This piece is a part of our "Dating Diary" series, where real women share their dating horror stories. Yikes. Read the other stories in this series here.
I was living in Atlanta and dating a pilot -- yes, a pilot. I decided to get emotionally and physically connected to someone with one of the top five career paths known to influence infidelity; because I naively believed that not every pilot is a cheater who uses the fact that he travels for work to be dishonest (HA!).
In the beginning of our relationship, he would spend four to five days on the road and two to three days at home. His work schedule was convenient for me because I'm not the type to want to spend every waking minute with my man anyway. We didn't live together, but on his off days I would come over to his place and cook him a home-cooked meal and clean up a little bit so he didn't have to come home to chaos. For six months I would work a full day, leave my job, drive to the grocery store, drive 45 miles one way to his place, cook dinner, clean the house, start laundry, get sexy and await my man to come home for us to share 24 hours together before he hit the road again. It was ridiculous. I was exhausted, but I thought that in order to accommodate the special kind of relationship we had, certain concessions had to be made.
One night I found myself driving to his place after one of the hardest days I’d ever had at work. Once I got there, he looked like he was about to leave to go somewhere. "Where are you going?" I asked. "Oh...Pinky, one of my flight attendants, invited me over for dinner so I'm going to run over there real quick and grab a plate. Do you want anything?" Stunned, I just looked at him. He couldn't possibly think his response was okay.
"Pinky?" I said. "Who the hell is Pinky? And what grown ass woman outside of the porn industry has a nickname of Pinky?"
“Don't trip, it's nothing. She's a real down-home type of girl and she doesn't know how to just cook a meal for just herself, so she made a big dinner tonight and just invited me over. Do you want me to bring you anything back?"
Not in the mood to argue, I just drop the issue. The next morning I wake up for work and venture into the kitchen for coffee. I see PILES of Tupperware in the fridge. I see this chick Pinky cooked this man a feast. *Side eye* Again, not in the mood to argue, I just got ready for work and leave the apartment. It’s only food right??
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A week later, we're back to our routine of me going to his house, cooking and cleaning. While I'm emptying groceries into the fridge, he comes in the kitchen and tells me he has to make a run over to Pinky's house because something is wrong with her plumbing. I’m thinking...oh, so you're Roto-Rooter now? You're just Captain Save 'Em and you have to rush over there to "fix her pipes?!"
In that moment I realized that Pinky held more of an important role in his life than I was willing to admit. It all became so clear -- a pilot and his flight attendant have a fling going on. How could I have been so blind? That's like a textbook couple!
Fuming, I stormed out of the kitchen and he left through the front door. Yup, he left. I grabbed my belongings and left moments after. We didn't talk for days after that fiasco. After enough of my cold shoulder and the silent treatment, he finally came to my job one day and invited me over for game night to meet his friends from out of town. I agreed and was looking forward to salvaging what was left of our broken relationship.
After work, I headed over to his apartment. I knocked on the door and a woman in all pink opened the door like she was the woman of the house. She was warm and friendly, but b*tch if anybody has the right to treat this apartment like its their home, it's me!
So I walk inside and he formally introduces me to Pinky and the rest of his friends -- that are all couples. Pinky is being the hostess with the mostest running around refilling glasses and making sure everyone is comfortable all while still cooking in the kitchen -- MY kitchen as far as I was concerned. Not trying to raise hell at his game night, I just made mental notes of all the foolishness and how comfortable she was in his place.
She then informs everyone that dinner was ready and we all made our way into the kitchen. That's when I saw it and that's when I lost it. All the groceries I had just bought days before were her ingredients in that night's meal. Her Houston, home-cooked recipe was sponsored by me!
I excused myself from the kitchen area and asked him to speak with me outside. I told him I wasn't about to bear witness to his date night disguised as a game night and that I wished him and his flight attendant girlfriend all the best. He tried to explain, but I couldn’t have cared less.
I got in my car and drove 45 miles home and never looked back for him or that relationship. As women, sometimes we neglect the obvious signs of infidelity that are right in front of our faces. This story is my lesson learned that if he walks like an asshole, talks like an asshole and looks like an asshole...he's probably an asshole and you shouldn't stay around to get the details.
So if you clicked this article, you’re either A) bored at work and looking for something interesting, B) a weirdo like me who is just super fascinated by anything dating related or C) you actually suspect your boyfriend might be cheating on you.
If it was “ding ding ding” Letter C for you, first off, I’m sorry, and secondly, I have to tell you that if you really do suspect he is cheating, he probably is cheating.
When it comes to knowing whether or not your boyfriend is cheating, the first thing you have to go with is that ever-present gut instinct of yours. We girls like to think the best of people and sometimes ignore the obvious signs, or act like our gut instinct doesn’t exist. But if we get real with ourselves, we know to trust that instinct -- because it is usually spot on.
If you have that feeling in your gut, here are a few signs he may be cheating (note that these aren’t all individually indicative, but when the majority of these things seem to happen together … you have to wonder. It’s like that old phrase, “If it looks like a dog, walks like a dog, and barks like a dog, then it’s a dog.” ... And in this article, yes, dog stands for douche bag dude):
So, when it comes down to it, if many of these signs are present, it may be time for you to let your gut make the decision for you. If you feel like you have to scroll through your boyfriend’s phone or dart into his email inbox while he’s in the shower, you’re doing it for a reason. Be a confident woman and know your value and worth. If the signs are there, you owe it to yourself to get real with the situation, find out answers, and move on!