Monday, August 22, 2011
How to detect a "cheater" from Expert Emily's chat
One of our favorite relationship experts, "Expert Emily" Shupert from Atlanta, GA is back from a summer break, leading a monthly chat at Cache' Connections. Here are some recaps of the chat held last night:
Emily: So glad to be back! Here to help you with your dating questions :)
Chatter: I am not sure why I attract the wrong men. I sometimes wonder if their is something subconsciously that I do that attracts men who are prone to cheating, etc.. Is their a "type" of women that cheaters prefer and I don't realize it?
Emily: I'm so sorry to hear this miranda! That sounds so painful. Let's look at the patterns in your dating to see what might be going on. First, how do you get to know the dates...where do you meet them? Do you meet their friends? Are their friends quality in their character and share the same beliefs?
Chatter: Most of them I have met through work or work friends.
Emily: Do they share the same values as you? Ispeaking of the friends as well as the dates)
Chatter: I believe my work friends do and even the cheaters have the same values (minus the cheating value).
Emily: Ok, so I often look at the big picture. If someone lives with integrity, they Must have community of strong believers doing life with them on a consistent basis. These are friends who keep them accountable, ask the hard questions, and offer counsel. Many times people do things such as cheating when they are living in isolation...not social isolation but community isolation. They don't have older, wiser mentors, godly counsel, or Christian brothers and sisters encouraging them to build character and act with integrity. I often encourage folks to have at least 3 "board members" in their life who know (collectively) where they are spiritually, emotionally, financially, etc. This allows individuals to bounce ideas off their community and make sure that they are moving forward in strength and character versus living in isolation where they can often rationalize Anything! I also make sure that these individuals live transparent lives...where what they say and what they do match up 100%. This requires time to see if the guy or girl is really who they say they are. Truth and time walk hand in hand so it's important to see if they are living out their lives in integrity like they say they are.
This also means that as a date, you pace the relationship so that you can see the character (actions) and the words match up. A lot of people jump into a relationship from zero to 100% in intensity and find out that the person they thought they were dating isn't really the person they are dating. Miranda, there are several psychological reasons for why people cheat but I couldn't say for each person unless I met with them, knew them, and was working with the full picture. However, we can see the themes that are present or lacking in these situations so that you are making wise choices. Second question....how intense are your relationships with these guys and how quickly do you get serious in the relationship?
Chatter: The first cheater, I have to admit, I made that relationship super intense early on and was naive about believing lies. The second cheater, I'm not really sure what happened there.
Emily: How long were you dating and how serious did it get in the first 3 months?
Chatter: The first one, I look back and I don't think we were dating. He never took me anywhere in public. That lasted for about a year, until one of his many girlfriends sent me an email. The second one, we were together over 3 years.
Emily: Ok, that is a great example...the fact that the dating was done in isolation...kind of shady. I think that meeting a guy's family, friends, mentors, etc is crucial! You need to see how he treats others and who he really is outside of the date. How about the second guy?
Chatter: With the first one I know I was being naive, but I dismissed things because he introduced me to his children and we were always around his children. The second guy a few of his friends knew about me.
Emily: Did they say anything, did you hang out with them a lot in social situations?
Chatter: The friends never said anything, I found out through my own detective work.
Emily: I know that these are a lot of questions, but sometimes helps to know all the facts in order to find the common denominators. Ok, so they didn't say anything....do you know if they knew?
Chatter: I'm pretty sure they knew.
Emily: were his friends people you respected?
Chatter: No, not really.
Emily: Ok, see...that is Huge!!!! There is a proverbs that says, "he who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm" You can tell who someone is by who they do life with. Even if he says he believes the same thing and has integrity, if his friends are not respectable, then you can just take that as a Big red flag. Hope this helps. I would also look at maybe dating people who are in your friend circle already, small group, cache, etc or somewhere where you are seeing folks who you can see are sharing similar values. The question about cheating hits on several levels...sometimes it's a certain type of date....sometimes even a "safe" type that individuals unconsciously seek out because they fear commitment. All to say, it's a bit more than we can look at 100% on chat but I'd encourage you to get some feedback as well from friends, guy friends, etc who can help see some of your dating "blind spots."
Mark your calendars for Expert Emily's next chat on Sunday night, October 2, 2011. CLICK HERE for access info!