One of the most important pieces of advice for a writer is to “write what you know.” While this is a relatively short list for someone of my incompetence, I can truthfully say the experience of infidelity is one I’m all too familiar with. The knowledge before you was born from my experience with guys who had secret fiancés, decade-long girlfriends they failed to mention, and a revolving door of bedmates just waiting to pounce. Don’t worry– Alex is not on the list. I just don’t want you guys to think I’ve gone soft. Plus, who doesn’t enjoy turning a cold shower onto the looming beast that is Valentine’s Day?
#1: He develops a random weeklong illness that is too contagious for you to come around.
Interpretation: He’s spending Christmas with his other girlfriend.
What you should do: Dump him, the asshole! You’re too good to play second fiddle.
What I actually did: Planned an elaborate gift exchange full of thoughtful anecdotes, during which he gave me a black XL T-shirt that I’m pretty sure was a gift from one of his teenage sons.
#2: He can’t go to the bathroom without his phone.
Interpretation: He needs to do some Tinder swiping.
What you should do: Join Tinder yourself and find a replacement for this useless waste of space.
What I actually did: His laundry. His dishes. His dental appointments.
#3: You discover bobby pins in the bathroom that are not your hair color.
Interpretation: HERE THERE BE HOOKERS
What you should do: Leave the bathroom, walk out the front door, and never come back.
What I actually did: Adopted a dog with the guy.
#4: Telemarketers frequently call his phone at 10PM. And leave voicemails.
Interpretation: His decade-long girlfriend who he’s in couple’s therapy with wants him to know he has mail at her place, and she’ll be wearing something sexy when he drops by.
What you should do: Throw his password protected phone across the room and walk out in a blaze of glory.
What I actually did: Told myself I believed him, until meeting up with that same girlfriend a year later.
#5: When texts “from his sister” make him giggle.
Interpretation: You should probably get checked for STDs.
What you should do: Respect yourself enough to show him your favorite finger.
What I actually did: Took his word for it until I saw the hooker’s name on his phone reflecting in the granite countertop.
#6: When he tells you he won’t be able to text you back because there are no phones allowed at the poker table.
Interpretation: He’s at a concert with his fiance who’s been out of town dealing with a sick mother.
What you should do: Stalk him out, in the least illegal way possible. Then introduce yourself to his lover.
What I actually did: Read trashy magazine articles about how to be a better girlfriend.
#7: You go away for the weekend and when you come back, he has candles in the bathroom.
Interpretation: He wasn’t conserving energy, he was enjoying romantic lighting whilst making the beast with two backs.
What you should do: Ask him when he developed an appreciation for the scent of “vanilla asshole lust petals.”
What I actually did: Traveled to San Francisco for a weekend getaway.
#8: You google his name and find a wedding registry with a Save The Date for two months out.
Interpretation: No it’s not possible for there to be two people with the same name and face living in the exact same city.
What you should do: Buy the happy couple a wedding present. Wrapped in the pelt of your vanquished foes.
What I actually did: Took his word for it when he told me the wedding had been called off.
#9: You run into his “crazy ex” at the vet and she’s wearing a wedding ring
Interpretation: No, she didn’t get remarried. She’s married to your boyfriend. Way to go.
What you should do: Lose that asshole’s number. Seriously.
What I actually did: Let him convince you that she just has a really hard time being single. And of course she’s crazy.
#10: There is female paraphernalia in his trashcan
Interpretation: Well at least you can be thankful that his other girlfriend isn’t pregnant.
What you should do: Start a fire in the trashcan and watch the whole house burn down.
What I actually did: Nothing. Because I’m a moron, obviously.
How have YOU found out about a cheating ex? Do you let your significant other have full access to your phone? What are you thoughts on Valentine’s Day?
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