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But What If We Fall In Love With Someone Else?

December 9th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

We’re talking about cheating, aren’t we? We’re talking about being with someone we shouldn’t be with because we’re already with someone else. We agree this is wrong, that if we were to partake in something on the side, trust is gone, and so is the relationship.

Understood.

It’s a guilty indulgence, a selfish act. Cheating, whether it’s emotional or physical is wrong on any level.

But have we ever thought that maybe, possibly, this person we began seeing while we were seeing someone else was the person with whom we were actually in love? And if that is the case, have we done something wrong if we eventually make the decision to break off things with the one we’re with to be with the one we want?

I don’t believe any act of cheating is accidental — I’ve cheated enough times to know that — but I do believe meeting the person with whom we fall in love is rarely, if ever, by design. When I think about the times I cheated, there’s obvious regret for doing something I shouldn’t have done, but underneath is a feeling of resentment for doing such a thing with someone I didn’t really care for in the first place. Sometimes we do things impulsively, just because we want to, just because we can. So rarely do we do things with the willingness to suffer whatever consequences may come our way for making such a decision. Most times, when we cheat, we do it because we want two things, not one thing.

But if we want one person, and it just so happens it overlaps with another person? Is that so wrong?

I suppose on some level it is, but perhaps not maliciously? Sometimes a person tells me about an ex of theirs who cheated on them, and they mention, ever so casually, their ex is still with the person with whom they cheated. And though I do sympathize with the cheated on, I do wonder if their anger is a little misguided, because it’s always easier to be mad at something as tangible as a person than it is to get mad at something as intangible as bad timing. If the person who cheated on us is still with the person they cheated on us with and it’s been two years since that happened, why can’t we separate fact from fiction?

The fiction could be they’re a cheater, an incredibly selfish person who never cared about us as much as they say they did. The facts could be they’re a flawed person who once cared about us as much as they say they did, but unfortunately found someone else they wanted to care about a little more.

I don’t know, but what I do know, what I have learned is cheating just to cheat, doing it with no consideration for anyone’s feelings but my own is a one way ticket to the single life. I never cheated with a girl I wanted to be with should I ever get caught, I cheated to experience the moment, escapism. Do what I want to do, then go back to the life I wanted before the moment crossed my path.

That was back when all I cared about is myself, and now I realize it’s very possible to care about someone else a little bit more than we care about ourselves. Every now and then someone will tell me they’re involved with one person but they have gotten to know someone else and they don’t quite know what to do. I never ask them what’s going on in their present relationship, because it’s really not as important to me as how they feel about this other person. So I say to them they should do whatever they feel is right and before they’re truthful to anyone else, they have to be true to themselves. That’s something I didn’t do back when I was running around seeing all kinds of girls on the side. I thought I was somebody who wanted to be in relationships only to realize what I really wanted to do was be single and act that way.

But some of us don’t want to run around, we just want to be with one person, and sometimes we think that one person is the one we’re with, only to realize it’s not that person, it’s this other person we met in a random encounter. This is why when people ask me if they should explore whatever it is they’re feeling with someone on the side, I tell them to think about the consequences of getting caught. Are they willing to lose the one they’re with to be the one they think about all the time? If not, they should leave it alone. Don’t risk getting caught doing something with someone you don’t want to end up with beyond the moment. But if they think it’s more than a moment they want to be with someone, they should put some space between themselves and the one they’re with, explore whatever it is they’re feeling with the one they’re thinking about, and if it turns out to be substantial enough, proceed with them.

Cheating on someone is universally understood to be wrong, but when we talk about it, I wonder if we ever consider the idea of something deeper, something like falling in love with someone else.

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The Process: This morning’s workout, slightly better than yesterday’s, but didn’t go as hard on the cardio. Been eating healthy snacks like raw broccoli and hummus.

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  • vk

    honestly, i get where you’re coming from, but at the same time the notion of cheating IMO can never be justified. do i care if someone i’m in love with falls in love with someone else? yes. of course. i care with every atom in my body. but don’t fish around as though you have every right to in the name of “the real thing”. if you’re interested in someone else, come clean. come clean and call it a break. but ALWAYS come clean. and once you do, and whatever you felt before turns out to be mere infatuation, you can come back. by all means, come back: just don’t be too shocked if the door is no longer open.

    i get the concept of falling out of love with someone: i do. i myself have been in that situation. but if i’m going to take a chance on someone other than the one i’m with, i best be prepared to deal with the consequences that if i was wrong, i may not be able to have back the thing i so carelessly let go of.

  • Miss.Riss

    A commenter of yours said something a few posts back that stuck with me.

    Forgive me as I’m paraphrasing ” If you ever find yourself interested in another person, you should always pick the new person, cause if you loved the person you were with the new person would have never made thier way into your heart ”

    I can totally agree with what you’re saying here. Sometimes things just work out that way. I’ve ” emotionally ” cheated a few times and in each instance I’ve ended up with the new person for quite awhile. Not everyone is meant to be together forever.

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  • Tiff

    I have been the single person that the relationship person wanted to be with.

    However, once I found out about the girlfriend…I cut things off. There are women out here who do respect relationships and I am one of them. Now, if this same guy approached me and was single then maybe we can start again but I refused to be the chick on the side even if it would have eventually lead to a break up of one relationship and the beginning of another.

  • KitKatCuty84

    Cheating is hurtful and wrong. If you feel you’ve met the person you’re supposed to be with, break up with the person you ARE with and date them. Whether the person you cheated with becomes the person you meant to be with, doesn’t downgrade the wrong you did to the person you cheated on. This is cunning justification for a horrible thing. SMDH…

  • #Gottaletgo

    I appreciate this post. I recently ended a relationship with someone who i’ve tried to make this point with for years. I cant do anything other than wish him and this new person all the best. I heard his voice after I found out and he was trying to downplay what they had, I havent heard him sound like that about me in a long time so I knew she was where he needed to be and was woman enough to let him go there.

  • http://twitter.com/msorvam myrna orvam

    Emotional cheating is much worse than physical cheating. If you really feel that the “other person” is better for you…then the person you are with needs to know that ASAP. It’s not fair to do that to the person you are already with. It’s almost like you’re using the person you’re already with as a safety net..just in case the person that you “are in love with” is not all that they’re cracked up to be.

  • hyperboleesh

    the act and the motivation behind the act are two different things, and while the motivation can explain the act and put it in context, it doesn’t take away how wrong it is. if i had a child and someone attacked him/her, my killing the attacker isn’t right or justified, its just better understood in context. but the act is still wrong, no matter how you slice it.

  • Anike Love

    “…if i’m going to take a chance on someone other than the one i’m with, i best be prepared to deal with the consequences that if i was wrong, i may not be able to have back the thing i so carelessly let go of. ”

    This, my friend, is real talk.

  • Anike Love

    “But if they think it’s more than a moment they want to be with someone, they should put some space between themselves and the one they’re with…and if it turns out to be substantial enough, proceed with them.”

    I definitely agree. I’d have more respect for a man if he was upfront with me about exploring other options than if he was creeping. It’s about honesty and respect which are gems of healthy relationships. At least at that point, he can proceed with a decent amount of clarity of mind and freedom without trying to cover his tracks, and stumbling when I’m asking him questions. Cheating for the sake of momentary escapsim isn’t worth it and really isn’t the way to proceed if you’re really trying to figure out if its going to work out between you and another person.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=583358430 Tonda Williams

    Though I understand the premise, my problem with the post is that I do NOT believe in “falling” in love. We are intelligent beings, capable of making good and bad decisions while completely understanding the consequences of our not so wise choices. I believe that love is just that…a “decision”. Every time I hear the term “falling in love”, I envision some bumbling, out of balance, equilibrium challenged person wandering haphazardly and unwittingly into a relationship, void of rational thought. My next thought is REALLY? Is that Love? So using my premise, you CAN fall out of love and into love with another person, because the act of FALLING is flawed and a set-up for failure.

  • http://www.facebook.com/amanda.trinity Amanda R. Trinity

    If id didn’t happen to me, I really would have thought that this post was BS. In my situation, he go married to her this past year. As much as it stings initially, it happened and hard part is getting through it. I would like to think that I am the better woman for him,but I am not and its taken me a minute to get to a place of acceptance with that.

    Word of advice gents and ladies…just be honest with all the players in the game…YES someone will be hurt…personally…I would rather be hurt by the truth…than a lie.

  • http://twitter.com/solidcelly Celly Richy

    “it’s always easier to be mad at something as tangible as a person than it is to get mad at something as intangible as bad timing.” <<< That has to be my favorite line from today. Very true. I like today's post Jozen.

    I also agree w/ Miss.Riss about the quote " If you ever find yourself interested in another person, you should always pick the new person, cause if you loved the person you were with the new person would have never made their way into your heart "

  • Annonymous

    You hit the nail on the head Joe. One topic you didn’t cover and it’s one of the more controversial ones is what did the person that got cheated on do? Don’t get me wrong, sometimes the person who got cheated on did NOTHING to bring on such pain, but sometimes they do. I am a woman and I did cheat on my husband. No he didn’t give me one particular reason but after years of mental and physical abuse – I finally snapped. I did something that would finally take me away from him which was cheat on him. Stupidly I thought I could make it work after the cheating but it just made things worse. I just had to add that scenario to the mix.

  • Bhouse817

    A few people touched on this as well. In a past relationship with a guy that I was absolutely head over heels with went on Facebook to vent when we had our one and only fight. Of course another woman gave him the solace he was looking for and they created a bond. Even when we repaired the damage done by the argument it was too late. His heart belonged to her. TRUST me that was a huge pill to swallow. I could not believe that he had created such a bond with someone who wasn’t even in the same state. He eventually moved to the state in which she was living and they now share a child. Although it was more of a fling for us he emotionally became tied with someone during our relationship. I am so happy that he found that type of bond but trust me it sucks to be the one in which the significant others heart floats away from.

  • coco

    Why would you want it to work if you were physically and mentally abused by your husband? I don’t get it.

  • coco

    Exactly. This post is a license to go out and cheat because that person might be “the one.” BS. There are too many steps to get to the cheating part. You have to lie, sneak, connive, find someone to do your dirt and then do the deed. At some point, there should be a trigger to turn around. As you say, an intelligent person who is rational in every other part of their life, suddenly becomes the opposite because he/she had an attraction to someone else, then they are looking for an excuse, living in a fantasy. There is always someone that you are going to be attracted to no matter if you are in a happy relationship; how you handle it is the key. There is always going to be someone better, smarter, prettier, finer, thinner, thicker, richer, more fly than the one you are with.

  • coco

    If my SO told me he wanted to explore other options, I would make the decision easier for him and remove myself from the equation.

  • MsJD

    I personally, dont understand all these conversations about “cheating” in dating relationships. If you’re not married youre single-do what you need/want to do. The confines and social constructs of dating have gone way too far in the US. That’s why people think its perfectly acceptable to live together and have babies out of wedlock. I know people dont like to hear it, but our dating practices (including living together) are the direct link to the extremely high divorce rate. Let’s go back to the way our grandparents did it- you take care of your own personal business (male or female), you get married (whether or not you believe in the fallacy of love) out of practical reasons. Whatever people were doing before they were dating (for shorter periods of time, might I add) was their business. Cheating is something that happens in marriage- not in a relationship.

  • Doesn’t Matter

    I too have psyched myself out with hypothetical situations where I’m with someone but meet someone else I would rather be with and the conclusion I came to is simple. Although I do believe it is very possible to be in love with two people simultaneously this kind of dilemma would only happen to either a selfish person or an indecisive person. Most people don’t realize it takes courage to believe that you made the right choice of mate and stick to that despite temptations that may come along.

  • http://cspanish.tumblr.com Christina

    My take on this whole issue is that most things are situational. When you are in a relationship you have to be careful of the situations you put yourself in. Should the new guy at work that I find attractive text or have lunch with me? Probably not. You say there’s nothing wrong with lunch and sometimes there isn’t but you have to know yourself. Is the lunch really because he doesn’t know anyone or because you thought he was cute and it was your “harmless” way of seeing more of him? Lunch can suddenly become more. See where I’m going? It’s hard to fall for someone else when your being conscious of the situations you put yourself in. If you’re supposed to be with another person, your current relationship will run its course. They say if you’re supposed to be with someone you will be…. right?