“Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.”
Dear Aunt Sue,
I’ve been hooking up with this guy a lot lately. I think we’re both really into it. The only thing is, he’s got a girlfriend. He says their relationship isn’t making him happy, and I think he might be getting ready to break up with her. It’s hard, because they’ve been together for a while.
I don’t really know her, but I know who she is and whenever I see her on campus she gives me the death stare, so she must know or suspect something. My friends say I am being a really bad person to hurt her in this way. I do feel bad for her, but I barely know her and I like him! Does that make me a bitch? Am I crazy to be doing this?
I think you’ve got a couple of problems here, but I don’t view your situation as a moral quandary. For what it’s worth, I don’t think you’ve done anything wrong. He has, but you haven’t. This question comes up a lot, and there’s often disagreement around it. As women, we empathize with any girl who’s getting cheated on. And we empathize with our guy friends too when their gf’s step out. If you were friends with her, obviously you would not want to do anything to hurt her. If she were an acquaintance you might choose to stay away from her guy. I think you need to stay away from a guy if your being involved with him is disloyal to someone you care about. That’s it. This girl is not your problem. So I don’t think you are being a bad person or a bitch.
But he, er, lacks integrity.
If you were just in this for some casual sex and could walk away anytime, I wouldn’t be concerned about your state of mind. But you say you really like him. You’ve formed an attachment to this guy. You’re even deceiving yourself that he might be getting ready to break up with her. WTF? Might? Getting ready? This is not taking the MCATs. Very little preparation is required. It sounds very much to me like you are getting played. And if his gf is giving you the death stare while letting him off the hook, you can bet he has either:
- Done this before, or
- Figured out she won’t dump him no matter what.
The novelty of the sex can’t last.
You say that the hooking up is really good. Sounds like there’s a lot of good sexual energy there. I don’t know how far the two of you have gone, but you have to realize that part of what turns him on is the fact that you are forbidden, off limits. He is getting off on being a bad boy. If you and he were in a relationship, I can assure you things would simmer down quickly. It might still be good, but right now the sexual tension is ramped up because he is taking what is not his. The novelty of sex with you is very exciting compared to the same old sex with his girlfriend.
If you win, you get a cheating boyfriend.
Finally, it’s been said that if you hook up with a boy who cheats, and he chooses you, then what you get is a boyfriend who cheats. You will not be the one and only for this boy. He is very likely to crave the same kind of excitement again once the two of you settle into a familiar pattern. He’ll want to experience that feeling of being with someone new.
In fairness, I should say that I’ve been in a similar sitch, and I can’t take any credit for being smart about it. I was lucky because he got all righteous and did break up with her. Obviously, he was done with that relationship, and I served as more of an excuse than a catalyst. He and I lasted six months, and I’ll admit that whenever I saw his ex around, I felt really good that I had stolen her boyfriend. I didn’t know her, she meant nothing to me. I was pleased that he had dumped his pretty girlfriend for me. I think that’s just human nature.