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Real Live College Guy: Am I Dating a Serial Cheater?

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We all need a little guidance now and then, so whether you’re stressed about a fling gone wrong, a recently wrecked relationship or how to handle a stage-five clinger, Real Live College Guy Dale is here to help you navigate the college dating scene.

I have dated this guy for three years now; the first year was okay, but the two years we were in a long-distance relationship, he started cheating on me and things were tough. I forgave him three times. This year I found out he was cheating on me with a girl who knows I exist, but still doesn’t care about it. My guy has been pleading that we get back together since he only loves me and he always dumps the girls if I find out immediately.

I believe he loves me because he treats me well and introduced me to his family, but the big problem is that I’m afraid about whether or not he will cheat on me, because the long distance is almost coming to an end and we will be near each other again. Please help, I’m confused about if I should accept his request or just move on. – Lillian

Lillian,

By constantly forgiving him, you’re just giving him the freedom to do it again. Distance is not an excuse to cheat, and I’m convinced that if he really loved you, he would shut down any women that came onto him.

You say that he always dumps the girls if you find out immediately. The red flag here for me isn’t that he’s cheating (well, it kind of is, but it isn’t the worst part), it’s that he dumps them if (and only if) you find out. How do you know that there haven’t been — or still aren’t — other girls that he’s with? These are just the ones you found out about, and him “dumping” them doesn’t mean he loves you. It means he got caught and played coy to get back to your good graces.

The simple fact is that you’re lying to yourself. I’m calling it as I see it. You believe he loves you because he treats you well? Is this what you call “treating you well”? If it is, you need to re-examine your priorities.

You have no guarantees that his cheating will end when you two are closer. You have no guarantees that he isn’t still cheating on you. And while he deserves a fair amount of blame for this problem, you’ve let him get away with it for too long. By now, he just knows that if he gets caught, all he has to do is “dump” the girl, and all is forgiven. You have given him no consequences. He is free to take advantage of your emotions. It’s disgusting, obviously, but you need to put your foot down and stand up for yourself. There is no saving this relationship. The next time you talk to him, you need to end things. Be firm in your decision and know that dropping this jerk from your life will put you on a path to something that doesn’t make you feel this confused or upset or fearful. 

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