dating

I cheated on my boyfriend with a woman. At first, I genuinely believed it didn't 'count'.

I started a long-distance relationship with my high school sweetheart when we both went off to university in different states. It was hard for him and I to be so far away from each other, but our plans to get married and start a family after graduation kept us dedicated to our 1000-mile-away love.

Phone calls and the occasional surprise visit helped us along the way. But as anyone who’s been in a long-distance relationship knows, there are frustrations, temptations, and anguish that comes with wanting nothing more than to be with the one you love and realizing there’s not much you can do about it but stay hopeful.

I was 18 at the time, and he had just turned 20. We were kids, putting ourselves through the torture that most full-grown adults refuse to endure. We were, by no means, mentally or emotionally mature enough to handle the struggles of a serious relationship separated by such distance.

Watch: Emotional vs physical affair. Post continues below. 

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Still, it’s amusing to me now that back then, I thought I knew everything; about myself, about who I was as a girlfriend, and who I was as a young woman.

As my first year of university progressed, it was hard for my boyfriend and I to keep up with each other’s lives. Poor quality video chats on Skype were the highlight of our weeks but two busy uni kids with schoolwork, jobs, and social lives didn’t always have the time.

Then, I made a friend who made me feel a little less lonely.

She would forever change the way I saw myself and my sexuality. Her name was *Anne. She was beautiful with long brown hair and a contagious laugh that attracted boys and girls alike.

Anne started spending a lot of time at my dorm and we’d stay up late, eat junk food, do homework, and talk about sex — rather, she talked about sex. I’d only ever had sex with my boyfriend, and she was a lot more experienced than me.

She’d tell me her craziest stories, and I’d tell her with the utmost confidence, “I’m okay with never having sex with anyone else. I’m going to marry Mark someday.”

Anne and I grew closer when we started partying together.

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But the more parties we went to, the more comfortable we got around each other, naturally. We’d drink a lot, and come back to my place, giggling and shushing one another as to not wake up the other girls in our dorm.

We’d climb into my bed, or I’d climb into hers, and we’d fall asleep side by side.

We were at ease with each other, but I never once denied (to myself) that I was attracted to her. But I had a boyfriend. I was straight — I told myself.

Still, I’d fall asleep smelling her hair, and it was divine. She was divine.

The wilder we got, the less time I made for weekly Skype chats with my boyfriend. Then, Anne and I started making out with each other at parties. “It’s just for fun,” we’d say and laugh along to the hoots and hollers of the boys watching us. Our girlfriends would laugh and talk about how crazy we were when we drank.

I felt no guilt about the kisses because she was a girl. I was convinced it was all for fun, and that I was still being loyal to my boyfriend.

So, I casually mentioned that I had made out with Anne while we talked on the phone one morning.

“…You what?” he asked. I thought he would laugh or think it was hot like the rest of the boys around us.

“Uhh — we made out. But I didn’t kiss a guy. It was just Anne.”

“Why are you doing that?”

“It’s just Anne. It’s not like I like her or anything. She’s a girl. We’re just being dumb and drunk. I’m sorry if you’re upset.”

He was silent, and I knew I had really made him mad.

“I’m not okay with you making out with other people,” he went on. “Not even girls. Yes, that sounds hot and all — but I’m not there. You’re cheating.”

“See! You think it’s hot too! That’s all. We’re just doing it to be silly. And it’s only when we drink. It’s not like we’re walking around campus kissing each other!”

“Okay fine,” I said. “Sorry I mentioned it. It won’t happen again. But just stop saying that I’m cheating.”

“How can you not see exactly why that’s cheating?!”

“It’s not cheating! If you were here, or I was there, we wouldn’t be having this argument! I’m tired of being apart!” I yelled. Then I muttered something about having to go before he could respond, and I hung up on him.

That night, Anne and I had a threesome at a frat party.

We were both completely wasted. The guy in question was one she had been crushing on for weeks now, and she didn’t want to go upstairs with him alone. So, I went along as her support.

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I didn’t have sex with the guy, there was no kissing or intercourse between us. I remained convinced that that would be crossing the line.

But I kissed Anne, we went down on each other, and I couldn’t stop myself from holding her breasts while she was on top of our classmate.

And through all of this — I told myself that because Anne was my friend who was a girl, I wasn’t doing anything wrong. Even though I was naked in front of this other guy, because I hadn’t engaged with him, I was in the clear, I said.

After a while, Anne drunkenly told me I could leave them alone if I wanted.

Seeing her passionately make out with her crush in his twin-size bed made something click in my head. All of a sudden, I realised what was happening. I wanted to get as far away from them as possible and erase what I had just done.

I stumbled around in the dark room while I gathered my clothes and struggled to put on my heels.

I found my way out of the house and called my boyfriend as I walked to my dorm, as incoherent as I was.

“I had sex with Anne and another guy,” I cried out, feeling like the most horrible person on the planet. I’ll never forget his response. It broke my heart, even though he had all the place in the world to feel broken hearted, not me.

“Probably wasn’t the first time, right?” he muttered.

We broke up after that. But my short-lived heartbreak turned into an unhealthy craving for more attention, and Anne and I continued on with our two-woman-show, pretending to be each other’s girlfriends so guys would pay us attention until it became something neither of us ever addressed.

We started fooling around, just the two of us.

Alcohol was always involved, we never touched when we were sober. But as soon as we were drunk enough, we’d go back to my place or her place and we’d get undressed while listening to The Weeknd.

Our lips seemed to find each other with the help of cheap tequila, but like clockwork, when the next morning arrived, we’d pretend nothing happened. None of our other friends ever found out about us.

Several years later, my ex-boyfriend and I started dating again. We were living in the same city, and we happened to find our way back to each other.

When we finally talked about what happened during my university phase, I accepted that I had cheated on him. Of course I had. I was young, horny, deprived of sexual attention, and frustrated about being in a long-distance relationship.

And all of that still didn’t give me an excuse to do what I did. I wish I knew then what I know now.

Reflecting on past relationships teaches us so much, including how little we knew, even when we thought we knew everything.

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I had broken my boyfriend’s trust. I had shared myself physically and intimately with another person; I had cheated on him.

We came to the conclusion that we both had no business trying to stay together while living so far away, especially at such a young age.

We also discussed the elephant in the room — which was my sexuality.

I was attracted to Anne. There was no doubt about that. Yes, she and I were having fun, but there was a spark between the two of us that was not just “for fun”. We knew what we were doing; we were, after all, keeping our relationship a secret from our other friends.

And still, as neither of us had ever dated nor had sex with another girl, I know we were dealing with a lot of confusion and internal guilt about what we were doing. I can only speak for myself when I say, I was completely in denial about my sexual attraction to females as a whole.

Today, I’m more in touch with my sexuality. I identify as heterosexual, and I’ve never been in a relationship with another woman. I do acknowledge that I am attracted to women, but I can’t deny that nothing turns me on more than a man.

I don’t know what the future holds in terms of my relationships, whether I’ll become romantically involved with a woman one day, but I know I’m not in denial anymore.

I crave the body of another woman in bed when my boyfriend and I talk about having a threesome together. And when we tried it, and failed, I didn’t write off the idea completely. I still want to have sex with another woman and my boyfriend.

Romantic and platonic relationships alike, when they end, are a gift in a bittersweet way. They are a chance to grow.

This relationship taught me that sometimes, we have to make the mistakes we make to learn a lesson.

I wasn’t meant to be with my high school sweetheart forever. I denied my indiscretions. I was very confused about my sexuality. It took me years for me to see that he had been right all along — I had cheated.

Just because I was messing around with a girl didn’t erase the fact that I was being dishonest with him and myself.

We all mess up; it’s how we handle the aftermath that counts. We can live the rest of our lives being bitter or we can let go of our hate and thank the universe for a lesson on love and understanding. For helping us build ourselves into a more equipped and effective friend or lover for our future relationships.

The author of this story is known to Mamamia but has chosen to remain anonymous for privacy reasons. The feature image used is a stock photo.

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