A recent conversation with a guy pal was startling.
He’s a smart, goal-oriented, ethical, solid-morals, middle-class guy. So I assume he hangs out with other like-minded folks. But apparently not so much.
He shared that every one of his friends has “something on the side.” Meaning whether married or in a relationship, all of them have either a go-to booty call provider or a regular mistress/lover on the side.
I was so dumfounded I didn’t have the presence of mind to probe for more details. So I don’t know if it is true for both men and women, married and those in relationship but not married, only true for long-time relationships, or what.
So we have to make some assumptions until I get more data. We have to assume that, based on his blanket comment, that this is true for both genders, across socio-economic strata for all races in his circle of friends.
If his social circle is an indication of much of America, it is depressing. If so, politicians and celebrities aren’t the only ones who take license with the concepts of commitment and fidelity. What is commonly believed to be an affliction of those with power has now filtered down to those with the inclination to cheat, no matter what their social status.
It is not news that people from all parts of society cheat. What was shocking to me is this man’s observation that so many do so. He said all of his friends, not just a few.
What are the implications for us midlife daters?
If we are constantly suspicious, it kills the relationship. But if we’re naive, we can get taken advantage of, as well as possibly be inflicted with deadly diseases.
Does this mean that if you’re becoming serious with someone you should hire an investigator? Some do. Seems a bit overkill unless you have some evidence.
Generally, I suggest people proceed slowly. It helps you note the person’s modus operandi. If after a few weeks, you notice he only pays in cash, only wants to come to your house, whenever you call in the evening, he says he has to call you back, these are some indications there’s another woman involved.
In fact, I suggest you don’t get serious until you’ve been to his house at least a few times. Get a little snoopy. Look in the bathroom cabinets. Are there lady products and he doesn’t share the bath with a daughter? He may shrug them off as leftovers from his last sweetheart. But just notice quantities and if some have been used when you come back.
Am I encouraging you to automatically be suspicious? A little. I’ve been taken in by cheaters and in retrospect, I could have been more astute, thus protecting my heart and my health.
The key, I believe, is to be open but cautious. Don’t accuse him of anything you don’t have solid evidence of. But also don’t believe lame explanations because you are smitten. Protect your heart.
Want more of what to look for? Get your copy of Check Him Out Before Going Out: Head Off Dud Dates