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Do nude pics count as cheating?

My girlfriend forgave me for accepting a nude from someone else, but I still feel bad.

The past is past, says our elder. You’re not a cheater; just curious.

Dear EWC

I’m in love with my girlfriend. We’ve been together for six months and I don’t want/desire anyone else. However, one night where I was not feeling like myself, I was offered a nude from another girl and accepted. I instantly regretted it and don’t even know why I did it. I feel awful. I told my girlfriend and she forgave me but I’m having trouble forgiving myself. I feel terrible about it and need advice. Is this cheating? I need help.

Mr. Bill replies

Thanks for writing to us and sharing your story. There are really two stories here and I have a few thoughts about both of them. In the meantime, let me answer your question right away. No, I don’t think that what you did was cheating.

I mentioned that I thought there were two stories here. The first story is the one about the girl who took and offered you the nude pictures. I know nothing about her, but I have heard way too many stories about men and women who took pictures of themselves and put them on the internet. Some are innocent high school students who, later on, were embarrassed or worse about those pictures. Others are prominent men and women who, when the activities and pictures were revealed, made headlines. I sincerely hope that someday this girl doesn’t regret that she took and posted these pictures.

The second story, of course, is yours. I don’t think you cheated. I think you were exploring the internet, you connected with another girl, and you were curious and impulsive. At some time or another, couldn’t that could describe all of us?

I believe you feel awful; I believe you love your girlfriend; I believe that she is all you want or desire. I know you believe those things and if you told your girlfriend, and she forgives you, I believe she knows them, too. If she can forgive you, you can forgive yourself. How?

One thing to remember is, “The past is the past”.

That puts me in mind of a passage from one of my favorite books by one of my favorite authors. Jim Harrison wrote his memoirs, Off To The Side. The last line of that book, after telling the story of his life and who he is, reads, “My life could have been otherwise, but it wasn’t”. Remember that. You could have done otherwise, but you didn’t. And as Willie Nelson sang in There’s Nothing I Can Do About It Now, there really isn’t anything you can do about it now, except what you’ve done. You’ve told your girlfriend; she forgives you; it’s time to move on. Lesson learned.

That’s my thinking. You didn’t cheat; you were curious and in a different place; you did what you could to make it right. I doubt that you will do it again, at least not for a long time.

Letter #: 449194
Category: Dating/Relationship

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