I had a flashback today to my university years and a conversation that I had with one of my housemates at the time. I don’t remember the exact time of the year but the days were definitely getting shorter. It was a pretty eventful time really. We were preparing for examinations (Three of us were anyway) and there was a lot of “personal turmoil” going on. I was becoming more and more of a recluse at the time, a knock on effect from the unhappiness I was experiencing as a girl who I very much cared for had began getting serious with another man. I suppose it didn’t help that I and another housemate were both very single and for a very long time while our two other housemates were in relationships. One of them, a very nice guy was spending a lot of time with his girlfriend (now wife) while the other was seeing a girl himself. This guy – he was always a bit strange. He liked to think of himself as quite edgy and cool; he listened to rock music and liked to wear lots of leather and latex. A poser basically. But anyway. He was dating this girl called Fiona (not her real name) who from all accounts was a really nice girl.
Apparently, he had made his mind up that she was the girl he wanted and he relentlessly pursued her till she gave in. They also had a threesome on my friends mattress with some other random girl (it was early in their relationship and he, well, he lifted my friend’s mattress out of his bedroom, took it into the lounge and did it there – why they couldn’t use his own bed I will never know..). It was a strange deal though. As I understand it, she was quite impressionable and he had convinced her to do this threesome deal but afterwards should had reservations he wanted something serious which he told her he did so the officially became exclusive.
So they were dating. And after the end of the first semester, we all went back home to our families. Apparently over the holidays, Mr Poser had put an advert out over the internet that he was looking for models and had even visited them at their homes. I thought it was suspect at the time but as I was not around – I gave him the benefit of the doubt. After the holidays, we get back and go back to our regular studies. One night, one of my other housemates and I come back to our house and no one seems to be home. So we head upstairs and unpack and just chill following the long day. Suddenly Poser’s door opens and out he comes with his shirt off and a woman we haven’t seen before. She says hello and seems okay but leaves quite quickly and he comes upstairs to say hey.
He tells us her name was “Elmo”. I’m not joking. Elmo. He tells all about how he met her at his college and how she seems really cool. Apparently she has a boyfriend but he happily shared with us that he had sex with her.
“Yeah, I can’t see it becoming anything” he exclaimed. “She’s fun but she’s got a really crap taste in music. Her sister is quite hot though”. Intrigued, I apologise saying that I hadn’t realised that he had broken up with Fiona. He hadn’t. He said that it is what it is and that he wasn’t going to say no when the opportunity came about. We had a long chat (all three of us, including my other housemate) about the situation. While we both disagreed, he argued that the issue with cheating has nothing to do with morality. “Sex is sex” he would say. And it didn’t have to be coupled with any feeling. He believed (and on all accounts still believes) that cheating is only bad if it hurts somebodies feelings. And as he and the girl he just slept with will never tell Fiona, she would never get hurt. So it’s fine. After all, in his mind, he would still be the same considerate and doting boyfriend. They will still do stuff together. He will still be there for her. He just does that in addition to sleeping with other people.
As someone who values fidelity, I struggled with this logic. I asked him if he would be okay if the roles were reversed. How would HE feel if FIONA was sleeping with other guys all the time while she was telling him she loved him. He said he’d be fine with it himself. And anyway, if he didn’t know about it, and it didn’t affect their relationship, so what? I couldn’t help but find flaws in his argument.
Now, I have always been quite a dedicated/loyal sort of guy. I had my first real little crush when I was 9/10 and then another small crush at 10/11 before really liking someone aged 11/12. This girl I really liked and for the entire time I liked her, I couldn’t look at another girl. In fact, when I was 13, there was a girl in my class who had a crush on me and she got her friend to ask me out. I gallantly replied “I’m sorry but I’m in love with someone else”. I carried on having this crush well until I was 16 where I decided that I should try broadening my horizons and proceeded to fancy a lot of people each day. I think at that point I just wanted a girlfriend. Then when I was 18 and went to uni, I fell in love and that time, I was really messed up. I literally couldn’t look at another woman for years and when I tried, the memory of her came back, even despite friends trying to set me up. So yeah, I’ve always found it hard to be invested in someone and look at someone else. I guess part of that is that my parents have been happily married for years and I have always strived to have the same. He on the other hand, had his parents break up when he was young though his Dad married again and had a settled family so I don’t know if they had anything to do with it. For me, it has always been straightforward though. If you love someone, you do everything you can to make them happy AND you don’t do anything that can hurt them. And whether or whether not she knows about it, if your actions could or maybe I should say would hurt them, then it’s not right. Being with other people is not being devoted. Perhaps that’s why marriages fail so often because people don’t know what they are getting into?
Regardless, if you are not devoted to someone, you shouldn’t be married to them. Which is why to this day I am shocked they ended up getting married. I know he cheated on her countless times and I know she has no idea. Funnily enough, given that he knew I struggled with my conscience, he did his best to limit her and I getting to know one another until we finished uni and then we’d talk on what was the old MSN messenger. And I then did get to know her. Which then made it all the harder knowing what he was getting up to when he asked me to be his best man. He said that he really wanted me to do the honour. When he asked, I thought about it but I eventually declined. I never told him directly why but there could have been no way that I could have ever supported the wedding. Not long after I declined his offer, I began to distance myself from him and not long after, I stopped speaking with him all together.
As I understand it, they are still together now. So perhaps he was right. But regardless, I will never be that person.