For two years, I've patiently listened as my colleague detailed the time that she caught her boyfriend cheating on her. The incident happened Christmas 2012, and she has trouble letting it go. I understand her heartbreak, and I totally understand why the holiday will drudge up that painful memory.
What I don't understand is why she refuses to see her own culpability in the situation.
Over the holiday, the ex-boyfriend posted pictures on Facebook of his new girlfriend. My colleague called me in a rant, and she wanted me to side with her, to say that he was a no-good dog, and I refused.
And I'll explain why.
Let's go to the very beginning of this Messy Boots situation. (Messy Boots is slang for a bad relationship, that is, knocking boots with a messy person or within a very messy situation.) My colleague gave me permission to share this because she wants to know what YOU think specifically, if you think her ex is indeed a no-good-dog.
My friend met her boyfriend at work.
He told her that he was dating other people and she said she was cool with that. Three months later, he asked her to move in with him because they both could save money. That's what he TOLD her, "we could save money." He did NOT say, "I love you and want to take our union to the next level, so let's see how it goes if we live together." It was a great way to save on her own rent, and her lease was up, so she moved in with him.
In one fell swoop, my colleague managed to hit all the relationship no-nos; she mixed her panties with her purse (dating on the job) and she moved into his home without a backup plan of her own. Suddenly, she started referring to the guy as her boyfriend, although he had not defined their situation as such.
She cooked, and cleaned, and played the role of wifey and from the looks of it, everything was going well.
Until it wasn't.
He stopped coming home immediately after work. He took a weekend trip without her. And the straw that broke the camel's back--she found a condom wrapper in the clothes dryer.
When she confronted him, he sternly reminded her that, "I never lied to you. We are dating; we are seeing other people. If you don't like it, leave."
She began searching for an apartment and moved out a month later. She avoided him at work, although she couldn't avoid the fact that he flirted with others at the company.
She says he's a dog; I say that she should not have moved in with him without a clear understanding of his expectations. She says that he's a user, and that he never stopped her from doing 'wifey' things so he led her to believe she was the girlfriend. I say she took the offer to be a roommate as a relationship promotion, (from 'dating' to being the girlfriend), and it was her duty to seek clarity before moving in and/or playing wifey.
My point is, if a man says he's dating other people, please believe that until he tells you and shows you differently. We must take responsibility for the messy boots situations that we put ourselves in; if we don't look at the full picture, we will make the same mistakes time and again.