Ask a Dude

by A Dude

If you’ve been dating someone for 10 years (!) and you’ve never had sex with anyone else (!), but all of a sudden there’s this guy who you’re kind of infatuated with, and who’s into you, too — oh, and also your boyfriend once cheated on you years ago, but you’ve moved past that — what do you do? Do you cheat on your boyfriend and see what it’s like to sleep with someone else? I mean, I know the obvious answer is “no,” but also what if it’s yes? What if I don’t know anything about sex? What if there’s so much I’m missing!?

Well, so this is a little complicated, but 1) DON’T CHEAT ON YOUR BOYFRIEND.

I’m of the mind that cheating is literally never okay. If you really think you’re about to cheat on your boyfriend, then that seems like a big red flag for you to just reevaluate the entire relationship, like, if what we’re talking about is more than just the flattery that comes along with stolen glances from an attractive member of the opposite sex. Because if you get to the point where the HYPOTHETICAL POTENTIAL of good sex with someone else is enough for you to compromise a 10-year relationship, then maybe you should take a step back and look at how happy you actually are in your current relationship. What’s missing? Have you ever felt like this before? Is this cyclical for you?

Just remember that at the end of the day, you don’t get to take cheating back. There’s no do-overs in that situation, as with most situations (duh), so if you’re going to do it, make sure you don’t care about messing up what you have with the other person (which, again, is probably a sign it’s time to think about breaking it off — or, conversely, trying to figure out how to make it work).

2) Also, there’s probably something to be said for you using the fact that your boyfriend once cheated on you as a qualifier for this question, which suggests you’re probably not entirely over it? But that makes sense! That sort of betrayal isn’t something that’s easy to get over, especially if this is the person you’ve spent most of your formative years with. But if you’ve told him that you’ve gotten over it, then you have to make sure that that’s true (or if not, tell him as much), and you can’t have that play into any equations or scenarios. Two wrongs never make a right, etc.

I just broke up with a long-term boyfriend. Do I unfriend his dad and grandparents on Facebook, or do I wait for them to unfriend me? Or something else? Nothing dramatic happened with the breakup or anything, but we’re not really speaking, and it’s weird seeing them in there.

Depends on what your relationship with those family members is! Defriending old people is hard and awkward — especially the confirmation stop where it asks you “Are you sure you want to defriend Mrs. Fogel?” If you think you’re going to want to correspond with them in the future at all (or if you think they’ll want to get in touch with you, ever), then maybe just create a privacy category for them that limits you and your pictures from showing up on their newsfeed, but leaves the window open for if they want to send you a message or poke you or whatever. Not poke you, though, hopefully. (For a quick primer in how to create privacy lists on Facebook, go here.)

What do you do if you accidentally, in the throes of passion, tell a guy you love him too soon when you totally don’t? Pretend it didn’t happen? Hahahahah.

If you two have a comfortable relationship where you can be open and goofy about awkward things, then just tell him it was an accident and you realize saying something like that at this juncture is weird. Being communicative is your best bet here (and in most cases!). Remember, he’s a person too — he’s probably had similar I-can’t-believe-I-just-said-that moments in the aforementioned throes, so he’ll probably understand. It’s all good!

If this person is not someone of consequence, however, ignore, don’t address, and reconcile yourself to the fact that you’ll now be brought up when the “girls who said too much too soon” chat comes up among him and his friends. Which, really, NBD. [Ed.: Wait, follow-up question — is that a “chat” guys regularly have!?]

I’m pretty sure my boyfriend is still in touch with his ex-girlfriend — the one who got away/the crazy bitch who broke his heart. He left his Gmail open one day and I saw her name in his inbox. I am dying to know what she wants. How terrible would it be if I hacked into his email to get the scoop? I mean, just once?

Don’t do this! This is never a good idea!

This depends on the length of your relationship, but if you guys have been dating for six months or more, and you’ve never shown any traits of being a psycho, you should tell your boyfriend that you saw his e-mail open when you were using his computer and didn’t read anything, but saw the name and are, obviously, a little stressed by the situation.

Snooping will resolve nothing, and if you ever got caught, you would lose this guy’s trust forever. Also, remember that once you start snooping, it’s going to be hard to quit (and there are probably a lot of Gchats to look through!).

Say you know a shit-ton of dirt on an asshole, and then your friend who hasn’t dated in YEARS reports that she’s legitimately begun to fall in love with this dude — who is so random for her, anthropologically-speaking, that you know she knows nothing about his dirtbag reputation. I know you’re not supposed to be a dreamkiller, especially since everyone is a grownup and the guy isn’t married or girlfriended, but how much should you say if anything?

So here’s the thing: it’s almost never a good idea get involved. What happens between two people who’re attracted to each other is so complicated and full of weird intangibles — even two great, nice, attractive people who get set up with each other don’t necessarily have chemistry or even get along — that what you think you know almost certainly isn’t enough of a reason to potentially kibosh this guy. And while it’s annoying, a lot of times a guy who you think is a completely awful fit for your friend could in fact be her perfect (“perfect”) counterpart.

Now, if you see something with your own eyes AFTER they’ve been dating, and here we’re talking EXPLICIT INFIDELITY ONLY, then you should definitely say something to your friend. But going based on hunches or thoughts and feelings is usually misguided.

A Dude is a dude who lives in New York and knows everything. Do you have any questions for A Dude?