Shortcuts: “Should I Tell Her I Slept With Her Boyfriend?”

It’s time again for Shortcuts. For every question, I’ll give my advice in just a few sentences because sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great that being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go.

I was sleeping with a guy I met at the gym who happens to work there. Eventually, I developed feelings for him and told him how I felt. But he said he was in a weird place in life. I had sex with him again and then found out he seems to be dating a woman who also works at the gym. She is a very nice girl who works at the day care center. Should I come out and tell her I unknowingly slept with her boyfriend? I have been cheated on in the past, so a part of me wants to save her the pain and another part of me says let it go because she will find out eventually. — Unknowingly Slept With Her Boyfriend

NO! Do not tell this woman anything. Their relationship is really none of your business. You don’t know how serious they are, whether they’re exclusive, whether they have an agreement to sleep with other people, etc. Furthermore, you developed feelings for the guy you slept with and he, essentially, rejected you and wasn’t forthright about his relationship with this other woman, so I find it hard to believe your motives for “telling on him,” so to speak, are 100% altruistic. Instead of getting involved in a a lot of potential drama, I’d suggest finding another gym to work out in for the time being (or changing the time you go to your current gym) so that you don’t have to see this guy and the very nice woman he’s dating.

I’m 18 and currently dating a guy that I have liked for five years. He lives in my home town, but I am currently attending college in another state. Three months ago I cheated on him and we broke up. In December, we decided to get back together. He has forgiven me for what I did, but he still has zero trust in me. Lately, we have been fighting about the distance and many more things. He cusses and yells at me and is very disrespectful. When I try to talk to him about it, he makes excuses, gets defensive, and somehow turns it on me. I deserve to be treated so much better. I love him more than anything and we want to get married, but at what point is enough enough? I’m tired of being sad all the time. Do I give it time and see if he will change, or do I end it? — 18 and in a LDR

Why on earth would you want to marry someone who treats you like shit, has zero trust in you, makes you sad all the time, and with whom you want things to change? Obviously, end this relationship now and just enjoy being 18 and in college where there are SO many people to meet and get to know. But, more importantly, adjust your idea of what you think marriage material is, because there is absolutely no reason you should ever be discussing marriage, even in a far-off dreamy way, with anyone who doesn’t just make your world a hundred times brighter and has you wondering how you ever got so lucky to find and fall in love with someone who is such a fantastic match for you.

The girl I love had what I think was multiple sugar daddies. I know of at least one man for sure whom she slept with for money (because she told me). It would be stupid of me to forgive a girl that didn’t just cheat on me but basically prostituted herself while with me, correct? I still love her, but I just need help . . . I’m confused. Do her actions mean she doesn’t love me? We were both drug addicts when this happened, but now we are both clean and trying to better ourselves. So she was lost in addiction when she prostituted herself, which is no defense, but I’m just explaining the situation. — In Love with a (Former?) Sugar Baby

The girl you love may very well love you back, despite cheating on you, but, with both of you recovering from drug addiction, which is an intense and long road, it would be wise to keep romantic drama to a minimum. I think you can love and support each other as friends for now and put your relationship on the back burner until you have a little more recovery under your belts, can re-build trust between you, and can feel like there’s enough distance from past mistakes to gamble on romantic love again (and it’s always a gamble, no matter how true you feelings are and how pure your intentions).


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  1. Avatar photo GertietheDino says:

    LW 1-2-3: MOA!

  2. You shouldn’t discuss or consider marriage with someone who doesn’t make your world 100x brighter- LOVE this!

  3. LW2 – I was totally in a similar situation – 18 years old, recently moved out of state for college, in a relationship with a long term crush (we dated for about a year and a half before I left for school, but I’d been crushing on him for about 3 years). And I understand the romantic appeal of the LDR. I also know how much work it was. While it was hard to be in a LDR, he only enriched my life. I looked forward to talking to him. I was excited to tell him about my new experiences. While I may have crushed on other guys in school, cheating never crossed my mind. You’re in a great spot in your life to meet new people and try new things. Don’t waste that time concentrating on a relationship that is already rocky. A LDR without a rock solid base will not work. And it’s not worth it.

  4. findingtheearth says:

    I think Wendy’s advice is spot on in all of this. I went to college in an LDR and I regret it. I missed out on a lot, because I did not want to make my boyfriend jealous or mad. Once we broke up at the end of my freshman year, I had a lot more fun. College is such a fun experience and you need to branch out and explore life.

  5. Thought about this a bit. It seems that what links all the people in the relationships in these letters is an underlying assumption that is probably near universal: that no one should ever turn down sex. That you defy nature and violate some innate biological imperative if you ever say, “Nah, I’ll just take a pass this time.” I’m not advocating Victorian mores. I’m 110% sex positive, annoyingly so in fact. If two sweet people (or perhaps more than two) truly just want a sexy good time (not a long time), I’m all for getting laid. But just because it’s ass doesn’t mean you HAVE to say yes, like when it is a stupefying emotional trainwreck destined to leave an ugly stain on your heart. You need a healthy sex diet, high in pleasure and friendship and low in melodrama.

    1. RedroverRedrover says:

      And don’t forget to season your diet with a healthy dose of birth control! Children need stable parental relationships. That is priority #1 before you even consider having kids. Too many LWs just seem to have them with little to no thought about their future family dynamics.

      1. Way to work a metaphor, RR!

  6. LW3: Your recovery needs to take precedence here. Involving yourself in more drama is not the answer. You need support but dating too soon can hinder that. I agree with Wendy to put your relationship on the back burner. But you will be probably be better off without her in your life. Recovery is hard and I got rid of a lot of friends, even good friends, who were still having trouble staying clean, because I had to put myself first.

  7. I don’t understand people who want to do what LW1 is considering. Are you really THAT emotionally fragile that you need to create this much drama out of a brief hookup because you were rejected? Jesus. I sound like BGM, but I just don’t get it when people intentionally create this kind of drama.
    I sat here for a moment and pondered whether I’d ever been in a similar situation, just to be sure I wasn’t judging too harshly. And yep, of course, I have. A situation that was 100x worse, but it did not even once cross my mind to tell the other woman, which would have magnified the drama this dude had already created by about a million.

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