Gen Kaufman, Glamour magazine
As the internet is collectively exploding over the news that Kristen Stewart cheated on Robert Pattinson (so sad!), let's take a minute to talk about how to keep yourself out of such a sad, messy situation.
Maybe you can't imagine being tempted to cheat on your significant other, but I do think it's possible to be attracted to another person and even to develop feelings for someone without it meaning your relationship is over. What says the most about your relationship is how you behave in the face of temptation. But once you're there, it can be really hard to make the right decision.
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Time to to apply my personal methodology for dealing with a less serious, but still huge (to me) temptation: shopping. Because I'm somewhat addicted to buying new clothes whether or not my budget permits it, I've come up with a personal rule to prevent really poor decisions. When faced with a purchase I want to make that's either a bit of a splurge or a very trendy item, I force myself to put it back and walk away. Then I give myself a specified time limit--say, a week--wherein if I can't stop thinking about the item and all the ways I could be wearing it, I'll figure out a way to make it happen. But if it doesn't cross my mind again, well, I've already forgotten it and saved myself the trouble of buyer's remorse. At least half the time, I forget about the item since I obviously didn't really need it, and I save myself a hefty credit card bill or a regrettable pair of harem pants.
Now, that's obviously a much easier situation, and I would never take cheating lightly. But I truly think a similar system works to prevent making bad relationship decisions too. Let's break it down step by step should you find yourself in temptation's way:
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1. Remove yourself from the temptation. Just like I need to get the article of clothing out of my sight, you need to step away from the guy who's making you drool. Try to avoid any situation where you might see him, and definitely avoid any one-on-one time. You're clearing your mind, and he clouds it.
2. Set a time limit to think it over. Agree that for two weeks or longer, you will go about your normal life without the other man and see how you feel about it.
3. Assess the situation. After your set time limit, are you still constantly thinking about ripping off the new guy's clothes, or longing to spend time with him? Or have you forgotten about him and remembered why your boyfriend is worth giving up a hot affair for?
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4. Take action. If you've managed to put the other guy out of your mind, great. Mentally recommit yourself to your relationship, and move on with your life. Don't make this a repeat process though. Attractions happen, but you shouldn't be nearly cheating with every guy you meet. On the other hand, if you've really thought about it and you just have to be with the other guy, figure out a way to make it happen. And by that, I mean, end your relationship first, and respectfully. Yes, you'll still hurt your guy by leaving him, but it will be a lot less awful than leaving him, betraying his trust, making him feel stupid, and publicly humiliating him (um, especially if you're both famous).
What do you think of this 4-step prevention method? Have you ever been tempted to cheat but stopped yourself? And are you like, weirdly sad about Kristen and Rob? I totally am.
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