Dating: I cheated at a party, what do I do now?
I’ve been with my boyfriend for eight months and we have a good relationship. The other night, though, I was at a party without him and got drunk and flirted with another woman. One thing led to the next and we had sex. I haven’t told my boyfriend about it and I haven’t talked to the woman again. I know guys think it’s hot to see two women together, but I just don’t know if I should tell him what happened. I feel really guilty and confused. What should I do?
For a moment, imagine your boyfriend is out at a party. He’s getting drunk, starts flirting with another guy, and then one thing leads to the next and he has sex with the guy. Ask yourself: Are you OK with that? Do you consider that cheating? My guess is you’re not OK with it and it violates a trust you’ve established over the past eight months. After that many months of dating, there’s most likely an understanding — spoken or not — of exclusivity. If you’ve participated in such an activity and aren’t comfortable disclosing it to your man, then it’s cheating.
Think about the impact telling will have on him. Although honesty is usually the best policy, if this truly is a one-time experience, then why upset him? Consider dropping the matter and moving on. Do know, though, if he ever asks if you’ve cheated, you’ll have to disclose this indiscretion — because keeping a secret will force you to barricade a part of yourself and interfere with intimacy.
Finally, if this only occurred because of the alcohol, then lay off the booze. But consider the possibility that subconsciously you’ve got same-sex tendencies that came out because your inhibitions were reduced while under the influence.
If you are indeed confused about your sexuality, do yourself and him a favor and end the relationship. Don’t maintain one relationship for stability while exploring other options.
Jonathan Alpert is a licensed psychotherapist. His book, “Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days,” is available now. E-mail him your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org