5 Stories: I Cheated and Didn’t Regret It

Our readers on betraying trust, and being glad you did.

By Nerve Readers

Now or never

I met Drew on the first day of college. We were moving in — each accompanied by our parents — and I was pretty much taken from the get-go. He was tall and narrow, nerdy in the truest sense of the word, but also delicate and beautiful.

Three drinks and forty-five minutes (plus three unfulfilled years), I finally told him how incredibly into him I’d been when we were freshmen.

Apparently, everyone could tell I was smitten; my oddly pro-sex father even slapped me on the arm and winked when they drove off, as if to say, “Have at it, young daughter!” I surely would have had at it, in the movie version of my life. In the real one, Drew was a very sweet 100% virgin from North Dakota who dodged my kisses, giggled at my jokes, and frustrated my every intention. 

He would have broken my heart, if I hadn’t met and started seriously dating someone else. Drew remained a friend, stayed a virgin, and got cuter every day.

When senior year rolled around, that “see everyone one last time” nostalgia caught onto me big time. I was still with my boyfriend, terrified of graduation, and overcome with a weird preemptive regret, worried that I’d look back and miss not having done the things I wasn’t doing. That feeling, mixed with the final throes of college alcoholism, meant I started calling everyone in my phone and asking them out for drinks. One such night, I ended up at the local bar with Drew.

Three drinks and forty-five minutes (plus three unfulfilled years), I finally told him how incredibly into him I’d been when we were freshmen. He looked down, blushed, and then looked up again. Fifteen minutes later, he lost his virginity lying on his back on the ugly brown street-sofa in my apartment.

I never told a soul. I’m still dating my boyfriend, and have no inclination to tell him, since to do so would make us both very unhappy. And that'd be no good, since it’s a very happy memory. — Katie Brandon

Peculiar Dating Stories: Love Overseas. Half the fun of traveling is hooking up with strangers you meet. The other half is telling people your stories when you get home. Tell us the story of your most peculiar hook-up abroad, and we'll publish it in our next round-up. Send your 300-500 word story to submissions@nerve.com or click here for more information.

Commentarium (65 Comments)

Apr 27 11 - 12:24am

the final pic made me gag on my hot cross bun.

Apr 27 11 - 12:30am

Third one was great!

Apr 27 11 - 1:24pm

am i the only one who finds it strange that an 'RA on Duty' would be knocking on doors in the dorms , 'draped with her arm around the guy" ?!! exagerration to make the story sound better? hmmm. i guess that can happen.

May 01 11 - 12:19am
Bo Higgs

Not only was she an R/A, but she was only 18 years old at the time.

Apr 27 11 - 1:09am

All of these people are terrible. Cheating is cheating no matter what. And if you do it, and then worst of all lie about it, not only are you an immature child uncapable of acting and handling things like an adult, but you're a piece of shit as well.

Apr 27 11 - 1:57am

chill out, dude.

Apr 27 11 - 10:55am

srsly. O.O

Apr 27 11 - 12:13pm
Been There

These cheaters aren't pieces of shit, the majority broke up with their partners and cheating was the catalyst required to end their unfulfilling relationships. I know all you moral high-grounders would tell cheaters-to-be just to break up before sleeping with someone else, but in most cases, easier said than done. In my case, I'd wasted eight years with an emotional blackmailer and my unfaithfulness was the wake-up call I needed to stop kidding myself for another eight years and break up with my piss-weak excuse of a boyfriend. It gave me strength I didn't know I had. A year later, I am lucky to have found the love of my life. I am complete and the happiest I've been in years and would not cheat on him if my life depended on it. Something I never felt with my ex. If there's anything I've learnt, if you're thinking of cheating, then you don't truly love the person you're with, do ya? My new motto in life: "If in doubt, get the fuck out."

Apr 28 11 - 9:20am

Donny, what's wrong with Dude?

Apr 28 11 - 6:51pm

I didn't watch my men die face down in the muck in 'nam just so people could bitch on internet forums! You're way outta your element Donny!

Apr 27 11 - 2:49am

If we can get however many relationships as we like, who needs cheating? The "imposed"morality of monogamy may be really a BIG cheating thing in the history and the world.

Apr 27 11 - 9:17am
Seattle Blonde

I get that, but if we separate out the monogamy from the honesty, you can have open relationships that are honest. The wrongness of cheating comes from the dishonesty, the lying, the lack of respect....The fact that it's non-monogamous sexual activity is incidental to those features. I don't see anything to support about lying and dishonesty, and I say that as someone who is with you on the problems with imposing monogamy as a cultural norm.

Apr 30 11 - 8:18pm

I have witnessed some of the most ardent supporters/defenders of monogamy slip up and find themselves cheating....it is part of the human condition and will always be so....and people prefer the lie of monogamy than to accept the truth of open relationships....largely...

Apr 27 11 - 4:30am

@Katie -- hope that was a fake name!

Apr 27 11 - 5:48am

While I definitely don't believe in the societal constructs of monogamy; dang Katie Brandon. That is some harsh shit.

Apr 27 11 - 7:36pm

Amen. Katie sounds like one of those people who are so self-absorbed that they feel it's their right to live out all of their own fantasies with little regard for the other partner. At least give your man a fair go at someone else!

Apr 27 11 - 9:40am

At the heart of all cheating is a malignant Narcissistic pathology. The cheater is wonderful enough and the cheater's perceived gratification is important enough that it's worth exposing their partner to an unknown elevated risk of infectious disease that they did not implicitly or explicitly accept. Open relationships, swinging, et al are relatively harmless when conducted with full disclosure and rational decision making. Cheating hurts everyone, and anyone with no remorse about it needs to find a dollar and buy a conscience.

Apr 27 11 - 10:51am

Pop psychologize much?

Apr 27 11 - 11:12am

Defensive much?

Apr 27 11 - 12:29pm

That was 'defensive'? Nope. You fail.

Apr 27 11 - 1:28pm

;) It doesn't take a degree to identify Narcissism, but it might take a Narcissist to object to the identification as such. Next.

Apr 27 11 - 3:18pm

You're an idiot.

Apr 27 11 - 4:05pm
oh my

How would you define a person who uses emoticons passive-aggressively? ;)

Apr 27 11 - 4:15pm

Antisocial. The passive-aggressive emoticon user uses emoticons ironically because they feel no actual empathy or emotion. Their judgement of other's behavior is harsh and unforgiving. This may manifest itself in ritualistic cleansing, unfeeling acts of violence, or random pop psychologizing in internet comment sections. They often possess a preternatural knowledge and understanding of other's thoughts and motives, which allows them to deal their judgement across broad and diverse groups with little fear of overgeneralization.

Hey, this is fun!

Apr 27 11 - 5:05pm

Shall I mail you a small vial of my tears for your trophy case? Truly, I'm shattered.

Eeeexcept you're completely confused on the concept of passive-aggression, and you've mixed up the traits of antisocial behavior with several other classifications. If you expect to have more success trolling, at least get the basic facts of your asshattery correct.

Apr 28 11 - 12:13am

um, i love you WheelOfMytzlplk
keep on rockin on!!!

Apr 28 11 - 9:33am

To speak in absolutes in relation to peoples psychological state or issues is narcissitic . While I believe your "diagnosis" fits with story writer one, the others writers are showing signs of co-dependent behaviour and the inability to deal with the insecurities of their (now previous) relationships. The cheating appears to be more of a coping mechanism to convince them to get out of the dead-end relationship.

Apr 28 11 - 11:19am


I must applaud your well-reasoned response. Perhaps I could have more accurately described my position by explicitly stating that narcissistic pathology doesn't necessarily exclude other pathologies. You're right to question the absolute word choice, though with the qualification regarding overlapping causes, I stand by it. Freud believed no one is able to absolutely disavow their own narcissism, seeing it as an inherent part of being human. One way it becomes malignant, in my opinion, is when it starts directly impacting the health of others.

When a cheater decides to put their primary partner's health in jeopardy by introducing an unknown elevated risk of infectious disease that is inherent in an additional sexual partner, all the while being rational enough to recognize the risk for what it is -- a risk -- then the selfishness that is a part of narcissism is what has prevailed.

Interestingly enough, experts tend to describe co-dependents as the classic sidekicks of narcissists since they both feed each other's unhealthy desires. A co-dependent would be inordinately seeking to please a partner and unjustifiably sacrificing their own well-being to maintain a relationship. Two and Three here could arguably fit that criteria, though I don't see it at all in Four and Five.

Apr 29 11 - 10:58am

I concur in general, unless you are Sidhartha Gautama or Jesus Christ everyone has some semblance of narcissism. After your response I re-read the stories and am in agreement that only writers 2 and 3 may meet some definition of co-dependency. However, in my cracker-jack box psychological analysis of Writer 4, I believe he leans towards a self-destructive personality focused on substance abuse. Writers 1 and 5 definitely hit on your narcissistic personality, however malignant is such a strong term to me and I would only apply that only to writer 1. Writer 1 is someone in a supposed monogamous relationship and has no guilt or regrets about her actions. Her concerns are only about what makes her happy. I feel sorry for her boyfriend as he is but a footnote in her story.

And yes the co-dependents are the classic sidekicks ... the inverted-narcissist.

Apr 30 11 - 8:20pm

or maybe they just fancied a good fuck!

May 01 11 - 12:25am
Bo Higgs

NO, I'm sure that no one fancies a good fuck.

Apr 27 11 - 10:14am

What I like about this feature is that Nerve has the balls to openly discuss something that's so taboo. Agree or disagree with cheating; at least we have a platform to discuss it honestly.

Apr 27 11 - 4:38pm


Apr 27 11 - 11:13pm

Thirded? :)

Apr 28 11 - 5:43pm

I know, right? So brave. So. Brave. It's like that movie Road Trip, but instead of a movie, it's a website.

May 01 11 - 12:27am
Bo Higgs

Wait a minute !!!
Who here is discussing things honestly???

Apr 27 11 - 11:50am

The only thing I like about this is that most of these jerks were smart enough not the tell their significant other. The only thing worse than a cheater is a cheater who feels that they have to assuage their guilt by confessing their sins, often longer after the deed is over or matters.

Apr 28 11 - 1:51pm


May 03 11 - 11:42pm

Seriously? I would much rather know...I want to dodge a bullet, not find out through a drunken girls' night when his neighbor's little sister mentions them stumbling into his apartment years after the fact.

Apr 27 11 - 1:49pm

Cheaters are weak cowards. They're afraid of breaking up so they cheat to try to force the break up, or so they can "trade up" to another partner with no gap of being alone. It's just the most childish selfish behavior possible.

What I don't get are the stupid people who assume that these cheaters will make great partners for them, after they've proven what crappy human beings they are. Why would you want to partner with someone who just stabbed their closest friend in the back?

Apr 27 11 - 10:04pm

Agreed. Actually, I think it's childish to "need" to be in a relationship all of the time, whether cheating is involved to segue from one relationship to another, or not. Maybe I'm being harsh, but honestly I think that if a person is terrified of being alone , that says something about that person's maturity level and the quality of their own company.

That being said, no one is perfect, and sometimes people do shitty things when they're confused or going through tough times. I don't mean that as an excuse for the blatantly selfish and entitled cheaters like the one in the first story, but I admit I have some empathy for the writer of the second story. I mean, her life and her former bf's life are probably both better now that they're broken up, and I'm kind of happy for her for figuring out her issue with the relationship and saving them both the eventual heartache, even if it did involve some degree of cheating.

Apr 27 11 - 7:54pm

If these people were unsatisfied enough with their relationships to go sleep with someone else, they should have ended it beforehand instead of putting both partner's emotions at risk. It makes me sad to see that these people felt virtually no guilt about their actions, and that most of their relationships ended shortly thereafter anyway. As a side note, however, I thought that the majority of these were well written, and I absolutely love this column. Looking forward to reading many more. :)

Apr 28 11 - 5:40pm

"Well-written" might be a stretch, unless the writers' were deliberately trying to look like assholes. As it is, it just seems like they didn't regret it because they weren't that into the person they were cheating on. A little post-mortem reflection would have been nice: cheating made me realize how great my relationship was; cheating broke me out of my crippling un-assertiveness; cheating helped me stay sane while caring for my dying boyfriend; cheating made it possible for me to be happy, even though I was sticking with my recently-sober husband out of fear that he'd fall of the wagon if I left him; or (a Dan Savage favorite) cheating made it possible for me to stay with my frigid, open-relationship-averse, but otherwise loving companion and spare my young kids the trauma of divorce that surely would have been the result of my sexual frustration. These theses don't go with these stories, but I wish there would have been something more like this. It's fun to read about the hook-up, but it'd be more fun to read that AND more nuanced feelings about cheating. It can be done in 500 words.

Apr 27 11 - 10:07pm

Hey Nerve staffers, just wondering if the call for submissions for peculiar dating stories about love overseas is accurate? Not sure if you intended on doing a Part II to the recent series on the same subject, or if that was just a clerical/uploading error...

Apr 27 11 - 11:10pm

Yup, we want more! If you have one, we'd love to hear it.

Apr 27 11 - 11:31pm

the third one sounds like an awful person. not because he makes out loudly, but because he went every night to see his younger girlfriend at college. no wonder she fell for someone else, he sounds like a friendless asshole. keeper!

Apr 28 11 - 2:31am

this stories are disgusting... specially number 2 she is just a whore..... are big fucking whore

Apr 28 11 - 8:13pm

You make it sound like being a whore is a bad thing. If anything, number 2 broke it off with the boyfriend she doesn't like and is now happy in a sexually fulfilling relationship.

Apr 28 11 - 9:15am

With the exception of the first writer, they all seem to follow a similar theme of co-dependency and a fear of being alone, utilizing the cheating as a psychological excuse to jump into another relationship. You could argue that writer 3 didn't let us know if he jumped to another relationship, but he definitely shows signs of co-dependent behaviour with the constant visits. Do not fault them for an inability to deal with their insecurities of their relationships.

Story writer 1, however is a different story. This is someone who plans on staying in a monogamous relationship ... at least as far as her partner is concerned. She is purposely deceiving her partner, what's to say she will not continue to cheat and deceive. She needs to do some inner reflection and determine if monogamy is right for her ... She should definitely check out the Dan Savage archive.

Apr 28 11 - 9:28am
Mr. Non-Smoker

These people are pigs.

Apr 28 11 - 12:04pm

Yay for celebrating infidelity and destruction of values! I just killed a man and I'm proud of it! Where's my article?

Apr 28 11 - 7:54pm
Edward SF

Why read articles on cheating if you're morally against cheating? Wouldn't it be easier (for all of us) if those who are going to rail against cheaters simply didn't read these type of stories?

Apr 28 11 - 10:44pm

are you pro-cheating? wouldnt it be easier (for all of us) if those who are going to cheat simply fuck each other and leave the rest of us out of your lies?

Apr 28 11 - 8:54pm

the writers of these stories are all obviously in their early 20s. i miss the more compelling, complex, mature nerve of days past...

Apr 29 11 - 3:50am


Apr 29 11 - 1:22pm
mr. man

leaving aside cheating for the moment, i have found that, like christina, when a relationship is entering the 'doomed' phase it's like my entire body shuts down towards the person. i am not proud of this, but i note it as fact. when my emotions check out so does my body and i feel myself no longer remotely attracted physically. even the scents seem different. they probably are, but my little pea brain can't figure it all out.

Apr 29 11 - 5:28pm

Live is to be enjoyed. Usually with people. Jennifer (#5) said: "...I don’t regret it one bit. And I would regret it less if George came to the city more often. " 'Nuff said! Thank you, Jennifer and Nerve!

Apr 30 11 - 3:57am

how did you get from the bar to your house and into having sex in 15 minutes writer #1? did you live right above the bar? next door? that just isn't alot of time is all i'm saying,

May 01 11 - 4:29pm

haha loved the internet nerd story. i can seen why she couldn't resist jumping his bones. i mean who can resist the cute, nerdy, innocent type?

May 02 11 - 6:37pm

God number 5 makes me sick, an inept social reject who backhands those who trust her and "jumps the bones" of a nervous outsider, simply because he's her "type". You wouldnt be able to trust her as far as you could throw her. The catalyst of cheating led to her downward relationship and elicited a means of escape, I've cheated yes- but I've felt guilty, you can't really justify it. I admit, kudos to 5. She got on my "nerve"s. Whore.

May 06 11 - 8:48pm

There are approximately 1 million prostitutes in the US. Most have sex 20 times per week. (one would assume they have repeat customers and or some of those customers are single). None the less, just prostitution alone tells us there are a shocking number of cheaters out there. That is not counting amateur assignations which some put at 40% of married men and 25% of married women. It seems that there may be more cheating than monogamy.

May 31 11 - 8:18am

In number 3 I particularly enjoyed this: "She went the prestigious route - college in Ft. Collins."

Jun 01 11 - 7:10am

Everyone has a few stories up there sleeve - it's good to hear them! --- Four women in four cities take on 365 dates between them. Visit www.3six5dates.com to find out more!

Mar 18 12 - 6:02pm

I see a lot of moot , weak, and hollow arguments on this forum !

The very fact that "nerve" is used (meaning bravery, or boldness, etc) does not mean it is a good thing.
, and if you do not care about what is good or bad that is another story.

I even question if it is "nerve" or brave to cheat. I tend to move towards the opposite.

What do i mean?

Most people cheat because they are in a "unfulfilling" relationship which means they are not being satisfied or "pleased" . Which means they are not in their envisioned "comfort zone the way life is "suppose" to be. That is a major indicator of being "WEAK" as hell. If your primary focus in lif is to be in a comfort zone. Then you need to have "nerve" and tell your partner that you do not wish to be in the relationship, or that you want an open relationship, or that if you cheated live up to your "nerve" and have the "nerve" to tell them you cheated.

Because as romantic, and great as it sounds cheating is not bold, brave, or "nerve" it is weaK.
The actual brave, bold, and "nerve" thing to do once you discover you are a "weak" person is to confess to your partner that you want a change, or that you already cheated.

Who cares if they move on in life without you. They have a right to associate with who they want to, and have a right to be in a just relationship with honesty, openness, loyalty, respect, and true oneness. If you can not live by those principals you should not, and do not deserve to be in that relationship. You may be a decent person as a whole, but not just a relationship type person. You need to do what is "nerve", and fair for everyone, and that is to end the relationship with dignity that you can no longer uphold.

If you are having sex with another person not only is it selfish, negligent, but possibly endangering their health, well-being, and life. Remember their are stds out there, and condoms do not necessarily prevent them 100% of the time. If their is a 00.1% chance that they could catch a disease that could alter, or hurt their life the cheating is more of an assault., and a possible death sentence.

In the long run cheating creates a society of nontrusting people towards one another. Those society s are very paronoid, and non-cohesive which means a weak, and easily controlled society.

Besides how would you feel if, your partner was cheating on you. You would not like it, and that is because it is a careless, selfish, and cowardly act. It is not "nerve" brave, or bold. "Nerve" is when you confess to them.

Unfortunately our society is getting to a point to where we are losing the capability of ruling ourselves. practices such as cheating/infidelity, and adulatory need to be criminalized, and a punishable by law on the basis that it is negligent, and endangering your partners possible health, or life.

Mar 18 12 - 6:16pm

If anyone has any questions, and or comments on the my commentary.

please mail me at: justice@gpire.com