57% of men admit to have cheated in any relationship they’ve had. That’s a lot. So if the saying “Once a cheater, always a cheater” is true, then we women only have 43% of the honorable male population left to date. This statistic and my personal experience leave me to believe that just because one made a bad decision once does not guarantee the cheater will become a multiple offender.
I am extremely wary about the men who have cheated, even if only just once. I have asked the “Have you ever cheated?” question to almost every man I have dated. One particular answer made an impression on me as he hesitantly responded, “I hate answering this question because of the belief that ‘once a cheater, always a cheater.’ Yes, I have…once…and I am not using this as an excuse, but I was really drunk and was new here. I would never do it again because I saw how much it hurt her, and I would never want to do that to anyone again…ever.” I believed him because there was sincerity in his face and words, and he owned up to his actions and acknowledged how his behavior affected someone he cared about. I never used this against him and still gave him a fair chance as I would to any man who proclaimed he has never cheated.
In my past, I was once interested in someone involved in a long distance relationship. We kissed, twice, but I drew the line and made it clear that we could not progress any further if he’s in a relationship. He proceeded to tell me how our relations did not qualify as cheating or being wrong because they (him and his girlfriend) were not getting along very well lately and currently not on speaking terms. CHEATER ALERT! Invalid excuse! This translates to me: “I don’t work on my relationships. When there is trouble, instead of working through problems, I run the other way…and at times it may be into the arms of another woman. Even when I know things will not work, being the selfish coward I am, I don’t make the clean break, but I consider myself single.”
I believe everyone makes mistakes – some bigger than others and some more frequently than others. But like every mistake, one can learn from them. The ones that learn from them are the ones that may deserve a chance of redemption. The ones that don’t, well, proceed with extreme caution. For example, in the court of law when granting a punishment, a judge is more lenient on the first offense, but harsher on following offenses because clearly the lawbreaker didn’t learn from his first offense and prior punishment. The lawbreaker or cheater may or may not be conscious to how their actions have affected (and will affect) the community or loved ones. In this case, use your senses, judgment of character, and most importantly, trust your instinct. Instinct has saved many gazelles from being eaten by lions; instinct may very well save you from heartbreak caused by a serial-cheater.
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