He Said / She Said: Forgiving A Cheater

He Said/She Said is COED’s dating, sex, and relationship debate series designed to help dudes understand what chicks are thinking – we know, an impossible feat. Every week we’ll be throwing out a different topic for debate…you can read the guy’s side here and the girl’s side at CollegeCandy.com. This week’s topic: are there situations when you could forgive a cheater?

One of my favorite shows to watch late at night is Cheaters. It’s usually on at some ridiculous hour on a weekend night. For those who haven’t had the pleasure, Cheaters is a reality show in which a man or woman suspects his or her significant other of cheating and hires a crack team of detectives / investigators to confirm. It typically ends with the cheater caught in the act followed by crying, fighting, and in one case the host getting stabbed. Though it’s a tv show edited, formatted, and produced to make you feel sympathy/empathy for the one who was cheated on, you never really get the other side’s story. Who knows what could’ve lead that guy/girl astray. Yeah, it doesn’t look good for them, but to play devil’s advocate – do we have all the facts and have we looked at all the extenuating circumstances?

Do I condone cheating? Absolutely not. I’ve drawn a hard line on cheating. Even if I say I forgive you, that sh*t is gonna stick with me and haunt me for a LONG time. At the same time, I’d like to think I’m open-minded and forgiving. I’d like to think I’m casual and laid back – not let anything faze me. I’m always one to look at the silver lining despite my overwhelming pessimism. So, even though my latest trip to Las Vegas made me question my faith in humanity, I thought I’d run down the scenarios where you MIGHT consider forgiving a cheater (many of which you might remember from our “What Do You Consider Cheating?” post).

Sexting / Phone Sex / Cyber Sex

I’m a huge flirt. Major flirt. I flirt with girls I have absolutely NO desire to hook up with. Why? I guess it’s just a mechanism that fires when I’m bored or don’t know what to say to a girl. However, when I’m with my girlfriend I do my absolute best to catch myself or at the very least make it obvious I’m joking. So, I can handle and appreciate a girl who’s a flirter. It’s in our blood, it’s what we do.

But, there’s a difference between funny, harmless flirting and outright green lights to engage in sexy time. Still not sure? If your girl’s texts, emails, or Facebook wall posts to another guy include the words, “suck” “f*ck” “lick” “kiss” “bone” “ram” “bang” “rail” “I wanna…” then you’ve got serious issues. Even if she hasn’t actually done the deed with Dr. Dooshface, she definitely wants to. Unless it’s the excuse of the century, which I don’t even know where to start on that, confront then dump in a most expeditious fashion.


I’m the kinda guy who will start any relationship trusting my partner until she gives me a reason not to. So, with “grinding” it’s important to differentiate between having fun and humping with clothes on. A friend of mine knows a couple who can go their separate ways at the club, grind with other people and end the night with each other every time. I don’t agree with it and I couldn’t do it, but they seem to have an incredible amount of trust in each other to know that it won’t lead to anything. Now, if she’s bending to the front, touching her toes, doing that quasi “i’mma blow you” dance, or has her feet off the ground with the dude pumping away, then that’s as good as cheating. I can’t even look at you the same way again. I don’t care if he’s gay, that’s a slap in the face.

Kiss on the Lips

Oddly enough, this one’s so iffy for me. I knew a girl who would greet every guy she met with a kiss on the lips. Nothing too crazy, but not a peck either. Somewhere between french kissing and a peck, with smidge of lip lock. That would def wear on me after a while. But, say your girl goes out with her friends, they get drunk, she bumps into an ex, they chat, and he kisses your girl. It takes her a second to pull away. It’s not a make out, just a kiss, most likely his mouth was open. She was caught off guard. She comes home and she tells you right away. I can respect that. That dude’s definitely on my radar but I’m not leaving my girl because of it.

What a fine line, though. Say, he kisses her, she doesn’t pull away and they make out? That implies willingness on her part. Now, say she doesn’t tell you until a month later. As if the make out weren’t enough, the deliberate act to withhold that info is damning. Immediate grounds for dismissal.

A completely RANDOM guy would be even worse.

Any of the above with same-sex

How’s your mind? Blown? Well, we recently surveyed you guys on whether you’d be cool with your girl cheating on you with another woman and 66% of you voted, “No”. Take that for what it’s worth but 1 out of 3 guys would be okay with it because there’s always that fantasy in the back of your mind that says, I could have two chicks at the same time. Even if she leaves you for the girl, you’re like well, she’s just not into dudes. Sure, part of you thinks you turned her off to ALL men, but unless this is the third or fourth time it’s happened, you’re probably in the clear.

Here’s a weird result. More people thought a lip kiss is considered cheating than mutual masturbation (where the cheater just gets off in front of the other person who’s also getting off without touching each other). A very slim minority believed watching porn was cheating while lusting or having dirty thoughts about another person was grounds for dumpage. Even “lying” … about anything… was listed as cheating.

Some people forgive those who’ve cheated on them because they’re so in love – or better yet infatuated – with the cheater, they can’t possibly imagine a life without them. The truth is, everybody cheats, it’s just a matter of what degree you’re okay with. Is it okay your girl beats it to Brad Pitt? What about Brad from Pitt? Humans are not wired for monogamy, but that’s not an excuse to cheat on your lover. As long as you and your partner can accept that those feelings exist and can talk about it before it happens, you should be okay. Ultimately, it’s the deceit and disrespect that hurts us most.

Check out what SHE SAID at CollegeCandy.com.

Liked this? Check out these:
He Said / She Said: Going Soft Makes Things Hard
He Said / She Said: Your Place Or Mine?
He Said / She Said: 9 Things Girls Shouldn’t Do In The Bedroom
He Said She Said: WARNING, Applying Labels Can Be Dangerous To Your Health
He Said / She Said: “Dormcest” (Hooking Up With Roommates/Neighbors)

5 thoughts on “He Said / She Said: Forgiving A Cheater”

  1. Lauren - University of Michigan

    I think it's interesting that grinding is unforgivable. One, because we often have no control over that guy's dong in our backs and two, because grinding is really not sexual at all for a lot of girls. It's meaningless dancing. I'm not judging you for thinking that way – I'm just really surprised to see that on here!

  2. Wow I was really impressed with your chill and mature perspective on this issue. I actually agreed with everything you said, which is a breath of fresh air because almost everything written about relationships in magazines and websites is total crap. Kudos 🙂

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