Recently, I heard one of my colleagues Lisa (25) talk about her weekend with two other female colleagues. She was telling a story about how she went to a party on Friday night and met an amazing guy who unfortunately lived in a city two hours away. Being completely absorbed in my work, I was not fully listening to the conversation at first, but something in the tone of her voice while she was talking about this guy, made me turn around and join in the conversation. Apparently, this amazing guy, had a girlfriend.
She was disappointed because he was SO amazing and they had been having deep conversations all night and she felt very connected to him. “But, you know, he said he wouldn’t leave his girlfriend so that’s it”, she said with a tone of ‘so that’s the end of it’. I didn’t believe her so I pressed on and she said with a hint of embarrassment that they had, indeed, kissed at the end of the night. But she felt he was bad news and that it would be better to stay away from him. We were in the middle of our ‘oh my god’s!’ when her phone buzzed. It was him. Vaguely wondering in the back of my mind why they exchanged phone numbers at all in this unfortunate situation, she said with excitement in her eyes that he said in the text that he would be in town this Friday for business, and that they could meet for dinner. I asked her if she thought it was a good idea to go out to dinner together after stating the facts of the evening again. “Oh that’s fine. We can have a dinner as civilized grown-ups and you know, as long as we don’t drink, nothing will happen.”
The Monday after, we were all waiting expectantly to hear about her dinner and, surprise – it turned out that they had had a few drinks and ended up in bed together. Us female colleagues got into a heated discussion and to my surprise, different opinions arose. A single 25-year old, Avril, thought it wasn’t Lisa’s problem and that she should go after what she wanted. Bella, our 30-year colleague who has been in a steady relationship for four years, was appalled. As there had obviously been a deeper connection, it was even worse than if they had just had a drunk one night stand. For her, imagining her boyfriend sleeping with somebody else was not the worst, but the fact that he had obvious interest in this girl, in this case Lisa, and had gone for it anyway, was worse. I myself was confused that Lisa had gone to the dinner at all, let alone exchange phone numbers, and felt that she should’ve sensed a glimpse of “female responsibility”. Isn’t it bad enough that guys seem to be easier in these situations, shouldn’t we support our fellow females; say no and stay away from these situations to help each other out? Nobody wants to be ‘that girl’, right?
It makes me wonder. Nobody wants to be the person cheated on, but do we want to be the person the cheaters are cheating with? Shouldn’t knowing that there is a girlfriend out there somewhere who will be hurt by her unfaithful boyfriend be a massive red flag? Is it up to us to keep a boyfriend from cheating, or is it really the cheaters responsibility?