I was the other man

After many breakups with people I had absolutely no compatibility with, I was confused about what I wanted—or thought I wanted—when dating someone. As a hopeless romantic, I just wanted everything to feel right.

I had started dating this girl and we instantly clicked.  She understood me and my strange mannerisms. Her face was the first and last image my eyes focused on for several weeks. We were inseparable from the moment we looked at each other. I didn’t know anything about her, yet I didn’t have any problems because we were always happy together.

Everything was going great until her birthday. We were celebrating by clubbing, drinking and smoking. The night was winding down as we walked back to the car holding each other’s hands. She was thanking and kissing me for such a great night on her birthday. We had been dating for several weeks at that point, and she had said that she really wanted to share her birthday with someone special.

“I’m so glad I spent my birthday with you. My boyfriend is SO lame and hates going to clubs, drinking and the whole party scene,” she said as she leaned in for another kiss.

I was in shock for a few hours until the feeling went away. I mean, all is fair in love and war after all, right?

After her birthday, she tried to assure me that she was done with her boyfriend. She said that it had been difficult for her to leave him after so many years, but she was finally able to do it. So I was faced with a dilemma: Could I, in good faith, actually be with someone who lied to me about her previous (or current—I wasn’t even really sure she broke up with him in the first place) boyfriend?

Yes, I could. It turns out that it was a lot easier than I had initially thought. I managed to cheat—the ultimate dating taboo—but I didn’t feel like I was doing anything wrong. I was happy; she was happy… why would anyone else’s feelings get in the middle of that?

We continued for a couple more weeks until she succumbed to her guilt. I was a living, breathing reminder of her lie. She ended up leaving me for her ex-boyfriend. I was left alone thinking about the taboo that I don’t think should exist. They eventually got engaged.

As far as I know, she never told him about me.