HOLD Bad Advice Club: My date has a history of cheating
Chanté Joseph answers a burning question on life and love – should the reader go through with a meet-up after being told some concerning things about their date?
words Chanté Joseph
I’m Chanté – writer, presenter, internet addict. I write a lot about relationships, internet trends and being the best, most delusional version of yourself. So welcome to the Bad Advice Club: I’m here to give you some loving advice on your life problems. Listen, I am by no means perfect, but I think that makes me ideal to assist you in navigating tricky issues because nine times out of 10, I’ve been there! Bad advice, bad decisions – these are the twists and turns that make life sweet. So let’s ride it out together: I have some gems to drop, so don’t be shy and send in your stories, woes, dilemmas.
I matched with a guy on a dating app recently who seemed to tick all the boxes. We've been chatting a lot, and he's smart, kind, funny, and emotionally intelligent – or at least seems it through our exchanges. We're supposed to be going on a date next week, but last night I realised we had a mutual friend in common, and she told me some pretty dark things about him, the most alarming being that he has a history of cheating. Chante, do I go on the date or abort immediately? Do I meet him and make my own decision, or should I run for the hills?
The dating pool is not a pool, it is a pipette droplet of toxic waste, and we’re all fishing out strange mutated amphibians with several eyes and too many legs; in the words of Gemma Collins, “It’s hell in there. It’s horror!”
I’m joking; it’s not that bad, but I've realised that depending on your age, most straight men you date will have a litany of women behind them that they’ve done dirty because they were ‘growing’ and ‘finding themselves’ or whatever. It’s now rare to conduct a social CRB check and find out that someone has a spotless sheet. Unfortunately, dating now feels like picking your poison, making this dilemma too common.
I’m sure this mutual friend was well-intentioned, and you should absolutely listen to them, but ultimately this is your decision. Let’s say you go on a date, have a great time, and he texts you back the next day to continue the conversation; at this point, I think it is worth bringing up what you’ve heard, hearing his side of the story. There are two sides to every story, and then there is the truth; it is down to you to choose how you will process this information; as corny as it sounds, you have to trust your gut on this one.
If you continue to pursue this relationship, you may feel apprehensive about being with him because of this information. If he starts the relationship at a disadvantage, it could sully your natural progression. Depending on how much you trust this source and their story, he may never fully feel like he’s getting a fair chance, so you’d be wasting your time and his time! Pursuing romance is always risky; it requires us to be vulnerable, open and trusting. All of a sudden, we’re allowing someone to be responsible for our feelings and that its a lot! If you don’t feel like you can commit to the process wholeheartedly, it isn’t worth chasing.
Given the alarming information you received, I think it is essential to interrogate why you may still want to be with this man. If you’re doing it because you have a scarcity mindset of eligible men and want to cling to him despite feeling burdened by this information, then it makes no sense to keep dating. I promise you, loneliness is not enough of a sticking factor when maintaining a relationship with someone you’re unsure about. On the other hand, if you’re keeping him around because you think you can be the one to change him, then I’m afraid that's also not going to work. The idea that we are more special than the last person is something we tell ourselves to make excuses for partners; it also provides us with a false sense of comfort. The only thing that keeps a man is wanting to be kept, as long as you know this and don’t take his actions as a reflection of you or your worth, you will be prepared to deal with the relationship.
Ultimately – and I hate to keep bleating on like this – the choice is yours. You must be in tune with your gut and emotions and make an executive decision. This probably won’t be the last time you hear negative information about a potential partner, so it falls on you to be sure of what you will and won’t tolerate. Define your boundaries and expectations, then stick to them because you’re less likely to be swayed by every piece of information you come across.