It’s rare that I actually get to talk with people who aren’t my crew. For a self-proclaimed Internet radio personality and culture commentator, I can be pretty withdrawn. Nevertheless, earlier this week I butted in on a very interesting conversation two of my coworkers were having.
I forget how they got on the subject, but they (a man and a woman) were talking about relationships, one of my favorite subjects. Anyone who knows me knows that I am in a committed relationship and very happy. I spent a lot of years getting to the place where I could be mature enough to be faithful. I cannot see myself stepping out on my woman, and I expressed this sentiment to the table. The man, in essence, said, “You will.”
Naturally, I was taken aback at this statement. He was an older gentleman and had presumably been unfaithful in a long-term relationship before. This tended to be the case with many of the older men I knew who were married, cohabiting or were otherwise going the distance with their women. Not all of them, of course, but several of them had gotten or were getting a little side action. In the context of African-American relationships, this is purported to happen so often that it has become cliché. So that led me to think:
Is cheating inevitable?
Is every day I have with my woman just a countdown until my eye and my penis start to wander towards greener pastures? If so, that’s pretty damn depressing. Why am I even in this relationship? In my opinion, this is complete nonsense. Like many things in life, being unfaithful is a choice. I’ve made that choice more times than I care to mention, and I know firsthand the confusion and hurt it can cause. I’ve seen close friends and relatives have their lives flipped upside down because of side chicks (disease, children, etc.). That is not the kind of life I want to lead anymore, nor is it the kind of complication my life needs, so a few years ago I chose not to. It has not been easy; I live in New York City, and fine women abound here, of all shapes, sizes and colors, exactly how I like ’em. When many of them see me at my “day job,” they are clearly interested. What can I say? It’s a decent gig that pays pretty well, and I look damn good in my uniform. But I decided that my woman deserved to be with a man whom she could trust and have all to herself.
I think that people who say that people (read: men) are always going to cheat are weak in the mind. If a woman is expecting a man to cheat, she is subconsciously setting the stage for it to happen. Let me explain: there are many women who gave their all to the wrong man/men, and found themselves disappointed repeatedly. So they finally find a man who might be the exception to their rule, but they wouldn’t know because they put forth no effort in the relationship. So of course, the man, who truly wants to some attention, gets none at home, he has no choice but to step out. Sounds silly? Well, it should: it’s the same excuse given for/by women who cheat on their men. It doesn’t allow any space for personal responsibility. We are all adults, and have to be responsible for our own behavior. Shifting blame is childish.
If a man goes into a relationship expecting to cheat, it is no less immature. Why be in that kind of relationship in the first place if you have no intentions of being faithful? You don’t have to necessarily play at a monogamous relationship to be sexual with multiple people. It isn’t cheating when it’s understood that there are no expectations of exclusivity. Just be honest, and most of all, be safe. As for me, I’ve learned that I can only handle one woman at a time, and that’s all I need.