Ask Brian: I caught my boyfriend performing a sex act on his male friend at a music festival
Our no-nonsense agony uncle gets straight to the point of your most pressing issues
I need some sound advice. This is the third relationship I’ve been in where I’ve been cheated on.
The first boyfriend slept with a girl he met through work (a month after we had sex for the first time) and gave oral sex to his male friend at a music festival we were at (which I walked in on). I broke up with him after the festival and he told me about the girl he slept with.
The second boyfriend slept with my best friend who was the closest thing I've ever had to a sister, while I was in London for 5 days on a holiday with a friend. He also hit on my gay friend when he came over to visit me. I ghosted him out of my life.
The third guy I’d met through a dating app and he said he was looking for commitment. We became boyfriend and girlfriend after 2 weeks and I met his family and friends. I saw on his WhatsApp that he was messaging other girls. My intuition kicked in and I asked him if there was another girl on the scene and he didn’t respond. I told him he could be honest, that I could take it. He ghosted me and I told him through WhatsApp that I’m calling this a day. He’s a recovering gambling addict and his brother told me he shouldn’t be in a relationship. But I wanted to give him a chance.
I’m a sexually active woman and I’ve had lovers in between, some good some bad. But the 3 relationships I’ve had have resulted in my other half cheating.
I’m at my wits end. I’m broken hearted. Sometimes I just think to myself I’ll just go single permanently and be a single mother. I’m even thinking of buying my own house in a few years.
I’ve trusted and been let down.
Anyone I am interested in is either in a relationship or not interested in having a relationship with me.
There is an older man I’m interested in but he doesn’t respond to my emails or WhatsApp. He prefers to be called, which makes me wonder if he’s still married. I’ve heard he’s divorcing his wife but I’ve no evidence that he is or if he’s already in a relationship.
I asked my brother why men don’t want to commit to me and he said I’m not "wife material". I’m loud, opinionated, gregarious and know my own mind. I’m very articulate. I’m a bit edgy.
I’d like to meet someone who I can grow old with, be my best friend and lover, and that there would be loyalty.
Is it me? Where am I going wrong? I don’t want to change who I am but I’m also tired of being “cool girl.” I write this with a heavy heart.
I think you've really been quite unlucky in love, and I wouldn't let any of these guys' actions make you question yourself.
Although there aren't many accurate statistics on infidelity (after all, who admits to being a cheat?), I'd imagine it's become more common through the ease the internet and dating apps allows people to meet.
20 years ago you'd need to be out somewhere to meet a fling - now you can arrange a hook up from your phone while your other half is sitting beside you on the sofa.
I think you've suffered some nasty betrayals through all of this, particularly your second boyfriend who slept with your best friend. You suffered a double blow at the end of that relationship. The betrayal of your boyfriend, but you also lost the person who you'd naturally confide in during such a situation.
I do think you probably rushed into things with the third boyfriend; two weeks is a very short time to be together before meeting family.
You don't actually know if boyfriend number three was cheating on you, he never admitted it and he's allowed to have female friends. Being so badly burned before you will be more liable to suspecting people of cheating on you; however this isn't always going to be the case. It's possible he may have found your distrust and suspicion too much so handle so early on in a relationship.
Now he may well have been cheating - but I think you should only enter a relationship with an openness to trust and offering the benefit of the doubt to your partner. I don't think you did in this case, albeit for completely understandable reasons.
I really think you need to take some time to get yourself straight and stop considering your life incomplete because you don't have a boyfriend. It's not. If anything, you'll live fuller life by defining who you are as a person, not who you are as part of a couple.
So what if you buy a house by yourself or choose to have a child by yourself? There's absolutely nothing wrong with that if it's what you want to do. You don't need a man in your life to do either of those things.
You will constantly be let down if you are going to continue to invest so much of your self worth in relationships - because it will inevitably lead you into bad ones.
How about you accept that you want to be single for a while?
You're constantly looking for love - whereas love normally finds you.
Some of the happiest times in people's lives is when they're single - it's rare single life has lows to match those which can come from being in a bad relationship.
Relationships will always require work and effort, but it needs to be right to begin with to make that worth the time.
As long as you continue in this mindset that you need a boyfriend to be happy you're setting yourself up for a fail.
Set some time in your head - six months or a year - and tell yourself you're going to remain single. The peace from that will give you more clarity going forward in life.
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