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AN INDEPENDENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER SERVING THE GW COMMUNITY SINCE 1904

The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Officials to clear homeless encampment near campus in May
By Max Porter, Contributing News Editor • March 4, 2024

Ask Annie: How do I tell my friends I cheated on my ex?


Facing a problem yourself? Annie has answers. Ask away!


Nicholas Anastacio | Graphics Editor

Dear Annie,

I emotionally cheated on my boyfriend last year, physically cheated on him once this summer, and now I am seeing the guy that I cheated on him with. We haven’t told anyone yet about any of this. How should we go about telling our friends? 

XOXO, 

Guilty Pleasure


Dear Guilty Pleasure,

As long as your ex-boyfriend and new beau are not brothers with a recently deceased mother, you needn’t feel your belly turning in knots if you tell friends about your summer scandal.

Cheating is a messy way to begin — or end — a romantic relationship, but it’s not inexplicable. Now is the time to work on your communication skills and broach the conversation with your friends honestly and vulnerably. 

Express remorse for hurting your ex during your self-discovery process. Acknowledge you should have broken up with your scorned lover when you began to see your new boyfriend romantically. Make sure your friends know you’ve reflected on your wrongdoings, and in the future, be upfront with your partner about developing feelings for other people should a similar situation arise. Hopefully, your friends will see that you don’t take the pain inflicted on your former flame lightly and will be more likely to support this new relationship.

It could help to put your misdeeds in perspective. In a study of college relationships, researchers found about 20 percent of college students who had ever been in a serious romantic relationship cheated on their partner. Cheating is ubiquitous on college campuses. While unacceptable, it makes it likely yours isn’t the first cheating scandal your friends have heard. 

 

An Ngo | Graphics Editor

Throughout the conversation, remember these are your friends. Though it may take time for them to accept your actions, friends tend to support their friends. Even if your friend was in the wrong, can you remember the last time you didn’t support them after they made a mistake? Owning your error and taking responsibility won’t heal the hurt, but it may make your friends more sympathetic to your situation.

Wait until your friends have processed your mistake before showing off your new romance. For instance, if your friends haven’t met your new boyfriend, don’t hurry to introduce them. If they know him, maybe keep kisses to corners until everyone warms up to your love story.

Before spilling the details to your besties, also consider why you feel the need to share the origin of your romance. We may feel pressured to tell our friends everything in our lives, but there are some chapters you don’t need to publish publicly — especially because it’s your relationship, not theirs. Do you want the reassurance that you aren’t a bad person, or do you want a confidant to discuss your new relationship?

It’s appropriate to expect your friends to listen, but you shouldn’t expect their blind support. At the end of the day, you have to live with what you’ve done. Explain and accept your actions, and your friends should eventually come around as well.

Be true now,

Annie 

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