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Davis, California

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Column: Ch-ch-ch-cheating!

“I think my boyfriend might be cheating on me,” said the voice.

It was last Monday morning. I hadn’t slept a wink (procrastination and papers don’t mix well) and a fire was lit under my ass: I had to finish up this paper, print it, shower, get fabulously dressed and accessorized with glitter all in less than half an hour. I was late.

But sweet salvation came in the form of my roommate and her little Nissan Sentra. She offered to drive me to class.

So we get into the car and the radio comes on. I half expected to hear Ke$ha’s “TiK ToK” – that song is always on – but I was surprised to hear the voice of a girl calling on a radio talk show.

Apparently, she called because she suspected her boyfriend of over a year was cheating. The reason behind her suspicion? She found a duffle bag with women’s tennis shoes and gym clothes that didn’t belong to her in her boyfriend’s trunk. Neither she nor the boyfriend works out.

She wasn’t convinced by the hosts’ “maybes” and “what-ifs.” So the hosts called her boyfriend under the guise of AT&T customer service reps. They tricked the sucker into thinking they were going to send him a bouquet of roses in appreciation of his continued business. He could either take it or have it sent as a gift to anyone of his choice.

“Send it to Mel, the hottest girl I know,” he said.

His girlfriend’s name is Grace.

That was when my roommate and I looked at each other and, in perfect unison, yelled, “daaayum.”

The jerk was caught. The girlfriend went off on him and ended it. Justice was served.

Being in a serious and committed relationship, I have very colorful words to describe the way I’d retaliate if I were cheated on. Arthur is rather fond of his genitals, so I don’t think he’ll be cheating on me soon – I’d cut his balls off.

Okay, so maybe that’s a little harsh. In the real world, I’d probably cry in sheer rage, drive him out of my apartment, shove all his shit into a garbage bag and throw it out the window for him to take. And that’d be that.

The reason behind my potential actions is simple: If someone cheats on you, they don’t respect you as much as you respect them. They throw away your relationship. They think nothing of it. Even if it was “just one time” (like that’s a valuable justification), cheating is always something very serious and should never be shrugged off.

But different people react to it in different ways.

Of course, I’ve made it very clear that I would not tolerate it at all. Last week, I mentioned I once dated a guy who was cheating on me with someone he found on Craigslist. Being cheated on hurt me on so many levels. Never in a million years do I want to feel that kind of pain again.

I asked Arthur what he’d do if I ever cheated on him.

“Of course, I’d feel bad,” he said. “It would hurt so much, but in all honesty, I think I’d take you back.”

That completely took me by surprise. I would have expected him to dump my ass and hate me forever. He said he could never hate me. (Well, like, duh! Who could ever hate me?)

But some people do end up taking cheaters back. Personally, I’d never do it. However, I’m not one to tell you exactly what to do. Taking a cheater back is completely up to you. And I’d never judge anyone on what they decide to do within their relationship. I’m just going to say this: If it happens again, you better get prepared for the single life.

If you find yourself on the other end of this – as the cheater – reflect on your relationship. Why did you feel the need to cheat? Is there something missing in your relationship? Is it getting boring for you? Are you just looking for sex? Whatever it may be, your commitment to your partner probably isn’t too strong – and your partner deserves to know what you did and how you feel.

The guy in the radio show said his reason for cheating was because he didn’t think he and his girlfriend were that serious yet. (This was when I was like, “For real? You’ve been together a whole year, douchebag. How the hell do you not figure you and her are that serious?”) He also said his girlfriend just wasn’t that pretty. Ouch.

If you’re unsure of how serious your relationship is, talk about it with your partner. Are you two willing to be completely monogamous and see no one else? Or will you two implement the “In an Open Relationship” option on Facebook?

The point I’m trying to make lies in one word: consent. As long as you and your partner establish the terms of your relationship and leave nothing ambiguous, everything should be fine. Nothing can be considered cheating if you have your partner’s consent to do it. Be polyamorous, be strictly one-on-one or be slutty – just make sure it’s what you and your partner are both okay with.

MARIO LUGO will be in this year’s “Pi Beta Phi presents Arrowjam,” inter-Greek lip-sync and dance competition. He, along with his fabulous Delta Lambda Phi brothers, will be working it and shakin’ some booty Thursday night. Come watch! He can be reached at mlugo@ucdavis.edu.

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