unfaithful, it's not the end of the world.

just try not to catch something then pass it on to your girlfriend. that's the one thing you don't have to do.

anything else, it's OK. ignore the Puritans here and elsewhere. this is life and life is not always black and white. you're not perfect. things happen. have fun.
posted by matteo at 7:43 AM on May 8, 2007

The 3 stages of love:

1. Lust
2. Attraction
3. Attachment

Right now, what you're feeling for girl #2, is lust and attraction. That's why you can't stop thinking about her, and your feelings are so intense. Your brain is releasing chemicals that feel really really good. However, this is temporary and fleeting.

What you have with your girlfriend right now is attachment, which is a whole different set of chemicals. You are in love with two women at once, but it's in a different set of stages. This doesn't mean you have to act on it. If you can understand this, maybe you can stop yourself from having sex with this other woman.

Delete her number from your phone. Have her delete yours. Cut off all contact with this other woman. Stop being such a selfish cad, and think about your girlfriend. What you've done so far is already grounds for breakup. And stop lying to yourself—just because you haven't had sex, it doesn't mean that you haven't cheated.
posted by hooray at 7:44 AM on May 8, 2007

I don't know if you love your girlfriend. I suspect you desire No. 2, I don't think you love her.

If you want to sleep with No. 2, you break up with your girlfriend - first. No "it's better to seek forgiveness than ask permission" - that's bullshit.

Forget about these two women for a minute. If you can't resist this temptation, when you know how very wrong it is on so may levels, what kind of person does that make you? Is that who you want to be? In my opinion, no offense, it would make you kind of a shitty person.
posted by KAS at 7:45 AM on May 8, 2007

I was in this situation once. Don't sleep with this other girl; it won't be worth it. You've built up in your head that you have to have her and that it'll be so freakin' good, but when you and your girlfriend are bawling and screaming at each other on the street over it (she WILL find out) and when you're spending your nights alone, all you'll feel is regret regret regret.
posted by infinityjinx at 7:49 AM on May 8, 2007

wow. so many good responses. here's my own executive summary/personal two cents ...

--you say you love your girlfriend, but if you can be this blase about screwing around behind her back, you clearly have no love and, more importantly, no respect for her.
--you HAVE already cheated. basically the only thing that's stopping you is fear of being found out, and if you've reached that point your relationship is already dead.
--you say it's no big deal and she doesn't need to know, but imagine how you would feel if you found out she'd said everything you just did in this anonymous post, about some other guy. how would you feel about your relationship with her, and how confident would you feel about her loving you?
--if for NO OTHER REASON than std's, don't do it. at least until you break up with your girlfriend.
--break up with your girlfriend. you'll be doing both parties a favor.
--yeah, i've read the ethical slut too, and it's got some good information for people who are interested in an open relationship. unless this is an idea that you've already put in play with your girlfriend, it's merely a good idea, and not a justification for sleeping with someone else.
--practically everyone i know who has cheated has forgotten the intense connection and passion they had with their fling, and remembered a) how bad it made them feel afterward, b) how bad it made their significant other feel afterward, c) the way the people who knew about it reacted to them, d) some combination of the above, perhaps with some other things thrown in as well.

now, for the personal vitriol:
i, like kathyk, WAS your girlfriend at one point. i was involved with someone who chased another woman, who came THIS CLOSE to sleeping with her, and ended up not doing it for a reason that had absolutely nothing to do with me--precisely as you are describing, my feelings didn't factor into his consideration of the options at all, despite the fact that he claimed to be in love with me. he hid it from me for a long time, but i found out eventually, and it characterised our relationship from then on. it hurt me, it made me miserable, made me question my value and worth as a person, and it turned me into a bitter shrew with respect to our involvement. i never let him forget it. i didn't trust him, i often didn't even want to be with him, but i stayed and i threw it in his face at every opportunity i got. even after he slowly started to come around to the idea that our relationship might actually be worth something, and began trying to make things right ... it didn't matter to me that he was trying, because nothing could erase the past transgressions. i don't know if i even believed that he was honestly trying, or if it was just another ruse, or what was most convenient for him at the time, subject to change at the turn of the next whim. those actions defined him, for me, and ruined anything we'd had previously and anything we might have had in the future.

in the end, i turned the tables on him, intentionally and consciously. i had that "instant deep connection" with someone, and instead of doing the honourable thing and either keeping it at a friendship level or splitting with the boyfriend, i flirted ragingly and had an incredible fling with the other guy while being distant with the boyfriend and telling him nothing ... until i happily dropped the bomb on his head, relishing every second of the confusion and betrayal he was feeling, making him see that, in the best greek-tragedy style, he had made the bed he was currently lying in, and that causing him that pain was bringing me immense pleasure. needless to say, the farce of our relationship didn't last much longer, as i had essentially stopped loving him when i found out what he did, and the fact that i took so much pleasure in hurting him proved to me that staying in that relationship wasn't doing me any good.

if nothing else that's been said has any impact, at least consider this: hell hath no fury like a woman scorned ... you may not believe that your girlfriend would be willing to kick you in the balls like this, but jerk her around the way you plan to and you can believe that she'll at the very least be seriously considering it.

bottom line: i'm not saying don't pursue girl #2. but give some honest consideration to why you want to pursue her, do it if it's that important to you, but be a man with your girlfriend and split with her first. at the very least tell her what's going on and give her the chance to split with you, if only to make good on the statement that she does mean something to you.
posted by the luke parker fiasco at 7:54 AM on May 8, 2007 [2 favorites]

You asked "how" so I'm just going to say take your girlfriend out to a nice a dinner every night the Girl "B" is in town and then proceed to spend to rest of the evening with your girlfriend.

If you meant "How do I stop myself from cheating"..."and feeling guilty about it" then I don't know. You will do it and feel fine or feel awful.

If I were you, I would probably feel awful since you seem to have some kind of emotional attachment to the new girl.

Good luck - just try not to hurt anyone.
posted by zephyr_words at 7:56 AM on May 8, 2007

I'm not going to offer any direct advice about sleeping with the girl, as I think it is basically impossible to advise in this situation, and you're not going to listen anyway.

However, I do want to address all the "you can't love Girl #1 because you want to get it on with Girl #2". This is patently false for many, if not most, people.

I've noticed the unusually high number of female responses in this thread. So much for MeFi being a boyzone huh?

Let old "Uncle Ynoxas" tell you that this happens all the time to men. And from my conversations, to women too, but I'm much more familiar with the male side. Most adult men will find themselves in this situation at one time or another, as will many adult women. It's almost a "dirty secret" of adulthood, one that your parents, ministers, and guidance counselors never told you about.

It is, most assuredly, possible to love two people at once. It is possible to love 10 people at once. It may not be very PRACTICAL, as you are finding out, but practical and possible have always been distantly related cousins. People saying "you can't love both of them" are offensive in a way they cannot even begin to comprehend.

The great majority of cheating men, if you asked them, would say they loved their primary mate, and that the cheating did not change that. At all. That they loved their primary mate as much, if not more, after the affair. For the vast majority of cheating men, the only time it ever DOES affect their primary relationship is when they get discovered.

Read this next part very carefully.

This is very hard, in fact nigh impossible, for most women to understand. It both infuriates them, and scares the holy shit out of them at the same time. In giving acceptable reasons for divorce, Americans often rank cheating ahead of physical abuse.

The responses here bear that out. The women, with one exception I see, are a unified chorus of "think of how you would make her feel, you bastard". They do not get it, they will not ever get it. Abandon all hope of Girlfriend #1 ever understanding. If Girlfriend #1 was one of the tiny percentage of women who were okay with multiple romantic and sexual partners, you would already know that about her.

And mind you, I'm not saying they are wrong. They are right. They know. It WOULD make your girlfriend feel terrible. THAT is why it is a shitty thing to do, because you know, ahead of time, it would make her very unhappy.

However, all this carping about "you can't love two women" is juvenile fairy tale talk, or else the rantings of people who have lived very insular lives.

The cold, hard truth of the matter is that if you are an engaging and not socially inhibited adult, there will very likely, almost with certainty, be a time in your life you are in a relationship with someone you care very much about, and be at least attracted and at most desperately in love with someone else.

It happens. All. The. Time.

Cheating is, generally, a bad idea, because of the increased risk of STD transfer, risk of unwanted pregnancy, and risk of alienating your primary partner.

However, sometimes relationships are saved by cheating. You might find yourself coming to resent Girl #1 because she "prevented" you from seeing what it would be like with Girl #2, and now Girl #2 is gone forever. If you feel you simply must have this girl, then I think you should do so, for your own psychological well being.

If you do do it, accept that your girlfriend will not understand. So, practice safe sex, make sure the setting is impossible to discover accidentally (in other words, not at your house in your bed), and never, ever, ever tell your girlfriend, or anyone else for that matter.

Your conscious is your own worst enemy. Understand you'll need to take it to the grave. You get no cathartic release. It's the price you pay.

So short answer: you probably shouldn't do it. But if you must, be safe, be discreet, and never, ever, ever tell another living soul. Deny to the point that you yourself doubt you ever did it. If you truly do love Girl #1, you'll respect her enough to never confess.
posted by Ynoxas at 8:19 AM on May 8, 2007 [12 favorites]

If you're really "in love" with Girl #2 as you say, then sleeping with her once will not solve anything. It won't get the desire out of your system, it won't fix everything and allow you to go happily back to your girlfriend. You'll still want her. So if you're really in love with girl #2, do your girlfriend a favor: break up and then pursue girl #2.

If you really think sleeping with girl #2 one time is going to fix the problem, then all you've got in her direction is lust. Love is not worth giving up for lust. Like TPS said, eliminate the temptation. Leave your phone on a bus somewhere, or promise yourself not to communicate with girl #2 at all. When the chemicals are racing through your brain, telling yourself "We'll just act as friends" doesn't work. Go cold turkey. Seriously.

Of course all of this might be a moot point, because in my terms you've already cheated on your girlfriend. The only thing that makes sex-cheating worse than makeout&sleepover-cheating is the terrible possibility that you might be passing on STDs. Either way, you've broken the trust in your relationship.
posted by vytae at 8:27 AM on May 8, 2007

Break up with your girlfriend right now, she deserves better than you. Even if you don't sleep with the other girl. You aren't comfortable in your relationship with your g/f like you say you are. You just like having someone around so you won't be alone. The bs about "no clothes came off" won't fly at all. Hell, even I don't believe you. Or just come clean with your girlfriend and she'll dump you. I mean, if you can't tell your girlfriend about this, it's something that you shouldn't be doing.

Also - think about this. If your co-worker knows that you already have a girlfriend and sleeps with you anyway, what makes you think that you're the first one she's ever done that with? Did she tell you that she's never been the other woman? Have fun with your new incurable STD.

As others have said. Would you feel great if your girlfriend did this to you?
posted by Attackpanda at 8:33 AM on May 8, 2007

You may as well at this point. You've betrayed your commitment to #1 in deed and intent many times over Already. You're also either amazingly self-deluded or preparing your rationalizations for her on us - nothing in your described situation actually conveys avoiding the temptation. You've escalated this though deliberate action many times over. So do what you're going to do if the real reason you ask is that you think you've been even remotely morally clear up to this point.

The best reason not to be a cheat, as others have said in another way, is out of respect for yourself. It's crappy to betray your commitments to others but that passes. They presumably learn what kind of person you are and cut off contact or just stop trusting you.

You, on the other hand, are stuck with you. Every time you look in the mirror you'll be confronted with a person who cannot be trusted to do what he says he will. The only path from there is self-loathing or emotional detachment, both of which have their own ways of diminishing the joy you can get out of life.

Making a decision to be a better person than your instantaneous impulses might drive you towards is a path that isn't always as fun as it could be at any one moment. It is more overall fun and satisfying over the course of years than the others, however.
posted by phearlez at 8:46 AM on May 8, 2007

If you feel so strongly about her, what on earth makes you think sleeping with girl #2 "just once" will satiate your desire? Or hers? Do you want to hurt her too? What if it moves the earth for her? What if it already has and she's confused about your intentions and what you think would be a one-time-get-it-out-of- your-system thing would actually mean starting down a path where you lose #1 and start a relationship with #2 on ultimately corrupt terms? She's going to know what you did to #1, and never quite trust you. Nor you her, since she was willing to participate in the deception.

Or, what everyone else said. Be a man.
posted by spitbull at 8:50 AM on May 8, 2007

Lots of good responses, I just want to add that there will inevitably be a certain amount of regret whichever road you choose, but I think the regret of missing the opportunity to sleep with girl #2 is virtually negligible. PARTICULARLY in comparison with the regret that you will feel when/if girl #1 finds out - that being among the deepest, most painful forms of regret there is. But really, I think it is not uncommon to have people in your past with whom you could have/would have/should have BUT... This is no big deal. Don't buy any of that crap about "you'll have to live forever with the question what if?". We ALL live with that question in a million different ways in our lives. It's a lot easier to live with THAT question than the pain that you will feel when you realize how much pain you have caused your girlfriend.

Don't do it, pal. Not at all worth it. And yes, you have already cheated on your girlfriend. Stop.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 8:55 AM on May 8, 2007

And to add, Ynoxas speaks some truth. Most of us have been tempted. Many if not most of us have fucked up at least once and have no right to strike a holier-than-thou position (and statistically, women aren't really different from men in this respect, though the dynamics are always gendered).

Listen to the people who have fucked up -- not just the ones saying "how could you?" We're the ones who know how much damage can occur when you rationalize away your commitments in favor of gratification that can be overwhelming in its appeal in the moment. Few people that I know get through life without making this mistake once. Quite a few people make it a lot more than once. Eventually, everyone learns, though. The answer to "how could you?" is "all too easily, I'm human."

That's why they write country songs. Listen to Cal Smith's "I Overlooked an Orchid" while you take a cold shower. It works.
posted by spitbull at 9:02 AM on May 8, 2007

I'm pretty sure I dated you about four years ago. Want to know how it all went down?

First we met and fell in love. Both of us thought that the feelings we were experiencing indicated some sort of supernatural force at work. We closed our eyes and wallowed. Then you met someone else who you felt the exact same thing for. You were distraught by the harm that could come from hiding us (your two loves) from each other, but you didn't worry about it-- after all, the magnitude of the feelings indicated their correctness.

Eventually, of course, your two loves discovered each other and you got to have neither. Over the next two years, we lived as emotional cripples while you explored the depth of your mistake. You begged to have us back, but we wouldn't take you. And although I haven't spoken to you in a while, I get the impression you're still haunted by what you did to yourself (and, my, have you put on some weight).

The moral of the story? There is no such thing as magic. The overwhelming passion that you're experiencing isn't a divine indication of the course of action you should take-- it's an expression of your projected fantasies.

We all have our own ways of learning. I had to learn by being betrayed. You had to learn by being the betrayer. Good luck making the right choice this time around. If you play your cards right, you might not end up haunted for the rest of your life.
posted by tsmo at 9:41 AM on May 8, 2007 [5 favorites]

You don't really understand anything about love, confusing either lust or infatuation with the concept. Your girlfriend definitely deserves better than such immaturity as "why shouldn't I?"
posted by Mikey-San at 9:44 AM on May 8, 2007

In the immortal words of Devin the Dude: "Givin' up yo fo' sho pussy, tryin to get some mo' pussy, you end up with no pussy."
posted by gnutron at 9:58 AM on May 8, 2007 [1 favorite]

Sleep with Girl #2. Film it. Put it up on pornotube. Send the link to Girl #1's mother.

How do you feel now?
posted by Caviar at 10:07 AM on May 8, 2007

Ach, all this angst.

Its not like you are married. What are you want to do is without question not very nice.

But all these holier than thou answers are getting on my nerves. Look, relationships are messy. We would like to believe that people fall in love and stick with it. But they don't. Will your gf be devastated if she finds out? Probably. But eventually she'll get over it as will you. Likewise for girl #2.

So regardless, whatever you do its not the end of the world.
posted by zia at 10:13 AM on May 8, 2007 [1 favorite]

If you feel you simply must have this girl, then I think you should do so, for your own psychological well being.

posted by footnote at 10:18 AM on May 8, 2007 [2 favorites]

You're already cheating on your girlfriend. Fucking girl #2 will make little difference, except maybe in your head.

Whether you're OK with that or not is another question, but don't kid yourself that you're not already cheating on her.
posted by chundo at 10:34 AM on May 8, 2007

I've been trying to figure how I'm in love with two girls at the same time.

Easy answer! You're not. Not these two at least.
posted by chundo at 10:36 AM on May 8, 2007

I can't believe the onslaught of stupidity that has poured forth in this thread.

To all these people who say "you don't love Girl #1" --- what the fuck? He said he does. Is that not enough? He's actually him, and surely knows what's in his mind/heart better than a herd of pursed-lipped, finger-wagging, knuckle-rapping pseudonymous schoolmarms on the internet, like the ones that have overtaken this thread.

Is love really some pure, perfect thing, such that, the moment it is touched by the impurity of lust for another person, it is defiled forever?

I think there are a lot of people out there who love each other, but for various reasons, cheat on each other. I'm not saying cheating is okay, but it's just like a lot of human foibles --- pathetic but forgivable. Given that the question-asker says he loves both women, who are we to gainsay that?

Those of you who say, "You don't love Girl #1," are making an assertion supported only by your belief that he couldn't possiblylove Girl #1 if he's contemplating cheating with Girl #2. You're hoping to scare him into not cheating, by trying to induce him to not cheat so that he "prove" he loves Girl #1.

Love isn't one, discrete thing. It's different for a lot of people. Given that we don't really know what "love" is for him, how can we say he doesn't love Girl #1 if he cheats with Girl #2.

Damn I love these messy relationship threads.
posted by jayder at 10:56 AM on May 8, 2007

Schroedinger, when you said all the following things, I wondered --- what in the world makes you think that his desire for another woman is motivated by some sort of desire to be edgy? Your wacky tirade is a prime example of the preposterous speculation and abusive moralistic bleating that has made this thread so ridiculous. There is NOTHING in the question that suggests this is part of some bad-boy image he is constructing. Please enlighten us, WHERE DID YOU GET THAT?

... this twisted bad-boy image you're trying to establish for yourself."


You're a man on the edge!


... this little "I am an XTREEM dude" construction you've got going on in your head ... how utterly banal


You are the freakin' norm.


... the crazy-dude, out-of-the-box option ...

posted by jayder at 11:06 AM on May 8, 2007

Jayder, what we mean when we say he doesn't love his girlfriend is not necessarily that he doesn't love her, but if he does love her, his love sucks.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 11:25 AM on May 8, 2007 [3 favorites]

Love is a choice.

All of us in long term and/or married relationships know how easy it is to be attracted to someone else. If I went after every guy I thought was cute or had a connection with I'd be the Whore of Metafilter.

You messed up a long, long time ago. Cheating does not start in the bedroom. It starts way, way, before that.

I kinda knew something was going to happen from the first time I saw her, even before I knew who she was

THAT is when you should have made a choice to back up, to NOT be alone with this other woman, and to be professional and ONLY professional. Your only other choice would have been to break it off with the first person before pursuing #2.

If you sleep with this other woman one of two things will happen. You will either continue to crave her, which will indeed affect your present real relationship, OR immediately after the orgasm you will come to your senses and realize you screwed up bigtime, and you will wonder what in the heck you were thinking wanting into this girl's pants.

And heaven help you all if this chick were to get pregnant. You think things are complicated now????

To sum up, I do not think you are scum for having an initial attraction. That simply means you are human. It is the actions you have taken since that are telling us what kind of person you are.
posted by konolia at 12:04 PM on May 8, 2007 [5 favorites]

it seems like the people arguing against the "he can't possibly love girl #1" theory are taking it to mean he can't possibly love girl #1 because he is lusting after someone else. this does seem a little silly, but i haven't seen many people actually saying that.

it looks to me like most of the arguments for "he can't possibly love girl #1" are actually because he is considering breaking his word to her, deceiving, endangering, and depriving her of her ability to make her own decisions based on the truth, for his own selfish benefit. how could that be considered love?
posted by lgyre at 12:06 PM on May 8, 2007 [1 favorite]

Jayder, what we mean when we say he doesn't love his girlfriend is not necessarily that he doesn't love her, but if he does love her, his love sucks.

You just don't know that. We're seeing one part of a very large situation here. And it's admittedly an ugly part, but it's not the whole thing.

I feel like there's a lot of biblical fury coming out in people and a lot of these posts can be boiled down to "CONFESS SINNER!". As I indicated earlier, I think sleeping with this woman would be a really bad idea, but we're not talking about murder, here. If this guy was totally without conscience this thread would not exist as he would have gone ahead and done it.

Admittedly, he is screwing up. But when someone who is screwing up asks for help, insulting them isn't generally helpful.

Also, as has been pointed out before, this kind of thing happens to a lot of people of all genders and orientations. Human relationships are complicated. I think a lot of the responders here need to watch less Hollywood love stories and maybe pick up some French films.

You'd think growing up in New England I'd be used to the Puritan heritage coming out in people, but it always suprises me.
posted by lumpenprole at 12:11 PM on May 8, 2007

Maybe the OP just isn't ready for monogamy. Or maybe monogamy isn't for him, period. There are other models of loving relationships out there. One generally doesn't discover these things about oneself overnight and without a lot of messy stumbles along the way.
posted by treepour at 12:23 PM on May 8, 2007

Yes, there are "other models," but I think that sneaking around and cheating on your significant other behind their back, is a lot more dignified and civilized than open or polyamorous relationships.
posted by jayder at 12:31 PM on May 8, 2007

Not sure what you mean, jayder.

I never said that breaking an explicit commitment is justified because there are other models. I'm saying that maybe this dilemma he finds himself in (or created willfully or accidentally or out of callousness or whatever other tons of motivations people may or may not ascribe to his intentions and/or actions) should prompt him to consider whether monogamy is what he really wants (or is capable of) at this point in his life.
posted by treepour at 12:55 PM on May 8, 2007

I currently love two people at once...granted they are both ex-GFs that still seek a physical relationship with me...but they both were the instigators of the break-ups.

the most recent ex is decidedly NOT cool with me pursuing the other ex, even though she has someone else...the other ex has a very lackadaisical approach...

My vote is for absolute honesty...tell your current GF that you need to pursue an open relationship because you are going crazy...make sure you make it perfectly clear that you haven't stopped caring about her...

Then again, I'll never know why soliciting love advice online from quasi-strangers is a good idea at all, since you never know how lucky or unlucky in love they have been...

that is all..good luck.
posted by schyler523 at 1:11 PM on May 8, 2007

As they say in politics- it's not the crime, it's the cover-up.

Yes, there are "other models," but I think that sneaking around and cheating on your significant other behind their back, is a lot more dignified and civilized than open or polyamorous relationships.

Surely this cannot be the string of words that you meant to type.
posted by mkultra at 1:39 PM on May 8, 2007

if you got caught up in the heat of the moment, if you were drunk ( me and my good friend Rum), its...well these are never valid excuses and you've got to take responsibility for your actions, but...lord, they are a lot better, in my opinion, then thinking it out over the course of a few days and putting it to a bunch of strangers on the internets to validate you and your decision.
Think about the difference between "I got caught up, didn't think it through, and I'm sorry" and "I put it to some people on the web, and weighed the pros and cons for a little while and decided to do it anyways, and I'm sorry."

Just sayin'.
posted by Sock Muppet Acct! at 1:57 PM on May 8, 2007

"I want to sleep with her. Why shouldn't I?

Because you will be a shit if you do. A complete and utter shit.

Either you get this, or you don't."

Bears repeating.
posted by Kwine at 3:04 PM on May 8, 2007

Surely this cannot be the string of words that you meant to type.

Actually, I did.

Normal people sneak around and cheat; wack-jobs engage in open relationships and polyamory.
posted by jayder at 3:35 PM on May 8, 2007

You are certainly entitled to fall in love with anyone you choose and to sleep with as many people as you like. Whatever you decide, it won't be the end of the world. What you aren't necessarily entitled to is the right to hide these material facts from your girlfriend in order to preserve your primary relationship. This isn't entirely about your feelings, and what you're willing to live with. There are other people involved in this situation.

Why shouldn't you sleep with this woman? I don't necessarily think that you shouldn't. If you're willing to be honest with your current partner, even if it puts your comfortable relationship at risk, then you're giving her the same right to make an informed choice that you've even granted to the other woman.

One last thing. The popular majority may have a different definition of love than you do, but that really isn't important. What may be important to you is what "love" means to your girlfriend. You may want to consider her definition in your final analysis.
posted by contrariwise at 3:46 PM on May 8, 2007

Look at the thread title, people. The poster is trying to respect the commitment he made to his girlfriend, in the face of strong temptation to break it. He's asking for help. It's not useful to insult him.

Neither is it helpful here to talk about open or polyamorous relationships, since he isn't in one; and let's all just ignore jayder's trolling on that topic, shall we?

All this dithering about what does or doesn't constitute "love" is a red herring. Given the question, the only really practical, insightful and compassionate advice I've seen so far in this thread comes from kisch mokusch, who said something so important I'm going to repeat it here:

Be happy with the knowledge that you could, but didn't. Ego wise, there's not much difference between sleeping with a woman and knowing that you could sleep with a woman (and let's face it, if you don't want to see her again afterwards, it is about your ego). But mentally there's a big difference between being strong enough to say no, and caving in.
posted by tangerine at 4:02 PM on May 8, 2007

tangerine: the title of the post and the content of the post were very different in character.

Title = one sentence. Content = 5 paragraphs.

It's only natural people would emphasize the content rather than the title, no?
posted by milarepa at 4:48 PM on May 8, 2007

He didn't ask "Should I sleep with her?" He knows he shouldn't, but he's in a completely unfamiliar situation and his obsession is making him lose focus. He asked "Why shouldn't I?".

Significantly, he's also told us that the prospect of "feeling guilty" isn't helping him much. So answers focussed on trying to make him feel even more guilty aren't likely to be useful.

That's why kisch mokusch's advice is so good: it offers him a positive, ego-boosting way to frame the right decision.
posted by tangerine at 6:01 PM on May 8, 2007

I would like to add two things that don't necessarily answer the question at hand.

1. Everyone gets on the OPs case for asking a bunch of strangers to give their two cents. If I were in the same situation, I would do the same. It keeps people I know from judging me and it allows those who want to give their opinion the ability to do so without first considering our friendship (and whether or not you are telling me what I want to hear). The hive mind is honest--and brutally so at that--and that is what gives its opinion so much value. The hive mind pulls from all sorts of life experiences and provides unadultered honesty.

2. I am not in this situation, but reading all of these posts has reminded how much I love my SO. Thank you all so much.
posted by ThFullEffect at 6:12 PM on May 8, 2007

Significantly, he's also told us that the prospect of "feeling guilty" isn't helping him much. So answers focussed on trying to make him feel even more guilty aren't likely to be useful.

Why not? Obviously, the guilt isn't strong enough yet.
posted by Caviar at 9:06 PM on May 8, 2007

So answers focussed on trying to make him feel even more guilty aren't likely to be useful

Yeah, exactly, tangerine. That's why you've got to attack this wall where it's cracked - in this case, his sense of self-worth. He thinks this foolish action is going to be ego-syntonic for him, bolstering his failing self-worth; we can help by showing him that it is in fact ego-dystonic: an overt admission that the contemplated act is in fact a concrete manifestation of his already too-palpable self-loathing.

Compassion's great - hell, so are fuzzy puppies - but change comes from within. If the guy wants a cheering squad he can go pay a real therapist.
posted by ikkyu2 at 11:52 PM on May 8, 2007 [1 favorite]

Normal people sneak around and cheat; wack-jobs engage in open relationships and polyamory.

At least they're open and practical about it. There's nothing "dignified and civilized" about lying to the person you apparently love about some fundamental things.
posted by mkultra at 5:52 AM on May 9, 2007

Wow. I'm kind of crushing on tangerine right now :-)

I don't think the poster was inviting vitriol. And I don't think you can read so much into the poster from this question that he deserves the kind of attack being displayed here. Self-loathing? Give me a break. His question, as succinctly put as can possibly be, was "How do I stop myself from cheating?" Do all the posters really stop themselves from cheating because of fear of the hurt they would cause?Is that the only thing that stops people? Because that's the only reason being given here (except for the luke parker fiasco, who took it one step further and warned of the woman scorned).

It is possible to resist temptation for your own reasons. And it is possible to answer questions without resorting to personal attacks.
posted by kisch mokusch at 6:21 AM on May 9, 2007

I agree with Tangerine, title: "How do I stop myself from cheating?"

However, he is already cheating, he has kissed girl #2, slept with her in his arms.. all of these intimate things that are supposed to be girl #1's. He has already robbed her of that. I wish I knew what to say, but I know that thinking of my husband and thinking if he did this... I just want to cry.
I feel bad for the op... it must be agonising.
posted by ForeverDcember at 6:37 AM on May 9, 2007

Normal people sneak around and cheat; wack-jobs engage in open relationships and polyamory.
posted by jayder at 5:35 PM on May 8

I agree with the first part. Cheating is so common as to be considered "normal" I think, which is what I was getting at in my long post.

I disagree pretty strongly about the 2nd part though. As long as everyone involved understands the situation, I think it is beautiful and practical, and just as valid as monogamous relationships.

In fact, if my traditional marriage were to ever end (and I sincerely hope it doesn't) then my next relationship would very likely be open/polyamorous.
posted by Ynoxas at 7:39 AM on May 9, 2007

OP, I feel for you.

If it is not too late, my advice is (or better what I myself did not long ago in a similar situation): remove yourself from the premises. Leave town. Take sick days off. Go on a hiking trip, a biking trip, swimming, fishing, rock climbing. Something that suits you. Leave girl #1 and girl #2 behind. Come back in a few days.

If you are still thinking girl #2 equally much, then go to her (even if she left town, go to her). Tell girl #1, and go. Stop torturing yourself, but be aware that our heads (and our hormones) play cruel games on us and what you feel for girl #2 may not be what you think it is. Learn not to give in to impulses, there will be soooo many times you will be faced with this.
posted by carmina at 9:09 AM on May 9, 2007

Do it. It'll probably be the most fantastic sex you have this week.
posted by Captaintripps at 8:08 AM on May 12, 2007

If you don't know why you shouldn't fuck the girl, then there is nothing anyone can say that will clue you in.

Break up with your gf. I've been that girl. The sense of betrayal when she finds out will be horrible. The trust takes years to come back and usually doesn't come back to the initial levels. And there's always that niggling feeling that it's possible that he's doing it again but has gotten better at hiding it, and more callous toward her possible pain.

Even if she doesn't find out, the relationship will change. It probably already has. You've probably put her on some back burner while your focus is on G2.

Maybe you should try playing the field for awhile. Monogamy isn't for everyone. Maybe you're not meant for it.
posted by Meep! Eek! at 1:18 PM on May 12, 2007

I know it's an old thread, but I wanted to say that it's been good reading.

I go through my own moments (lots, actually), where I think it would be fantastic to get it on with someone other than my current girlfriend. Then I remember how she treats me, how she sacrifices herself for me, the things she puts up with from me, how she makes me laugh... I don't care what you say love is, but there's never been anyone who's ever been this nice to me, or who's ever liked me this much, or who's shared this much of herself with me, who's been so honest with me. Out of the scores of women I've fucked, I've never respected anyone this much. I can name all sorts of firsts for me in this relationship. I am amazed, every day, by how much she manages to do for me and how much she cares about me, and how well she does it all. And it's been 6 months.

I'd have to be mighty stupid to screw this up, and mighty ungrateful to not reciprocate. I think this is love. And if that's not what you feel, if respect for your partner isn't enough to stop you, then maybe you're not in love, or maybe you're not ready for love.

Once I would have said break up and go for it, but now...well, don't throw away people who love you, and have proven they do. It's rare and you'll regret it if you do. But that's just my experience.
posted by saysthis at 10:18 PM on November 18, 2007 [4 favorites]

« Older How do I drive my new boat?   |   What a racquet! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.