yuckI feel soiled, sullied, icky. Bad. Horrible. I unknowingly betrayed a good, long-time friend. “How?” you ask. Here’s the story.

A few months ago a man emailed me from a dating site new to me. We struck up a nice IM conversation. He hadn’t posted a pic, so I asked for one and he promptly obliged. He was average looking, having features similar to many midlife men in my area. But I was drawn by his wit, intelligence and sweetness.

After a few days of IM and phone conversations, we agreed to lunch. Immediately upon meeting, he kissed me briefly on the lips. A tad forward, I thought. While we stood in line for a table he took my hand. We had a nice lunch conversation. He was better looking in person than his picture. During the after-lunch stroll he put his arm around my waist. After a half block, he stopped and kissed me. Again, I thought a tad early for my taste. We walked some more, and he left me at my car with a promise to call.

He IMed within minutes of my returning home. He called on his way home from work. We talked about getting together again in a few days. He continued to IM frequently. Two days after the lunch date, we had plans to go to the movies, but he called to say he had an emergency with his teenage daughter so would have to reschedule. We IMed, then talked the next day. Then I got the email quoted in “Is it affection or obsession?

Today my long-time friend was over and we were chatting. About 18 months ago she married a man she’d met online a year before, on a different site than the one on which this guy found me. I’d met her husband briefly at their wedding, then again a year ago for a few minutes. He was a normal-looking guy without any unusual physical characteristics.

I realized I didn’t know what her husband did for a living and where he worked. She told me. I said, “That’s interesting. I went out once with a man who does that in the same part of town. And they share the same common first name.” We continued the comparison. I told her of his quick affectionate behavior. She said, “My husband did that on our first date.” Hmmm. She asked if I had his pic. Thanks to my trusty Date-A-Base I did! Plus a copy of his profile and some emails.

The picture staring back at her was, as you’ve guessed, her husband. I felt sadness and anger for my friend. How could he do this to her? She deserved a great guy, not a two-timing philanderer. She was upset but not as much as I would have been. It seems he did this when they were dating, in what they’d both promised was an exclusive relationship. She thought he had grown up. Obviously he hadn’t.

In the past he’d explained his addiction to the pursuit of women. He claimed he took it no farther than kissing, and usually cut it off within a few weeks. His self-esteem needed to be constantly reassured he was able to attract women. He knew he had a problem. He thought he could fix this himself, so he kept making excuses for not seeking counseling. Obviously, he was wrong.

My friend was actually grateful that it was me he’d attempted to woo, as she now had proof of his indiscretions, rather than her suspicions and his vehement denials. He couldn’t lie his way out of this any longer. If he didn’t agree to counseling immediately, she was leaving him.

I have a mix of remorse, sadness, anger, and in a strange way, gratefulness that I could help catch this Lothario. She should be with a fabulous guy who adores her and would never consider cheating. If this Casanova won’t grow up, I hope she jettisons him so she can have a great man.

To show what a mature individual she is in the face of this information, she holds no malice toward me, acknowledging that I met him so briefly previously I couldn’t be expected to remember him out of context of being by her side, let alone on a dating site. She was actually appreciative that he hadn’t recognized me either, so she could have the evidence she needed to confront him.

I know there are myriad stories of married people listing themselves on dating sites. I have encountered only one other who I discovered was married — thanks to a mutual friend — and I declined to meet him. Had I known this one was, I would not have met him either. I don’t like unwittingly being the other woman.

Looking back, there were no signs that pointed to him being in a relationship. He wasn’t wearing a wedding ring. Since my friend retained her maiden name and I didn’t remember her husband’s last name from the one time I saw it on the wedding invitation, even his using his real last name didn’t raise a red flag.

I guess this shows that it is good to meet a man’s friends before getting too serious and hope one of them pulls you aside if something is amiss. I have no idea how I would have found out, as he could have easily keep up his ruse for months since she travels a lot. And I don’t know how she would have had indisputable proof if we hadn’t been chit-chatting about her hubby.


7 responses to “Yuck!”

  1. Elena Avatar

    Wow, DG, this story is wild on so many levels. First, you must really not have a thing for faces because it’s odd that his face didn’t ring a bell or seem even the least bit familiar to you since you attended his wedding!!

    Secondly, your friend, I’m afraid, is the one that needs counseling, not the guy. The husband doesn’t want help. He’s too busy having fun, lining up dates and text messaging his latest conquests. Between his job and finding new women to woo, it doesn’t seem like he would have any time left over for his marriage. Sounds like your friend knew what she was getting into when she married him since he made it clear that he has an “addiction to pursuing women.” The fact that she thinks this man, who showed his true colors before she said “I do”, is capable of changing is really misguided. God help her. Tell your friend to get out of that marriage while she still can.

    But DG, you’ve got to admit that something like this (going out on a date with a guy who has some sort of close connection to somebody in your social circle, i.e. ex-husband, ex-boyfriend, brother, etc.) was bound to happen sooner or later. I’m surprised it hadn’t happened already.

  2. Dating Goddess Avatar


    I actually do have a pretty good memory for faces, but am much better after a few weeks or month than a year. Perhaps it’s getting less good with age! And his “look” is fairly common. At their wedding, in retrospect, I think I was focused on her — how beautiful she looked, not him. And there were many other odd-looking characters who caught my attention.

    I can meet hundreds of people some months in my profession and I’m afraid after a month or so if I haven’t had a significant conversation with them, my recognition of their image fades. He and Ihadn’t spoken more than a dozen words in the two minutes-long conversations we’d had over a year earlier.

    Yes, they will both get counseling over this.

    And I don’t really understand your point with the last paragraph. Generally, if someone is in my extended social circle that becomes clear early on. And I guess you’re right it’s bound to happen — I just would never expect it to be with the husband of a dear friend.

  3. nysharon Avatar

    Wow this is more than Yucks, it Sucks. Good thing you discovered it together since if you had realized it on your own this would have been a very difficult conversation to have with her. On-line dating is a smaller world than thought and cheaters think they can hide their lies in the cyberworld. There is a lot more of this going on than we realize. Guess bad Karma for him came to bite him in the behind.

  4. Joy Avatar

    Your friend IS lucky she knows this, and from someone she trusts and respects. Wow, what are the chances?

    I had a similar “out-of-the-blue” revelation about a guy I was with once – someone who came to ask about a job posting where I worked commented on an pair of shoes I was wearing which were extremely distinctive and custom-made. They were made by my then-boyfriend, but before I could say that, she launched into telling me all about a friend of hers who was “friends” with the man who makes “those” shoes, and ended up confirming – without ever knowing who I was in his life – everything I needed to know for me to cut my losses and get out.

    It hurt, but it was also such a relief to receive that information so clearly and cleanly. It took me a couple weeks to work through my initial feelings, but then it was SO satisfying to dump his ass after confronting him with his lies, and watch him be so incredulous as to how on earth I found out.

    DG, you were the unwitting instrument of a divine intervention, and I hope whatever yucky residue is left for you will dissipate quickly. Regardless of what your friend decides to do, she now knows what he is capable of and can make her choices without the horrible second-guessing and wondering that can happen when dealing with a chronic liar.

    (Incidentally, my guy in question was also the type who needed constant reassurance of his value from women…)

  5. Rodney Avatar

    Ug, makes me wanna find your friend’s husband and give him a good swift kick in the ass and tell him to grow up. What an absolute moron!

  6. sdl Avatar

    Oh, wow…..
    Yuck, Sucks, downright Horrifying!

    There are quite a few peripheral types and SOs of friends I see rarely that I would likely not recognize outside of context, and I don’t get exposed to hundreds of other people via meet and greet!
    So, yeah, I can see how it would be the LAST thing you would think of your ‘average’ and ‘typical’ looking guy- heck, cut the hair on my STBX and he looks like a completely different person…

    And I must say that it is indeed more common for them to be married around here than not- and since so very many of the online guys are techies that never really switched to the married persona that women expect, it is extremely easy for them to continue in their online activities without suspicions being raised by their mannerisms or ring mark, etc.

    But, the other posters are right; to paraphrase:
    “Of all the women in all the dating sites, you had to click on mine”
    “God knows what you have been doing buddy, and She’s pissed!”

    So, the Fates have taken a hand in things, cutting him off at the knees and providing your friend exactly what she needed to confirm the real situation, have strong emotional support when told, and bring full closure for herself and this relationship.

    Well, at least I HOPE she brings closure to the relationship- because it is true that men rarely change from what you know BEFORE the wedding.

    Bet you are REALLY looking forward to the time off the local dating scene after this fiasco!

  7. Dating Goddess Avatar

    Rodney: You and I can go together and kick his a__!

    I told my friend if her husband and I were ever together at a social event, I would make it a point to “accidentally” spill my drink in his lap — and hopefully it was scaldng!

    And get this, when she confronted him he admitted it (how could he deny it?) and said something I said in our last conversation made him realize I was her pal. He has an unusual hobby and I shared I’d attended a friend’s wedding where some of the guests displayed the same hobby! He knew it was *his* wedding! Arggh!

    I asked if he was quaking in his boots that I’d figure out his identity and she said no, he never expected to be caught. Imagine if I’d gone to their house for an event or to pick something up and seen him. My memory would have been much fresher and I would undoubtably recognized him — after all the man kissed me! How would I have told her? Yuck, yuck, yuck.

    She is handling this remarkably calmly and they are seeing a counselor next week.

    SDL: I am not taking a break, as I’m still enjoying Prince Considerate’s company. But, yes, we’ll see what reflections and insights January brings with no dating for a whole month.