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-By Caleb Jones

It's so much easier. Right? Wrong.

Let's talk about cheating.  As always with these kinds of discussions, we need to get our definitions straight.  When I talk about cheating, I mean this definition, per my glossary:

Cheating - The act of promising monogamy to someone then getting sexual with someone else without the first person’s permission.

I know that seems obvious but a lot of you out there screw that definition up.  You can only cheat if you verbally promise monogamy.  If you're dating someone, haven't had "the talk", and that person get sexual with someone else behind your back, they have not cheated on you, regardless of how "close" you feel to that person.  

You might be pissed off and I understand that, but they didn't cheat.  Lots of people operate under the irrational assumption that exclusivity is implied.  It is not.  Monogamy is verbally stated and promised to, or it doesn't exist.   I've seen WAY too many people out there scream "he/she cheated on me!" when in fact they did nothing of the sort.

That leads directly into the key point I'm going to make here about cheating...but not yet.  First, a few things:

1. It is not possible to cheat on anyone if you haven't promised monogamy.  In 40 years of life, I have never cheated on anyone.  Ever.  However, as regular readers already know, I don't promise monogamy. So I can't cheat. That doesn't mean I can't annoy certain people when I fuck other people, but I can't cheat.  No one can accuse me of cheating because of my lifestyle.  It's very nice.

2. Cheating is a concept that only exists in the monogamous world.   In an open/poly world, there is no such thing as cheating.  At worst, if you have an OLTR you can violate the pre-agreed-upon rules you and your partner have set. But that's the worst you can do, and it's still not cheating.  With FBs and MLTRs there are virtually no rules and you can do pretty much whatever you like.

3. You cannot get your feelings hurt (at least not badly) by being cheated on if you simply expect human beings to behave like human beings.  For example, I never expect a woman to be monogamous to me. Never, ever, never.  I don't care if she's Not Like The Rest™.  I don't care if she's really religious or a "good girl" or a virgin when I first had sex with her or has "never cheated on anyone before" or has a lower sex drive.  She's still a human being.

Even when I was married and monogamous for nine years I didn't expect my wife at the time to be 100% monogamous to me.  I don't expect human beings to behave like angels 24/7.  Instead, I expect them to behave like human beings who have been biologically wired for 100,000 years and societally programmed for about 7,000 years to behave a certain way.  I don't expect women to be monogamous, nor should women expect the same of men, regardless of what is promised, and that goes for monogamous relationships and open ones.

For example, if an FB or MLTR or OLTR is monogamous to me while I'm fucking other people, great, I'll take it.  If she then fucks a dude, sucks, but I'll still take it.  Fair is fair.

That doesn't necessarily mean I'm happy when someone special I care about fucks someone else.  It simply means I'm not surprised, shocked, horrified, angry or devastated that my perfect Disney view of the world has been violated, which is exactly what happens to everyone else when their girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse cheats on them, which statistics show they do about 70% to 77% of the time (assuming the relationship lasts long enough).  (Check the glossary for the term CTF.)

As I've said a billion times, human beings are not long-term monogamous creatures and expecting them to be so is STUPID, regardless of whether or not you're in looooooooove or married or have kids together.

4. I am 100% against the act cheating and always will be, but not for the reasons you think.  When guys ask my opinion about it, I always say the same thing.  Don't do it.  Do not lie to women.  Do not promise things you can't or won't follow through on.  A true Alpha never has to lie to a woman or put up a false front to get what he wants.  He just does what he wants, and if she doesn't like it, her problem, she's welcome to leave.

I always tell guys I work with to not cheat.  Instead, don't promise monogamy in the first place, or if you already have, tell her the parameters of the relationship have changed and now you can both fuck other people.  Then go fuck other people.  If she leaves you, she leaves you. That's okay.  There are about three billion other women available to you on the planet; find a new one who is more compatible with who you really are.

(I realize everything I just described is much easier said than done, but what I said is still accurate.)

I am opposed to cheating because I am opposed to drama, and cheating always leads to drama, eventually.  I don't care how good you are at hiding it.  Eventually, you will get caught or someone will tattle (assuming the relationship lasts long enough).  Then it's drama time.  Not fun.  I prefer extremely high-fun, low-drama relationships and I hope you do too.

Now let me get to the main point of this post, something that I hope will change the way you think about cheating forever.  It is this:

The problem with cheating lies in the promise, not the cheating.  

The problem with you cheating is not the problem, the problem is that you made the promise to not cheat in the first place.

Let's say I promise to purchase a yacht from you for $10 million one week from now.  The problem is I don't have $10 million.  Instead my total net worth is $300.  A week later you deliver the yacht, ask for my money, and then I say "Sorry, can't buy it.  I only have $300."  You would rightly be angry.  You wouldn't be angry that I didn't have the money, instead you'd be angry that I promised you the money in the first place without having it.

THAT is how you need to view cheating.  If someone cheats on you, you should not be mad they cheated on you, you should be mad they made the promise to begin with (and mad that you believed them!).  It's a promise most people in the western world under the age of 60 should never make.  The problem is the promise.

If YOU have cheated on someone, the problem isn't that you're cheating.  You're just behaving like a normal, healthy human being.  No, the problem is you were stupid enough or deceptive enough to promise something that was virtually impossible for you to do.

In other words, you screwed up when you made the promise, not when you fucked someone else.

One possible objection you might have is "What about serial monogamy?  What if I don't plan on being monogamous forever to this person, just a for a while?"  Then the question I would ask you is: Are you 100% sure your partner is aware this monogamous relationship you're entering into is only temporary? Is your partner 100% clear that you plan on dumping him/her someday?


I like to live a happy, sexual, fun, passionate, exciting, low-drama lifestyle congruent to being a human with all the strengths and weaknesses being a human implies.  Therefore, I don't make that promise. Ever.  And I never will, even if I move in with a woman, have more kids, or get an OLTR, or (god forbid) get married someday.

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This article was originally published on April 8, 2012


  • Snow 2012-04-08 11:27:39

    You know, it's not even that non-monogamy is 100% perfect. It's just that being non-monogamous is a better, more realistic fit that being monogamous. Non-monogamy, or at least not expecting monogamy, seems to be a better practice than expecting someone to be a perfectly monogamous partner on a pedestal.

  • DB 2012-07-12 18:22:23

    So I have one question relating to all of this. What do you do if you've finally woken up from the matrix of beta oneitis, but now you HAVE promised this to a woman AND you have kids that you want to be a good father to. That's what's happened to me. I have a wife that married a needy guy she could control and now basically has no attraction for me no matter how alpha I go. She has no libido. I could alpha it to Brad Pitt levels and she'd say, ho hum. I am basically forming an exit plan, but not sure the best way to go about it. I know you went through divorce and have children. Have you ever expounded on that process or do you plan to? I'd be very interested in your thoughts on that. Like your typical pleasing beta I first tried to 'fix' my sexless marriage with talking. Ya, that didn't work. She promises to change, but never does. She just dangles the carrot in front of me hoping I'll leave her alone and stop pressing the issue. So that went on for a while and I did the resentful, pouting thing. I quickly snapped out of all of that though and then found game and alpha and realized it was 100% my fault from the beginning. There's no more talking. I've been up'ing my alpha all year and plan to keep going. She isn't on board obviously. She never married me for alpha. She has no libido and so sought out a beta that she could control and dictate no sex to. So, she keeps promising, but I've now basically detached. Advice from here? I like this line: " tell her the parameters of the relationship have changed and now you can both fuck other people" That's the plan. I'm planning to ask for an open relationship now as step one. I want to change the parameters. I want to be a good father to my children and she still is a good mother so if possible I'll be perfectly willing to do that in an alpha way. If that's not acceptable, then it essentially has become her choice and I'll do my very best to balance my children's happiness with my own. Either way, as a man in his mid 30s just now waking up and finding his masculinity, I refuse to stay celibate for the rest of my life.

  • Richard L 2014-08-17 03:31:40

    It is perfectly reasonable to expect monogamy from man and wife. I get your reasons. They depress me but as a negative statement of truth for some people they are refreshingly honest. Here is the thing though. I like the company of good looking women, who doesn't? But I will never have sex with anyone but my wife, and she feels the same way toward me. And I'm sex obsessed, unbelievably, but luckily even after 12 years of marriage and 14 together she still blows my mind in the bedroom, and that is nothing compared to the romance of actually being in this marriage with her. I had a dream where I was dead the other night. It was pretty terrifying nightmare actually but I found myself in a hellish version of purgatory and the whole time I was dead I was asking myself one thing. Where is my wife? Is she okay? Will she be okay? NOTHING else came into my head. Certainly not how many women I might have thought it would be fun to shag, not what car I drove, my house, my job, all meant nothing. I didn't even consider my kids and I adore them. I thought of her. That is a monogamous marriage, and moreover there is a silent majority of people out there who not only don't cheat but have NO intention or desire to do so. Props for your honesty, and I hope you can accept mine.

  • Carlito 2016-08-25 18:57:09

    How about this. Say you're not exclusive with a girl, not bf/gf, but she says to you that "I won't sleep with anyone else". Then she does. Is that cheating?

  • Blackdragon 2016-08-25 22:11:47

    No. You're not exclusive, so she can't cheat, regardless of what she says. Monogamy is not a statement, it's a promise, and a mutual one. So she's not a cheater (but she is a liar).

  • Tim 2017-04-28 08:12:36

    Who sleeps around more , men or women ? I thought this " getting notches " was a man thing. Isn't it mostly men that stray from a marriage ? Men are such hardwired. Women are hardwired to keep the home fires burning to protect their kids . I didn't know women stray. Surely they would be in the minority ? 70 % men would stray vs about 30 % women would stray ? So over twice as much men seek to bed other women as women want bed other men ? My theory is men " cheat " much more then women do. Is this true ?

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  • Dixie 2018-06-26 16:56:42

    Would you ever sleep with a woman who was cheating on her husband? Do you try to avoid the drama altogether, or is it more DADT with your casual encounters, like the players who don't bring up their kids? I keep meeting guys who admit to sleeping with cheaters, and it makes me question their judgment. Especially when they know the husband has a gun! I want to be able to trust my meta's because I don't want to bring any STDs home, and I don't trust cheaters. Seen my friends cheat on each other and bring home infections because they were careless. Sad thing is they don't even know which of them brought it home.