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Dating in New York City – Holding Hans with Brian Hansbury: Cheaters

Posted Tuesday, September 9th, 2008 at 8:00 am by Brian in Social Bees. More in 11211

Q: I think my girlfriend is cheating on me. How do I know for sure?

A: Ah, trust. The backbone of any successful relationship and nemesis of used car salesmen everywhere. Like bipartisanship, trust can be very hard to build. Every brick of foundation can be swept away with an ill-timed roll of the eyes or misinterpreted coffee order (I was once accused of sleeping with a barista after I dropped my change into her tip jar…and no, that’s not innuendo).

Having been cheated on in all of my previous relationships, I assure you that good advice is coming your way, as well as a swift kick to the nuts if you get anywhere near my girl. Every time I am being made a cuckold of, I sort of know it. I have that same feeling you are having now. I like to go by the rule of thumb that if you are not crazy (i.e. you don’t sit outside an ex-girlfriend’s house carving her likeness out of soap) and you think something is up you are probably right.

A while back I was working in a restaurant in New Jersey and dating the most beautiful girl. She would always stop by work and give me a hard time by trying to kiss me in front of my boss. She’d call me a dork and talk about how if I visited her work, I could kiss her all I wanted. One day I decided to take her up on the offer and stopped by her work, Restoration Hardware at the mall. The moment I arrived her face just didn’t seem right. She acted like I would at my restaurant, looking around nervously, but this time there were no sheepish smiles, only terrified eye darts. Then she tried to get me to leave, quickly. She was not herself. Nothing about the situation felt good. I left, a tightly wound ball of confusion in my stomach, and got a phone call from her a half hour later. On the phone she was hyper-apologetic and absolutely her regular self. The whole sitch was weird and a month later I found out that was the same week she began two-timing me with a guy at work.

The gut is like your own personal divining rod, able to discover the nasty truths hidden in the chambers of your lover’s evil heart. Though you may not have the whole picture, you suspect something is buried in there and, in my book, that is enough to start drilling. Because truly, whether your girl is cheating or not, the seed of mistrust has been planted and though some relationships can recover from this, most do not.

Here’s a foolproof method I’ve developed to discern whether or not you are a victim. Try silently staring at your girlfriend for a really long time, like 15 minutes. Don’t waver, I mean, really unnerve the shit out of her. Whenever she tells you to stop, grunt like a dying animal. Then when she is finally about to leave your apartment after calling you a weirdo for the 18th time, ask her if she’s cheating on you. Your annoyance of her (and her discovery that you are a freak) will eliminate all thoughts she had of protecting you from the painful truth. If she has something to admit, she will do it right then and there in order to restore the balance of uncomfortability. It’s the yin and yang of relationship politics. Every relationship subsists at the basest level on making sure that you are not more uncomfortable with the situation than your partner. If she insists on watching Gossip Girl, you invite all your friends over for football. If you forget her birthday, she keys your car. It’s basic stuff. Both parties remain equally uncomfortable until someone makes the charade of long-term relationships unbearable by cheating.

Of course, if she’s not cheating on you, you’ll have a lot of explaining to do. Either way, you should probably sign up for because your relationship is probably over.

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