Savage Love

Asshole Moves

Comments

103
"Rule-breakers make shitty partners, so people attracted to rule-breaking lead difficult lives."

QF-ever-lovin'-TRUTH
104
@LIAR - Speaking as someone who has dated while having having children, resolve things or make a graceful exit from your guy's life.

My kids met ONE person I was dating* and only did so after he made it clear that he knew the seriousness of that step. Kids don't care about the vagaries of adult relationships - they care about stable, adult figures being around them and caring for/about them.
On the other hand, their pain and confusion has been palpable as my ex has gone through a series of "so totally serious we're living together" relationships.

There's a steep drop off between "decent" and "asshole" when you're involved with someone with a kid (or are someone with a kid who's trying to date) - sucks, but it's there.
Don't get the kid/s involved unless you're sure you - and they - can handle it.

_______
* OK, in fairness I hate dating, he was the only guy I actually dated while being a single parent and working FT / going to school PT, and we're now married.
105
@92 - I hear you.

Making love....what my wife is doing while I fuck her.
106
@80: "It is only two months, after all. And who says that one has become monogamous after a few fucks? If they haven't actually said the words to each other.. "

"I told him I couldn't, and he knew why,"

Whatever words were necessary, they've said those words to each other. They were in a monogamous relationship, and everyone involved knew it.

Then she cheated, and started making up bullshit to justify it. Now, she's in a nonconsensually nonmonogamous relationship, and, like LIAR, is trying to convince herself that she doesn't need consent.

Honest nonmonogamy, people. The honesty part is not optional.
107
Mx Wanna @77 - There is a universal aspect to the under/over 30 question, but there's a more historical aspect as well. A lot of today's young non-Wainthropps and their allies seem to be thinking that those of us who grew up in repressive times can't die off too soon.
108
Slut be a Lady tonight..
109
Yes yes Mr E.
And No No she isn't like LIAR. Cause LIAR has been in a relationship, is living with and helping her boyfriend rear his child.. The other girl has been dating the guy for two whole bloody months.
Of course she knew what was Expected of her. Had she agreed to that expectation though? Had they spoken words to each other about serious relationship status. Only she knows that.
110
@103: Inconveniently, people attracted to rule-breaking also tend to make bad partners--in multiple senses of "make"--so my sympathy is somewhat mitigated.

It seems to have some things in common with what it'd be like to be born a pedophile--stuck with preferences you can't satisfy without making the world a worse place. I have sympathy for both, but more for the people they harm.
111
@109: "Only she knows that."

Correct. So let's check out what she knew:

"I told him I couldn't, and he knew why,"

She knew she was in a monogamous relationship. There was no point at which she thought she wasn't; her later bullshit is just trying (and failing) to come up with excuses.
I agree that LIAR is much further into it, but they're both pretty deep in CPOS territory.
112
BiDanFan @99 -- why do you think a guy with a cuckold fetish would do the trick for LIAR? If she's into dominant guys, she's certainly not going to be into someone who gets off on their own inadequacy.
113
What bothers me, Lava@80, is the casual cruelty and selfishness of someone who has contempt for their partner sexually but keeps them around as a security blanket without even letting them know, because to do so would mean losing them.
114
@ 112 - The cuckold guy would obviously not be the one doing the dominating. He'd be the nice guy who provides her with a perfect relationship at home, while also giving her permission to fuck around to satisfy her urge to be roughed up.
115
@114 -- So why not just date a guy who's dominant? Why complicate things with a cuckold bf she doesn't want?
116
@113: Yeah. Abusers gonn'abuse.

@114: Yup. Sounds like a more abusive version of NAA's relationship.
117
Because Late a dominate man probably wouldn't indudge her two yr itches.. And with a cuckold, she could have her itch every other week if she wanted.
Re two month girl. How do you know she's staying with him as security?
She obviously enjoys his company. It's that what dating is about? Going out, having fun.
I think she should disclose to her two month friend, that she is not offering monogamy. Then go from there.
118
So why not an open relationship with a dominant guy then Lava? It sounds like the need to be dominated sexually is her primary need. Best to take care of that first. Unless it's the trangressiveness of it all that gets her off, in which case the permission of her cuckold boyfriend would take all the fun out of it.

And she needs to stay the hell away from little humans until she has her shit figured out.
119
Spelling!! Re @117. Dominant.
Mind you, I have no idea if dominant men make good cuckolds or not.
Her perfect partner would be a dominant cuckold. Then she could get cavemaned and be able to indulge her itch.

And two months of dating does not a partner make.
120
I don't know Late. She's 28 yrs old and sounds disconnected to me.
I mean, how many relationships would she have had by her age to really know she has a roving eye at the two yr mark? Sounds like a con job to me..
Open relationships take effort and I'm guessing a lot of empathy to deal with all the players. She sounds deficient in the empathy stakes.
And yes, she should stay well away from people with children.
122
Eud @106: "Whatever words were necessary, they've said those words to each other." Your excerpt doesn't offer proof of that. It just offers proof that TMI assumed they were exclusive. Her subsequent behaviour suggests that she reviewed the basis of that assumption and couldn't find the evidence to support it. (Not defending her actions; cheating on a commitment she'd only made in her own mind, and which she now feels guilty about, is still cheating.)

Late @112: Because what LIAR wants is to have her cake and eat it. She wants a relationship -- her pattern of getting stuck into commitments that last two years shows this -- but she also can't go too long without the thrill of fucking someone else. I don't think it's the being dominated, I think it's the cheating. Being in a relationship with a Mr Stable who also gets off on her fucking someone else would seem the ideal solution.
123
@Registered European: I'm a total weasel-eyed wimp

Sorry, I was not intending to put down submissive men, just expressing jealousy that this guy has a woman begging him to do the kind of things I can only fantasize about.

@BiDanFan: I'd rather fuck you than Sean.

I'm sure that's true for a bunch of reasons. But for the record, I'm a switch, or versatile, or whatever the kids are calling it, and my wife would totally freak out if I gave full expression to my dominant impulses, and we've been fucking for decades with no freak outs. Actually, I have been progressively rolling out more dirty talk, and stating some requests in the form of an instruction rather than a question, and (gently) clutching the hair on the back of her head, and giving her ass the occasional light spank, and she seems to be into all of that.
124
@29: " The guy's 23. His girlfriend is in another town. Cut the dude some slack."

No? He doesn't want to be in LDRs. That he keeps doing so is not a sign that he needs to be in LDRs.

@40: "There's a reason religions the world over use shame and guilt as the tools of power - it works."

It works... To keep them religious. It doesn't work to keep people from cheating on each other.

@51: Exactly, he didn't want to talk to her ANY day he wasn't around her. But he sure did want to keep her hanging on.

@78: So true.
125
TMI's letter, for reference:
I've been dating this guy for almost two months. It's been pretty good, except the sex isn't really the best. I have this other male friend who has had a crush on me. Long story short: My friend made a move on me the other night. I told him I couldn't, and he knew why, but to be honest, I was insanely turned on by his forwardness. He apologized, but a week later we hung out, and I told him that it really intrigued me, and we ended up having crazy cool sex—satisfying in all the ways the guy I'm dating isn't. I haven't told the guy I'm seeing about this and I don't plan to. But I feel guilty. I keep rationalizing that we have never had a talk about exclusivity, and I therefore have no obligation to him. I want to keep fucking my friend, but I also enjoy dating this other guy. Am I an asshole? Am I obligated to disclose that I'm not interested in monogamy with him?

Yes, she's an asshole. Of course one is "obligated to disclose that [they're] not interested in monogamy" with some someone they're dating, especially if they're already acting on that non-interest.

And yes, in our current culture, there is a presumption of monogamy once people are dating and fucking. Maybe that's a stupid presumption, but it exists. TMI knows that her boyfriend considers this relationship to be monogamous, and she knows that the friend considers her to be cheating, because the friend also considers her to be in a relationship that is supposed to be monogamous ("I told him I couldn't, and he knew why").

"I keep rationalizing that we have never had a talk about exclusivity, and I therefore have no obligation to him." Most couples who are dating and have been having sex probably don't have a talk about exclusivity. Perhaps they always should--perhaps that should be the norm, that talk should exist on some sort of cosmic dating timeline--except when? I tend to have it after the third time I have sex with someone, or earlier, in that I identify myself as not being monogamous. But I have gone out with men who were surprised that I said I didn't expect that we were exclusive until and unless we talked about it and came to that agreement. They said that they'd never met a woman who didn't assume exclusivity once they began having sex (as I typically have sex on the second date with someone, that sounds crazy to me, but then my having sex on a second date might sound crazy to some of those women).

So yes, LavaGirl @117, LateBloomer is right @113 that TMI is keeping this poor guy around as a security blanket. The fact that she "enjoy[s] dating him" doesn't negate that. She says "it's been pretty good;" she says "the sex isn't really the best." She concedes that she didn't respond to her friend's pass when he first made it, but that she initiated the sex that they had the following week. With a friend. Who has a crush on her. Ordinarily, one would expect her to want to date the friend instead of Mr. Almost Two Months Who Doesn't Really Do It For Her; the fact that she didn't mention that as a possibility suggests that he is unavailable or uninterested in actually dating her. I suspect if he wanted to really date her, she'd dump the other guy in a heartbeat--she doesn't sound that invested. Which is fine: it's been not even two months and the sex is not that good. What she needs to do now is to break up with the guy and look for someone she's more compatible with.

Lastly, this is the part that really interests me: TMI concludes her letter asking : "Am I obligated to disclose that I'm not interested in monogamy with him?" This doesn't mean she is someone who doesn't intend to be monogamous in general or that she sees herself as being incapable of monogamy; it suggests that it is only with this guy who doesn't satisfy her sexually that she isn't interested in monogamy. That is not a philosophy, that's just a rationalization.

126
@122: "Your excerpt doesn't offer proof of that. It just offers proof that TMI assumed they were exclusive."

Yup. So in your opinion, why was she assuming this? (Hint: Because she, her boyfriend, and her friend all knew damn well that they were exclusive.)

"Her subsequent behaviour suggests that she reviewed the basis of that assumption and couldn't find the evidence to support it. "

No, her subsequent behavior suggests that she's a cheating piece of shit. CPOS rationalizations aren't admissible. If she'd actually only made the commitment in her mind, the "and he knew why" part couldn't have existed. But it did exist. It's right there in the letter. I even bolded it a few times.

Since that line is completely incompatible with any belief--on the part of anyone involved--that she wasn't in a monogamous relationship, we should start by acknowledging that she was in a monogamous relationship. She knew it, her partner-in-cheating knew it, and it seems safe to assume that her cheated-on partner knew it too.

Any reading of the letter that doesn't acknowledge that she was in a monogamous relationship is an incorrect reading, because it ignores what's in the letter.

If it's your contention that they weren't in a monogamous relationship, you need to come up with some other explanation for why everyone involved, including her, knew she was in a monogamous relationship.

If I steal something, that's not proof that I've never heard of the concept of private property. If I acknowledge that something is yours, and I steal it, and then mention that I stole it, and someone wants to claim that I just wasn't aware of the concept of private property, that's a heavy lift. It's hard to claim ignorance on her part after she's admitted that she was not ignorant.
127
@91: It's a lot easier to wow someone online than it is to be around them 24/7. If he thinks texting a few times a week is a chore, dude is going to be so very unprepared for his first live-in relationships. I see him not doing very well until he wraps his brain around the concept of partner as fellow-human in his space.

@112: Yeah, that makes no sense. Someone boring that she can cheat on is still someone that bores her and wastes both of their time.

@119: "Mind you, I have no idea if dominant men make good cuckolds or not."

Not that I've ever heard, but probably depends on the dynamics of the partners. I would guess that she enjoys the scenario more when he's NOT around.
128
@125: "Most couples who are dating and have been having sex probably don't have a talk about exclusivity. "

Isn't that THE talk? "Things are great, let's take things exclusive"? Or am I just being optimistic and people just shrug, hem and haw their way into ambiguously "committed" situations while their tindr profiles remain active?
129
@125: "They said that they'd never met a woman who didn't assume exclusivity once they began having sex (as I typically have sex on the second date with someone, that sounds crazy to me, but then my having sex on a second date might sound crazy to some of those women)."

Just FWIW, the first part matches my experience for any woman who doesn't have sex on the first date (those are less likely to presume monogamy). I'm not sure about the second part; most women, in my experience, have sex on the second date and assume that this means you're now in a monogamous relationship with them; as far as I know, that's normal.

Agreed on the "with him" part, too. She's realized she doesn't respect him enough to respect the commitments she (and almost everyone else) knows damn well they've made. That doesn't mean she's unsuited for monogamy, it just means she's a shitty person who's gotten her hands on a tiny bit of power and decided to abuse the hell out of it. This, too, is normal.
130
@126: Eud: I'm not claiming ignorance. I'm claiming technicality. I like how you chose not to quote the part of my post that agrees with the assessment of TMI as a CPOS. Hmm. As for "why was she assuming this?", read @125.
131
@122: "Her subsequent behaviour suggests that she reviewed the basis of that assumption and couldn't find the evidence to support it."

Well, far be it to create the reductionist profile of a "cheater", but some people create an alternate reality to justify any behavior. It doesn't have to be based on fact, immature men and women ruleslawyer themselves dishonestly into whatever endgoal they want to find themselves in, no matter whether they were given a direct"sign" or whatever relationship-equivalent to Jesus appearing in a slice of toast. They have a need, and it's going to get filled. And that they got a lightbulb over their head is no self-justification, you can not assume that it's necessarily based on anything the partner did to encourage her in her process.
132
@125: "They said that they'd never met a woman who didn't assume exclusivity once they began having sex (as I typically have sex on the second date with someone, that sounds crazy to me, but then my having sex on a second date might sound crazy to some of those women)." These people are called "serial monogamists." I too have been surprised by people who assumed we were now in a relationship just because we'd had sex. If we're still having sex in three months, THEN we're in a relationship.
133
@129: "That doesn't mean she's unsuited for monogamy, it just means she's a shitty person who's gotten her hands on a tiny bit of power and decided to abuse the hell out of it. This, too, is normal."

It certainly means that she's unsuited until she can get a grip on that bit of megalomania. Not uncommon among men and women, but not "normal" in the healthy relationship sense.
134
And you know this how nocute @125? Your magic ball tell you that this girl
Is keeping a guy of two months around for security. You can agree with Late's perspective.. But you don't Know.
In the culture I grew up in, fucking didn't mean monogamy. Then I came of age in the 70s. So my culture was a little turbulent.
135
@120 Lava - 28 is not too young to be able to detect a pattern of behavior in LTRs. Furthermore, I think it's more common than not that women get bored in LTRs after the infatuation stage passes, whether the relationships are monogamous or not, but they react to that in different ways. I'm not trying to defend LIAR, who I agree is a CPOS, I'm just saying it sounds reasonable to me that she knows this about herself by the age of 28.
136
Boring old Mr E is off again. Yawn. Yawn.
Sleep time in Oz, that's why I'm yawning.
137
@130: I thought Avast fully addressed the "technicality" issue in #8.

And no, "technicalities" aren't something made up after the fact, and it's clearly made up after the fact. Exploiting a loophole only happens when the loophole existed before the exploiting. Just doing whatever and inventing reasons why the rules (which you've agreed to) somehow no longer apply to you isn't a technicality, it's just bullshit.

It's also too late to exploit a loophole once she's already admitted that she knew the loophole didn't exist, which she did.

@132: "If we're still having sex in three months, THEN we're in a relationship."

I hope you tell people that up front. Unusual views on ethical relationships need to be disclosed early. "I don't believe in paying off debts" is something to tell someone before asking to borrow money.
("Ha ha! You thought 'borrow' meant I was going to pay you back! Joke's on you!")
Similarly, "I believe it's okay to cheat on you, and I will suddenly explain this belief after I get caught" isn't really a healthy way to conduct a relationship. Deliberately letting someone think they're in a monogamous relationship, when they aren't, is never not cheating.

@133: "It certainly means that she's unsuited until she can get a grip on that bit of megalomania. Not uncommon among men and women, but not "normal" in the healthy relationship sense."

Fair enough. I was using "normal" to mean "common" or "default," rather than healthy. Because you're right, it sure as hell isn't. I meant that I didn't think she's one of the people who's hard-wired for nonmonagamy, necessarily; plenty of inherently-monogamous people act shittily sometimes. I mean, if I choose to drive in the breakdown lane the instant the cops aren't looking, it doesn't mean I can't drive, it just means I can't be trusted to do it ethically without supervision.
138
@135: Yeah, grats to her for recognizing the problem, boo for willfully failing to take it into account and falling back on complaining about it versus taking any steps to move on from less-worthy partners at that state of boredom.
139
@137: " I was using "normal" to mean "common" or "default," rather than healthy."

It's certainly not "the default", though.
140
@136: Remember that thing you said you'd do if the genders were reversed, and which, now that the genders are reversed, you're not doing? I do. Were you lying, or just stupid?
141
What a lot of bullshit you talk Mr E. Ethical
Relationships as defined by?? Oh of course, You.
People fuck. And yes they date for a bit and fuck.. Who has decided the cut off point where all of a sudden this pair who are fucking are monogamous.. Unless the words are Spoken to each other.
142
@139: I don't really agree--people doing whatever they feel they can get away with seems a lot like the default, to me. I mean, there's a reason we have police, rather than just assuming that everyone will stay out of the breakdown lane on their own. People follow incentives.
143
@140: Your gender based insecurity is self-inflicted, and fairly hypocritical for how often you make wide-sweeping claims about women. The projection combined with sensitivity is not unsurprising, though.
144
And @140 means what?
OMG look at the time. 1.15am. This book I'm reading is just so good. Have to be up
In five hours or so. What was I thinking.
145
@141: Anyone care to place any bets on whether Lava's new "There's no such thing as non-explicit monogamy" belief will still exist next time it's a woman being cheated on?
146
Days like this, I am glad I am out of the dating realm. I think its hard right now, because we are going through a sea change where the unwritten rules of courtship are changing. Certainly, when I was a teenager, there was no three-date-rule (have sex on the third date, I will never forget when my dad decided to ask me about in my twenties. Squicky!). If you were having sex, it was considered committed and exclusive. Of course, people broke these rules, and women were called sl*ts when they did, but the rule still existed and was understood.

In my late twenties, when I started dating again after a divorce, the rules had shifted to the three date rule, and the first man who raised it was shown the door. I decide when I want to jump into bed with a guy. In the case of the dude who became my husband, it was the second date. At that point, I know we had a discussion, then, and there, whether we were exclusive. I also know we didn't consider ourselves exclusive, despite having sex, without the discussion, but then we were older and it wasn't our first rodeo. But we weren't even BF/GF at that point either. It was our second date!

Obviously, what counts here is that LW thinks she broke the exclusivity role, and her boyfriend won't be thrilled. I think its a reasonable rule of thumb to assume that one is exclusive when one moves to BF from "just dating." Complicated, and LW will simply have to understand that in this new free world, where one can simply be FWB, or poly, or monogamous, that freedom to set one's own social contract also requires one actually verbalize it.

So verbalize it, and let the chips fall where they may. Unfortunately, LW will be learning the other important lesson of adulthood - other people are free agents, with their own feelings, and are allowed to make different choices than what we would want.

Its really hard, I am facing it with my kidlets right now. Ug
147
@Lava - You are not alone in that assumption. I've never assumed monogamy as a default and have always relied on an actual conversation to establish that. Having said that, the way the LW worded it, it sounds like she's acknowledging it was the default assumption for both her and her partner, though it's unclear to me how she knows this about him.
148
@146: Thanks, DarkHorseRising, for this.
149
@142: Hrm. Well, abstractly I don't disagree that there are a lot of people I wouldn't want to date if I was single, however I feel simpler screens of partner history and would rid me of most of these trainwrecks.

Besides. I have more to lose from overactive misanthropy than gain.
150
@143: And you were making sense for a moment. But I guess that's over, now that you're back to gendered slurs and idiocy. I guess you could only avoid double standards for a very short while, huh?

For background, for anyone else reading: Last week, a man with relationship problems wrote in, and his letter was 80% about his wife's feelings, and 20% about his own feelings, and Lava chastised him for being too concerned about his own feelings. When called on it, she falsely claimed that she'd do the same to a woman who was paying so "little" attention to her partner's feelings, and that she wasn't just shaming a guy for not perfectly living up to his gender role stereotypes (like UAR is doing now).

Now we have letters from women that are 100% about their own feelings and 0% about their partner's. Lava isn't chastising them for it, even though she insisted that she'd be equally upset if a woman did it. But she's not.

Turns out she was either lying, or just has a breathtaking lack of self-knowledge.
151
@146 DarkHorse - Ah, yes. The boyfriend/girlfriend labels. It's been so long since I've dated, I'd forgotten about that part. That awkward stage when you wonder how to describe the person you've been dating and sexing. That sometimes clued me in that the guy assumed we were monogamous, introducing me as the girlfriend. But then we'd have the conversation. Maybe LW and her guy describe each other as bf/gf, in which case I can see why she'd assume he thinks it's monogamous.
152
@147: It's tricky. On the one hand, I've never met a woman who made that assumption before cheating on a partner who'd been lead to believe they were monogamous (as opposed to retroactively, after getting caught cheating, claiming that the relationship wasn't exclusive in the first place). Or a man, for that matter.

But the hard thing is: I wouldn't, would I? It's the same as how you only usually hear about the open marriages that didn't work out. When it works smoothly, it works quietly; when it blows up, it blows up very loudly.
153
@145: Regardless, any person should explicitly work to communicate expectations and not take anything for granted. Whether they use an arbitrary date rule or not, certainly not to assume, but the longer the dates go, the greater necessity to restate the terms and interest.
154
seandr @23
Sorry, I was not intending to put down submissive men, just expressing jealousy that this guy has a woman begging him to do the kind of things I can only fantasize about.

No apologies necessary, I understood that. (For the record, I'm more vanilla than submissive really.)
155
@153: I'd agree that counting on people to make the usual assumptions isn't always going to work, but it's also necessary. If someone asks to borrow money, you do assume that they mean what everyone else means by "borrow."

...You know, I just realized that, in our 10-year marriage, I've probably never explicitly said the words "I agree not to fuck other people" to my wife.

I predict that exactly zero people here will believe that therefore it's not cheating if I go fuck someone else. After all, we didn't agree to monogamy... in crazypersonland. But that's not where most of us live. If you're not going to abide by the normal assumptions, the onus is on you to explain that in advance. If you're not going to pay the money back, don't ask to "borrow" it and then claim that in your culture, "borrow" just means "take."
156
What the LWs all have in common is that they wrote in to Dan looking for some reassurance... NOT advice. Not real advice anyway. They all want to know if they can have their cake and eat it too. This tells me they all already know the answer. Assholes.

I see no point in defending the behavior when the LW already knows it's more or less indefensible. If, for example, TMI had no reason to feel guilty...and she knew her "bf" wasn't in exclusive-mode either... she would not be writing Dan. Its pretty simple.

LW1- move on. Two months is way too soon for a cheating hiccup. It means there will be more of them.... so do your bf a favor and let him go gracefully. That way... if you decide a year from now that you are ready for his monogamy... you may still have a chance with him. Avoid the pain you know you will cause him and yourself by ignoring this episode.
LW2- get into a CDR (close distance relationship) or none at all. A relationship is something that requires participation. If you don't want to participate in one... give yourself a break and don't be "relationship guy" for other people's sake. (your mom hammering you to have a girlfriend or something?)
LW3- you suck. You caught yourself in the moment and didn't fuck the dude... then went through with it the next day? You couldn't keep it in your pants long enough to talk this out without someone (anyone!).... or to weigh the outcomes? ick. I hope you make this right (by letting this guy go instead of being selfish)
157
@155: "...You know, I just realized that, in our 10-year marriage, I've probably never explicitly said the words "I agree not to fuck other people" to my wife."

You've never discussed cheating, exclusivity, or some form of her and only her?

Even explicit isn't enough for some people (the aforementioned ruleslawyers who create their own exceptions) but that's no reason not to encourage people to establish an understanding.

Why infantilize someone you're willing to date them exclusively? Even of you don't have faith in the populace at large, assumedly you have faith in them.
158
32-BiFan-- You ask such a reasonable question. I'm afraid I can't answer. I'm now sorry I brought up how I think the dynamic changes if it's a gay man pondering monogamy and cheating after only a few months of dating since I'm totally unable to support my supposition. Sorry.
159
I just see adulthood as being able to rely on people more due to making good decisions, but at the same time making them more able to rely on you due to your making those same good decisions, communicating better and not assuming what is "obvious" to avoid any ambiguity. I mean, it's probably more subtle than "HELLO I WILL NOT CHEAT ON YOU OK", little things here and there to avoid unnecessary deceptions.
160
@BiDanFan: These people are called "serial monogamists." I too have been surprised by people who assumed we were now in a relationship just because we'd had sex.

Yeah, that is a little surprising. Back in my serial monogamist days (circa late 1700s), as soon as I realized I'd be seriously bummed out if she was seeing other guys, I'd ask her if she was, and she'd say no and ask me if I was, and I'd say no, and then we'd both say we weren't interested in other people, and then we'd celebrate by firing our muskets in the air and enjoying a hot exclusive fuck.

I don't think it would be possible for me not to explicitly settle that question.
161
@156 LW3- you suck. You caught yourself in the moment and didn't fuck the dude... then went through with it the next day? You couldn't keep it in your pants long enough to talk this out without someone (anyone!).... or to weigh the outcomes? ick. I hope you make this right (by letting this guy go instead of being selfish)

Yes, a thousand times yes!
162
@155, I will tell you that my husband and I did explicitly have that conversation in our relationship at several points. This would have been in the 2004-2006 range, we've been together for a little over a decade, and I am in the late thirties. I provide this information because, as I stated above, there seems to be a tremendous change in the unwritten social contract and what I experienced is very different than what the twenties experience.

We had the discussion after we first jumped in bed at date 2 (heh). He said he wasn't going to tell me I had to be exclusive, but he couldn't do sex without exclusivity. I followed on shortly afterwards on exclusivity. We also discussed open/closed relationships, cheating, monogamy or not. At the time (at a world weary 28) it felt so.... ug... high school (I hadn't discovered SL at that point). In hindsight, it was brilliant, and perhaps why as far as sex is concerned, we've rolled on all cylinders. I think it was the very unvanilla history I had previously had with my first husband that lead to the conversations, because my husband wanted (and wants) monogamy period. I can have a girlfriend I don't need to "share," (bi here), but that's about it.

I do not absolve LW1 over cheating. I think she's playing games, because even without an express verbal conversation, one can often know exactly which way the wind is blowing. I knew before Hub opened his mouth that monogamy was all that was on the table with him. So she feels guilty. Good. She cheated, she's rationalizing, she's being a CPOS. But CPOS, as Dan specified, isn't automatically permanent. So now she getting ready to have a learning experience....

As to whether the bf should have or should have not assumed they were exclusive? I think that is where your agitation is coming from. (I haven't read everything because the gender wars is so tiresome for me). My answer is, "I don't know. I'm not sure." How many dates have they really gone on in two months? How do they represent themselves to the world? I could see it either way - that he was reasonable to make the assumption or not.

I have a lot of trouble putting down the lenses through which I view life because I am older, a bit jaded, and have experienced way too much non-exclusive sex while "dating" to think exclusivity should be assumed. While you did things differently with your wife and made assumptions - great that worked out for you - that doesn't mean the rest of the world functions on the same expectations. I certainly didn't.

So should she get off the hook on "technicality?" No, she knows the score even if it wasn't expressly discussed. That, however, does not mean that her boyfriend of two months was "right" to rely on the assumption they were exclusive either. While LW1 will learn from this experience, so will her boyfriend - that one should communicate and not assume.

I don't have much to say about LW2 or LW3 other than DTMFA. Lord.
163
@157: Oh. My point was that "explicit" and "verbal" are not the only modes of communication people use--and aren't even what people normally use--so I don't like the idea of invalidating mutual agreements on the grounds that they were made using more normal methods. Saying "hey, our monogamy agreement wasn't explicit and verbal, so it's invalid!" is just as bullshit as saying "well, I didn't make that promise in writing, so it doesn't matter what promises I made that were merely spoken!"

If we're talking about encouraging people to be explicit, then I agree completely. Excusing people for breaking non-verbally-explicit agreements, not so much.

"You've never discussed cheating, exclusivity, or some form of her and only her?"

We have, but I doubt I've ever, in words, explicitly said our relationship was monogamous. (Why would I?) Anyone buying TMI's fake technicality just issued me a license to cheat.

Come to think of it, I also haven't explicitly promised, in words, not to run over my neighbor's dog. Or children. Shit, they haven't even specifically asked me not to!

I can't wait until TMI gets a dog, or a kid. Better hope she remembers to explicitly ask everyone on Earth not to run 'em over! And that everyone agrees, explicitly. I suspect when this happens, she'll pretty rapidly change her mind about her new ethical system. Shit, she didn't even explicitly ask Dan not to publish her real name and contact information.
164
@ 96
Lava, We used to be more or less on the same page desire -wise, but that has changed. Nowadays "the shop is closed" sign may be in the window for 3 1/2 weeks at a time. During these times I am tempted to ask if "that part of our lives" (this was her expression) together is over. My native tendency is to panic, then despair of things ever improving, and look elsewhere. I do not ask her, (if our intimate life is over) however, because I have worked for myself for many, many, years and she owns half of everything and I hope to actually enjoy a retirement someday.
15 years ago when this dynamic was starting to take hold I tried to envision myself starting over alone, and I thought I could see a way forward and that I could actually do it.
Not anymore.
As I write this It sounds cowardly, I know. I am not being true to myself, hell I am not being true to her. Back into my old mode of going forward day-to-day.
Thank goodness for my "E-pals" on S.L.
Re springtime in OZ- Congrats and the change inn season!
WE start October today the loveliest month of the year in SW Ohio (IMHO)
165
LIAR: "If I'm happy in my relationship, and the sex we have is consistently good, sometimes amazing, is that enough? Am I giving up on an aspect of my sexuality if I stay with him, or am I just looking for excuses to fuck other people?"

Suppose you have a short list of requirements in your partner. Stability, sense of humor, enough compassion to get you through rough spots, ambition, dominant sex, kindness. Is the dominant sex more important than the others? Are you able to make reasonable sacrifices? You may not realize it, but your 2 year boyfriend has made some sacrifices in being with you. EVERYONE does on some level. Change that list around.... and give your boyfriend that domme sex appeal you wish he had... but take away his sense of humor entirely. Are you happy? or are you writing Dan to ask if you should stay with a humorless prick because he is phenomenal in bed?

Rare is the relationship that has 100% of every quality. Do you want to be poly? if your current boyfriend was into it... and you found yourself needing him for something but he was unavailable because he was with another partner... how would you feel about that? Poly sounds great on paper... but unless YOU are willing to make sacrifices TOO... poly will not be the answer. Of course, i have heard of men and women who manage to pull off the ultimate coup and get to have sex with whoever they want while still being the center of the universe in their primary relationship (with a monogamous person).... but maybe then you would write Dan asking if your primary was too much of a doormat...and if you should upgrade him.
166
@163, are you setting up a strawman on purpose? Its against the law to run over a child; not a lot of wiggle room in there.

How relationships are designed, whether exclusive or not or when? My impression is that there is a tremendous amount of variability, especially among the twenty-somethings, and certainly no law book that sets out, in stone, what is acceptable or not. I think relationships are a rather dangerous area to just "assume" anything.

As to children, in my own case, I had to be very explicit with my children from a young age about - don't hit the dog with a stick, don't hit your sister with a stick, don't grab your sister's neck, don't throw your food on the floor, etc. etc. etc. Children do have to be taught respect for life, and in other countries (China comes to mind, recent article on this) the social assumptions in that area aren't the same here. In China, if you hit someone in your car, you go back and run them over a few more times, to make sure their dead due to the perverse incentives of their legal system. If some from china accidentally clipped a pedestrian, you might actually have to explicitly tell them not to go back and run the b@st@rd over to make sure he's dead.

Clarity in sexy time; a good thing.
167
@163: I'm not suggesting that you can create contingencies for jerks to not be jerks that they won't find new and exciting ways to set ablaze, just suggest nonjerks continue bettering their own lives where they can.
168
@162: "How many dates have they really gone on in two months? How do they represent themselves to the world? I could see it either way - that he was reasonable to make the assumption or not. "

These are all good questions, but yeah, like you said--she answers them all:

"I told him I couldn't, and he knew why..."

There went any chance that her rationalization isn't completely false. There's only one interpretation to be had, right there. The only reason she could've written that was if she was in a monogamous relationship, she knew it, he knew it, and the other "he" knew it too. Literally nobody was confused about whether she had a boyfriend or not, or about whether it was monogamous or not. If this wasn't the case, that line wouldn't be there.

Given that both of them were completely certain that she was in a monogamous relationship with her boyfriend, I think it's beyond absurd to think the boyfriend had no reason for assuming the same fact that was immediately obvious to every other person we know of. He had the same reasons the other two people did, and those reasons were apparently sufficient to make it beyond question for the other two; note that the letter describes no ambiguity whatsoever until she needs some after the fact, and she acknowledges that she's making it up. Trying to find some way to accuse the boyfriend of making the wrong assumption requires working very hard and ignoring the content of the letter, and by that point it seems reasonable to ask why we so badly want to find a way to impugn the victim.

TL, DR: Her boyfriend was absolutely right to think they were in a monogamous relationship; he very obviously had every normal reason to think so, and absolutely no reason not to. This is made clear by the fact that no one thought otherwise, or gave any hint of even the slightest doubt.

"I have a lot of trouble putting down the lenses through which I view life because I am older, a bit jaded, and have experienced way too much non-exclusive sex while "dating" to think exclusivity should be assumed. "

Should be? Correct, it shouldn't. Is assumed? Yes, it is. If that assumption is being made incorrectly, people should correct it, rather than exploit the trust that's mistakenly being placed in them. I was talking about is, not ought. It oughtn't to be that way; that's very far from the best way it could be. But that seems to be the way it is, for most people. I don't know how many people I've dated, but I've never had an "exclusivity" conversation with anyone, and I don't know if I've even met anyone who has.

I assume it's different for older people, or for younger people too, now--I've been off the market for a dozen years, and was pretty young at the time--but that's the world with which I'm familiar.

"While LW1 will learn from this experience, so will her boyfriend - that one should communicate and not assume."

This doesn't work, though; there will always be loopholes for the people who want them. Promised not to fuck other people? "Well, honey, we didn't technically fuck, we made love. Totally different, so I didn't cheat." It's not practical to expect everyone to explicitly write out everything they don't want done to them. Explicitness doesn't actually protect anyone from ruleslawyering; at some point you have to trust, which means picking people who are trustworthy. And with someone trustworthy, you don't have to worry about whether they snuck any fine print into the contract.
169
@164: Have you read The Married Man Sex Life Primer? It's cheap, and worth a look.
DISCLAIMER: Learning to be sexy feels really weird for straight men, because we're products of a culture that says making money is all that's required. Still worth it.

@166: " Its against the law to run over a child; not a lot of wiggle room in there. "

By TMI's creative new version of ethics, that law only applies if the parent in question explicitly asked me, specifically, not to run over their kid, and I agreed, explicitly.

As soon as TMI hits somebody's kid with her car, I expect her to update it to "well, I agreed not to run over, but that's not the same as agreeing not to hit the kid with my car, so I'm in the clear."

"other countries (China comes to mind, recent article on this) the social assumptions in that area aren't the same here. In China, if you hit someone in your car, you go back and run them over a few more times, to make sure their dead due to the perverse incentives of their legal system."

This is what I was talking about--and to clarify, that's not a social assumption, that's a reaction to a broken legal system creating perverse incentives. Nobody thinks it's right to murder someone just because you hit them. But people follow incentives. Take a bunch of normal people and put them in a situation where they can save a lot of money by murdering an innocent person, and yeah, you'll start getting a lot more murder.

@167: Yeah. There's no way to jerk-proof an agreement; no matter how much anti-jerkery fine print there is, the jerks will always come up with ways around it, because they don't actually give a shit about the rules. If they did, they wouldn't be jerks in the first place.
170
Eud - there is always the possibility that she tells her BF about it...and he cops to having fucked someone too... under the same loophole. Though it would not absolve her from having done something she was somewhat ashamed of...as that SHOULD be an internal dilemma of her own making....

TMI - your boyfriend might have the same feelings that you do: namely that the sex is less than stellar. Your letter implies it is his fault for the lack of fire in the bedroom(or at minimum...that you are not really attracted to him)...but maybe you two just don't have that chemistry. It happens. Also... if your 2 month BF came to you and said he had been fucking a friend of his... is your answer "thank god! me too!" or is your answer "fuck you!"....
171
@Chairman: there is always the possibility that she tells her BF about it...and he cops to having fucked someone too

Sure, but I'm going to say there's a 99% chance he hasn't fucked anyone else and would be pretty hurt to learn that she has, or that she can't do monogamy with him.

Given that they're only two months in, I think the humane thing to do is simply end the relationship before he gets further attached as Dan suggested, and spare him the pain of pondering an offer of nonmonogamy and all of its unflattering implications. Leading a guy on, or using him, or taking advantage of a power imbalance, or crushing his ego are all far worse crimes in my opinion than secretly cheating on him before you've hit the 2-month mark.

Your letter implies it is his fault for the lack of fire in the bedroom

Right, that's because he's the guy. As such, it's his job to take the lead and figure out how she works. She certainly can't be expected to just offer up feedback or instruction, unprompted and out of the blue, at least not until she matures into middle age.
172
I agree... odds are bad he has fucked anyone... i just saw so much speculation in the thread that i figured i would add more. ha.
173
About texting, I was just reading about some neurological research that studied the release of feel-good hormones when we hug people, hold hands, talk to loved ones on the phone. The only thing that did not cause us to feel better? Texting. I love tech and text all the time, but if it is the only thing going on in your relationship science says you will be miserable. Find a person nearby you can actually touch now and then.
174
Oh and when I hear LIARs letter I can't help but think that she either needs to find someone who wants an open relationship or resign herself to short term relationships until she's too old to get any. Either way, tell your boyfriend you cheated on him and then tried to renegotiate the deal after the fact because you are an asshole who does not care about him or his feelings.
175
Lava, I'm assuming that TMI and her boyfriend are dating, as opposed to just fucking, because she begins her letter "I've been dating this guy for almost two months."

Is it just me or are some people confusing cuckold with open? As I understand it, the key ingredients of being a cuckold are contempt and humiliation. Cuckolds consider themselves sexually inadequate for their partners, and get off on it when their partners find true satisfaction with someone else. Being open is a completely different emotional place, requiring confidence and generosity. You give your partner permission to sleep around because you know that their craving for variety does not equal lack of love and desire for you. You have to have total faith in your own sexual abilities to be able to believe that. And you have to care for your partner enough to feel happy for them when they are getting some good lovin from someone else. If you can control your knee-jerk possessiveness and realize that sexual happiness is not a zero sum game, the happiness overflows into your own relationship together. The problem is, there is little difference between a partner who asks to sleep around because they love variety, and a partner who asks to sleep around because they don't have the nerve to tell you that you suck in the bedroom. So you have to take their motivations completely on faith, and that is why an open relationship requires even more trust in your partner than good old-fashioned monogamy, and a more secure sense of self. While it's pretty easy to tell when your partner is abusing the terms of monogamy, with open relationships, not so much.

Tl;dr. Cuckolding indulges a fetish for inadequacy, and involves contempt and humiliation, open relationships indulge a fetish for variety and involve a high level of trust and confidence.
176
@175 Late - There are also people who are going to feel diminished arousal for their primary partner no matter how great their partner is in the sack or how many outside partners each is permitted to have. The old familiarity thing. In those cases, I think the person either needs to adjust their expectations about typical heights of arousal or euphoria within an LTR or they need to not get themselves into LTRs in the first place. Don't know enough about cuckolding to know if that would also be a reasonable option, as well.
177
all you need to know about cuckolding (FCL) is that it's a niche kink and not at all a solution for LIAR's 2 year itch. Apples and oranges in my book. Dunno why it even got brought up as a possible path....
178
@170/1: Yeah... not much chance of him using the same loophole, since that loophole doesn't exist--there wasn't actually any confusion about whether they were exclusive or not. She started pretending there was later, but that doesn't change anything.

It's a fact of human nature: when we find our current behavior doesn't match our ethical system, we change the ethical system, not the behavior. I wish I could find the study that proved this, because it was darkly hilarious. And tangentially about cheating, so somewhat relevant.

I can't find it, but based on my memory of how it worked: They took a large group of people at a college, and gave them a questionnaire about cheating (would you cheat under a given circumstance, is it cheating if you do XYZ, etc), then, at random, split the people into two groups, and (falsely) told the first group that their scores indicated their scores indicated that they were the type most likely to be able to make and keep monogamous commitments, and the least likely to cheat.
The second group was told the opposite--"your test scores indicate that you're very likely to be a cheater"--again, falsely (since nobody actually read the scores on the fake test).
Then both groups were given a new survey, about how important cheating is. ("Can a cheater be a good person?" "How important is fidelity to someone's overall character?")

The people told they were least likely to cheat answered that faithfulness was very important, that cheating indicated terrible things about the cheater, etc. The people told their scores indicated a likelihood of cheating? They all answered that cheating doesn't really tell you much about a person, that it's not important, etc.

Hilarious.
179
@175: " Is it just me or are some people confusing cuckold with open?"

Absolutely. It's pretty harmful to try to encourage someone to SEEK OUT shame and humiliation in order to somehow "make the most" of a damaged relationship with someone who doesnt respect them rather than for someone predisposed to that seeking out such behavior from someone who respects them.
180
@177: These odd edge-case square peg in round hole "solutions" get offered because people passively want others to be miserable. I guess?
181
There are people who get off on being kicked in the junk, too. That's not the solution to anyone's problem, though, and we shouldn't tell anyone that they should start getting off on that instead of telling other people not to kick them.
182
178 Eud- that study is pretty funny... shocking!

not to belabor this loophole idea... but... would people say that dating someone for two months is sufficient to require actually breaking up? (if the relationship needed to end for one of the two). In my own experience... relationships had to last longer than that... (for me it was 3.5 to 4 months)...

And two people can have entirely different perspectives on the same relationship. Sticking with TMI's scenario... suppose she just stops calling her BF? or he stops communicating with her? in lieu of an actual break up conversation. Would that be horrifying for either party? or has the relationship been so short that it could just fade into nothing...?

And... if a relationship hasn't lasted long enough to go through the break up routine... then perhaps it hasn't lasted long enough to get to the implied monogamy phase. (no matter WHAT she told the second guy and no matter how guilty she is feeling)

I knew plenty of girls in college who would make the "i can't, i have a boyfriend" protestation... even without the boyfriend being on the same page...

just a thought...
183
@176 futurecatlady -- For me, those LTRs you describe are actually perfect candidates for open relationships, assuming a strong bedrock of affection and security and trust. You know you can't offer each other novelty anymore, by definition. So the motivation for opening is probably mutual and less of a blow to the ego. You're less likely to be threatened by your partner being fuck-drunk with a new lover, and more likely to be amused and encouraging. And you've got nothing to gain by ditching the relationship and hooking up with someone else, because in the best case scenario, after a decade or so you're just going to end up in exactly the same place anyway, and hopefully everyone's wise enough to know that.

Not saying that all LTRs should be open, or even all that many of them, just that the best candidates for open relationships are LTRs because they have the necessary basic ingredients, emotionally speaking.
184
@168/169:

1. You seem to think I am trying to give the girl a get out of jail free card. I haven't. From the beginning I started with and maintained the same position: that LW1 was a CPOS (perhaps not irredeemably), she knew (explicit discussion or not) that her boyfriend would consider this cheating, and no weasel words get her out. So bolding her own words acknowledging this isn't scoring some point on me. But while LW1 thought (probably correctly) that her boyfriend expected monogamy, that does not mean he was reasonable to assume they'd reached that point. There is a difference between someone making an assumption AND whether that assumption was reasonable. I never disputed the boyfriend made the assumption, simply whether he *should* have made the assumption.

In other words, my husband might have assumed, since I had sex with him, that I was at that point exclusive... and he would have been wrong.... several other people here have posted their annoyance that people assume that just because you have sex with them it must mean that you are going to be dating them or are their boyfriends/girlfriends. Unfortunately, I would argue, in this day and age, that is no longer a reasonable assumption to make.

So yes, I think he does learn something in this. You see the world in such black and white and its bizarre. To use a very hot issue, no one should sleep with a drunk and passed out woman at a frat party. If it happens, the guy who did committed assault. You *better* believe, though, I will tell my two girls, though, not to get sh*t canned at a frat party. So, I don't think LW1's boyfriend is WRONG, or CULPABLE, or at FAULT in this situation. He is the one cheated on; he is the victim; and she doesn't get to excuse her bad behavior by saying he somehow made the wrong assumptions. I also acknowledge that the boyfriend will not immunize himself from someone cheating AND would not have immunized himself from LW1 from cheating if he'd simply used the magic words and said, "lets be exclusive."

But, I still say that he could learn (and LW1 MUST learn) that assumptions are dangerous. His next girlfriend might not realize she's suppose to be exclusive (although the LW1 clearly did). Maybe save himself a little heart ache.

2. This, however, is utterly wrong: "Should be? Correct, it shouldn't. Is assumed? Yes, it is. If that assumption is being made incorrectly, people should correct it, rather than exploit the trust that's mistakenly being placed in them. I was talking about is, not ought."

Is it assumed that having sex means your exclusive? No, actually it doesn't by a lot of people. Otherwise, my now husband wouldn't have had the conversation with me after getting out of bed about exclusivity. He absolutely knew, as a man 32, that sex does not equal commitment or exclusivity. Its entirely possible and does happen that one person may misunderstand another - one think its exclusive and one not - without either being WRONG. Mistakes happen.

You are requiring a certain amount of mind reading that is not warranted. In this case, LW1 clearly knew what her boyfriend expected, so no she should not take advantage of it. In this specific situation, you are right. But you are trying to take this specific situation and analogize it to basic human behavior, and you would be wrong. People do not automatically assume as you do. In my experience dating, most of the men did not assume I was exclusive just because we had sex. Again, we were all older (28-35) so we'd all had the chance of disabusing ourselves of many assumptions made by society. So, my N = 5 is entirely different than what you posit.

BUT I do not say to LW's boyfriend - assume that she's not exclusive (or assume that she is) based on whether or not LW slept with him. I counsel that you cannot make assumptions whatsoever, and thus, clear communication is the best.

As to whether someone automatically recognizes murder of a stranger is bad??? I suggest you go do a little reading on anthropology and history. You'd be entirely wrong for a big slice of human history. For a very long time, it was entirely okay to murder one's own children, one's own wife, or members of the "others" (other tribe, other country, other religion). Bible verses or no, our more expansive and kinder view of strangers and strangers children is a wonderful recent development in human history.

And society, therefore, society's morals are often reflected in the laws - so if Chinese law doesn't punish drivers severely for running over and killing people, that tells you EXACTLY how much society there values human life. Very different than my own morals.
186
Chairman: I think if two people have been dating for two months, frequently enough for there to have been a presumption of exclusivity then if one doesn't want to continue seeing the other, an actual break up is necessary. It doesn't have to be a long, drawn-out, tearful gut-wrenching, hand-wringing, weekend-long conversation, but it shouldn't be that one person simply stops calling the other. Two months is 8 weeks. If the couple goes out twice a week, you're talking about 16 dates--perhaps a weekend or two spent together. Several times per week phone calls or texts or however people communicate when they're not in the same room. That warrants the courtesy of the dumpee being actively informed s/he's being dumped.
187
no real argument with your logic nocute. I just assume these two are young and inexperienced... and with that comes a bit of a paradox. Exclusivity is often assumed because there is no past to reflect on.... but calling someone your BF or GF is NOT assumed... and there are usually conversations about that (the identifying of WHAT someone is to you). Add to that - exclusivity probably gets assumed (at that age) the moment you identify the person you are dating as your BF or GF.

I'm not defending (nor really vilifying) the LW. I imagine that in 10 years... she will look back on her letter to Dan with a smirk and a smile...( "oh how far i've come")... and wonder what her question really was.... ("can i keep dating the guy i don't want to fuck?" haha... okay... that sounds like a great idea)...

i look back on poetry i wrote in college and i wish i could punch myself in the face... but the only thing that brings maturity is... you guessed it... maturing. :)
188
disclaimer: of course... all i just wrote is how it was for me... in 1996... and may not be the case for modern 20 somethings at all.... BF/GF may not mean anything beyond "im fucking this person and we sometimes go to the movies". I really have no idea...
189
@184: "I never disputed the boyfriend made the assumption, simply whether he *should* have made the assumption. "

Okay, again, again, again, again, and again, let's review the facts:
1. His girlfriend knew they were exclusive.
2. His girlfriend's friends knew they were exclusive.
3. They were exclusive. Literally every person involved knew this. Everyone involved was making the correct assumption.

But you think he was erroneously assuming they were exclusive? No. If you and I are in a relationship, and you, me, and everyone else we know assumes we're exclusive, then no, it is not possible that you're mistaken in that assumption, because that assumption is correct.
She didn't provide the details of why everyone involved knew that her relationship was exclusive, but it's very obvious that everyone knew it.
But you think he didn't know it, and mistakenly believed... this thing that was both true and obvious to literally everyone involved? Wow. So you think he's insane, but that his insane beliefs just happened to line up perfectly with observed reality? That seems much, much less likely than that he was just looking at the same evidence as everyone else and drawing from it the same conclusion that everyone else did.

"But, I still say that he could learn (and LW1 MUST learn) that assumptions are dangerous. His next girlfriend might not realize she's suppose to be exclusive (although the LW1 clearly did). Maybe save himself a little heart ache."

That is absolutely not the problem he has. Again, it was obvious to everyone that there was absolutely no ambiguity whatsoever. There is absolutely no reason to think that he needs to learn a lesson about assumptions. None.

Every bit of available evidence says that their communication was perfect, because everyone was making the correct assumption. His girlfriend's a cheating piece of shit. That's not his fault. He did nothing wrong.

I know you keep saying you believe this, but if you actually believed it, then you wouldn't keep saying "Well, that'll teach you to leave your keys in your car" to someone who's car was hotwired while his keys were not in his car.

Is there any way this could possibly be clearer? The problem is not his assumptions. The problem is that TMI is a CPOS. He is not TMI. TMI is a different person than him. Her choices are not his fault. He does not control her. No one was making any assumptions that they should not have been.

TMI is a human being. She is responsible for her own choices. I know this is a hard sell, but women are people. Their decisions are their own responsibility, not the responsibility of the nearest man who is most hurt by their disgustingly shitty decisions. It's not enough to say you're not blaming the victim, you have to actually not do it.

"As to whether someone automatically recognizes murder of a stranger is bad??? I suggest you go do a little reading on anthropology and history. You'd be entirely wrong for a big slice of human history. For a very long time, it was entirely okay to murder one's own children, one's own wife, or members of the "others" (other tribe, other country, other religion). Bible verses or no, our more expansive and kinder view of strangers and strangers children is a wonderful recent development in human history. "

Again, you made a specific claim about specific people, in this case that Chinese people don't know that murdering innocent strangers is wrong. Your claim was false. I pointed that out. Cope.

"And society, therefore, society's morals are often reflected in the laws - so if Chinese law doesn't punish drivers severely for running over and killing people, that tells you EXACTLY how much society there values human life. Very different than my own morals."

Horseshit. Your laws are very likely the same, in various situations. Look up why tourniquets are no longer recommended in first aid manuals.

(Spoiler: It's because tourniquets save lives, but also cause nerve damage. Dead people don't sue for nerve damage, so it's cheaper to let people die than to save them in a way that might get you sued. Does this prove that you think it's okay to kill strangers? I suspect you know that it doesn't.)

Take a step back and think about why you're saying things that are so wildly false. I mean, really? You really claim to think the bizarre unintended interactions between different laws reflect the morality of the people in that society? That's batshit insane.
190
sigh
191
A woman did something really shitty to a man. Clearly, we need to find a way to justify saying that he's the one who needs to be taught a lesson.
192
Good god your mopey whining is sad amd tiresome.
193
Eud- i think you took DarkHorse's general idea the wrong way.

1. LW is wrong for cheating
2. her BF learning that lesson the hard way is not necessarily a bad thing for him... in the scheme of things. Next time, he will make sure his status is clearly understood so he can be 100% righteous if needed...and not be stuck in some bullshit ambiguity loophole.

of course... this assumes that LW comes clean instead of breaking up with him... and my vote is for her to break up with him and not come clean.... because... fuck it... Or... maybe she could do him the ultimate favor (knowing that the relationship is otherwise doomed) and she could tell him "lets fuck like wild animals. I don't like our sex life. Lets do A, B, and C and just go nuts".

he might just be shy... ;)
194
@193: It's his shtick. In the absence of actual persecution, he nails himself to the cross and starts flogging away.
195
Good god your gendered slurs are shitty and pathetic. Look: I get it. You think I'm failing to conform to my gender role. I don't care. This bothers you tremendously. I don't care. Gender role policing is only effective on people who give a shit what you think.
196
@193: There is no lesson.

His status was clearly understood. No one was confused. Not one person.

Everyone doing the "It's his fault for not being clear" dance, identify one person who was at all confused. Can't, can you?
That's because there is no ambiguity loophole. There was no ambiguity. They were exclusive, and everyone knew it. TMI admits this.

But that gets in the way of the narrative we require--that her boyfriend has to be punished for being a victim--so I guess we'll go on pretending not to have read the letter.

It's amazing to think about what a CPOS would have to do in order to not get support, as long as she's female. "I cheated on my boyfriend. There's no excuse whatsoever; I'm just a shitty person. My boyfriend did absolutely nothing wrong. Here's proof."
Us: That's okay, we'll still come up with something your boyfriend did wrong. Anything to avoid admitting that you're a human being who's responsible for her own actions.
197
All this dating people and being exclusive, or not as the case may be, is why I'm happy to not be dating any more. The last time I was dating was 22 years ago in New Zealand and we were conspicuously lacking in a "dating culture". I remember listening open-mouthed to a friend from New York explaining to me that people could date for a while and THEN have a discussion about being exclusive.
198
@195: lol

I'm convinced you get off on this act and posturing.
199
@198: I'm convinced you're a deeply shitty human being. Unfortunately, I'm the only one of us who's correct.
200
@190.. Chairman.. I concur.
The only LW I feel for is the boy. I mean, the poor kid is trying, Yeah.
He knows in the past.. What he's all of 23.. He fluffed these LDR, so he's making more of an effort. It's just, God damn, it's all just so so.
201
Aanyhoo -- BiDanFan, I meant to thank you upthread for reminding the assembled that not every gal who loves a good lay gets off on being chucked around the bedroom. This place is so thick with them, lord bless 'em, that sometimes it's hard for this non-chucker to remember it.

Also--Chairman, I thought your post @165 was inspired.
202
Undead - Can you figure out what Eud means @195? Is he saying that you accusing him of mopey whining is a gendered slur? Personally I liked your crucifixion analogy better. It really evokes the image for me... Maybe that's the gendered slur - since Jesus was a dude and all!
203
Finally I've come to the conclusion
Mr E, that you are a troll. Following the rules of trollery, I won't feed you anymore. Nor will I read you.
sb53. I'll get back to you, things to do on this crisp spring morning.
204
I think Fan just threw in the cuckold line. Was she serious? I don't know.