Do you ask dates if they have cheated? - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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Do you ask dates if they have cheated?

Like a lot of people on TAM, I have seen firsthand how awful the effects of cheating can be. It was pretty devastating and I feel like I have worked on myself to the point to where I can trust my own judgment, and to where I don't have an automatic distrust of people in general, and men in particular.

I'm now wondering if there is a way to ask someone when you're first going out with them: "Have you ever cheated?" I saw someone do it on a TV program recently, and it occurred to me: wow, that's really ballsy, but as important a question as something like "ever been in jail?" to me.

Like any other question you ask someone when you first date, of course, they might not answer honestly. If they have cheated before, they might so "no," but there is a small chance if they answer honestly, it could help weed out people who have cheated in the past, and have poor boundaries.

I can't quite find a good time to ask, and feel like it's an awkward and very personal question, but one whose answer is kind of important to me. If they have cheated in the past, it's kind of a deal breaker.

1) What is a good way to phrase the question so they won't feel offended?
2) Is it OK to ask someone this?
3) If so, when should I ask? First date? Second date?

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post #2 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 03:14 PM
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Re: Do you ask dates if they have cheated?

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Originally Posted by joannacroc View Post
Like a lot of people on TAM, I have seen firsthand how awful the effects of cheating can be. It was pretty devastating and I feel like I have worked on myself to the point to where I can trust my own judgment, and to where I don't have an automatic distrust of people in general, and men in particular.

I'm now wondering if there is a way to ask someone when you're first going out with them: "Have you ever cheated?" I saw someone do it on a TV program recently, and it occurred to me: wow, that's really ballsy, but as important a question as something like "ever been in jail?" to me.

Like any other question you ask someone when you first date, of course, they might not answer honestly. If they have cheated before, they might so "no," but there is a small chance if they answer honestly, it could help weed out people who have cheated in the past, and have poor boundaries.

I can't quite find a good time to ask, and feel like it's an awkward and very personal question, but one whose answer is kind of important to me. If they have cheated in the past, it's kind of a deal breaker.

1) What is a good way to phrase the question so they won't feel offended?
2) Is it OK to ask someone this?
3) If so, when should I ask? First date? Second date?

I guess it's gonna be like asking someone if they are a felon or a sex offender.

Pretty much gonna be the last date

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post #3 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 03:27 PM
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Re: Do you ask dates if they have cheated?

Someone who values faithfulness, probably won't mind you asking; they'll understand.

If they've ever previously cheated, and are remorseful; they might tell you that.

If they've never cheated, never would; they'll probably tell you that too.

But those kind of people aren't the kind of people you want to weed out.


The kind of people that you want to eliminate are cheaters, or would be cheaters; who would lie and cheat if the temptation was strong enough.

They will either lie to your face, or say that they would never cheat----but they haven't really thought about it, or don't put much thought into what they say.


So, the end result is that you can't go by what people say.


I think strategic questions about how their past relationships ended, would be a better bet.
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post #4 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 03:29 PM
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Re: Do you ask dates if they have cheated?

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Originally Posted by joannacroc View Post
Like a lot of people on TAM, I have seen firsthand how awful the effects of cheating can be. It was pretty devastating and I feel like I have worked on myself to the point to where I can trust my own judgment, and to where I don't have an automatic distrust of people in general, and men in particular.

I'm now wondering if there is a way to ask someone when you're first going out with them: "Have you ever cheated?" I saw someone do it on a TV program recently, and it occurred to me: wow, that's really ballsy, but as important a question as something like "ever been in jail?" to me.

Like any other question you ask someone when you first date, of course, they might not answer honestly. If they have cheated before, they might so "no," but there is a small chance if they answer honestly, it could help weed out people who have cheated in the past, and have poor boundaries.

I can't quite find a good time to ask, and feel like it's an awkward and very personal question, but one whose answer is kind of important to me. If they have cheated in the past, it's kind of a deal breaker.

1) What is a good way to phrase the question so they won't feel offended?
2) Is it OK to ask someone this?
3) If so, when should I ask? First date? Second date?
What I have been finding out is that the topic usually comes up in the course of regular conversation. Att his point in our lives we all have some past history that has placed us where we are (in this case the dating world). It has become fairly typical at least for me to become involved in a discussion of our pasts when I am out with someone for the first time. It is kind of dumb to act as if we existed in a vacuum before meeting each other. So inevitably the topic comes up about past relationships. I guess if they don't offer, just ask.
Typically the women I have dated have been very frank and honest. I have had a few tell me that they did cheat and then explain why. I am not excusing the behavior, but again "cheating" is an act that is defined many different ways by many other people. Technically even if it is the day before your divorce becomes final - you are still married and it would be cheating to be with some one other than your then spouse.
Depending on how it went down, I don't necessarily consider it an instant deal breaker, although it does make me much more vigilant. If your ex had been dragging out a divorce for months and you are just waiting it out, what difference did it make? OTOH, if they just decided one day to get some strange, well that is a different story.
So #1 - just ask. If they get offended they are too thin skinned to want to be around anyways
#2 - absolutely it is OK to ask. Part of the purpose of dating is to get to know the other person, I would think whether or not they cheated is pretty important as to who that person is.
#3 - I think it just depends on the conversation. If the first date is just a simple meet and greet and doesn't involve any deeper conversation, probably not then. But definitely in the first few before anything physical takes place (which tends to cement a relationship)

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post #5 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 03:32 PM
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Re: Do you ask dates if they have cheated?

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I guess it's gonna be like asking someone if they are a felon or a sex offender.

Pretty much gonna be the last date
I agree. Besides...if I am into the person why would I want to ask them about when they had sex with other people, especially on the first date?
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post #6 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 04:32 PM
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Re: Do you ask dates if they have cheated?

I would ask, but not on the first date. I think its an important thing to know. When I get asked, I am honest and let them know that yes I did cheat in my first marriage. Havent done it since, and never will...its a horrible thing to have to live with. So it does make me a little nervous to see people would immediately rule me out. I don't know, I guess you really need to judge things on an individual basis. I got burned with my last husband by telling myself what you hear so many people say, that you shouldnt judge people by their pasts. Well, in this case I SHOULD have, his past was really sordid and it for sure came to bite me in the ass. Then other people will say that people don't change, so their past will tell you their future behavior. Well, that's not 100% either, because I know that I myself HAVE changed.

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post #7 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 05:17 PM
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Re: Do you ask dates if they have cheated?

I always found that it sort of naturally came up in conversation about how prior relationships ended. I was never hesitant about discussing it, though, and if it didn't come up, I would ask directly. I was also really clear quite early on that a history of cheating was a major red flag for me and that any infidelity within our relationship would be an instant deal-breaker. That way, no one could act surprised when I ended things immediately if I either later found out they had previously cheated and lied to me about it, or I found out they were cheating on me.

What surprised me were the guys who weren't hesitant to tell me straight up that they'd cheated, usually numerous times in the past, and clearly didn't think there was anything wrong with that. That was often paired with some remark indicating that their partner deserved it, or some other cheater-speak excuse. More than one wanted to argue that "no-cheaters" was a ridiculously high standard to expect in a man.

Yeah, because I'm not into admitted serial cheaters, I'm apparently going to end up as a lonely old cat lady.

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post #8 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 05:24 PM
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Re: Do you ask dates if they have cheated?

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I agree. Besides...if I am into the person why would I want to ask them about when they had sex with other people, especially on the first date?
You should reread OP's question. OP doesn't want to waste her time on a person who would cheat. So she wants to know if they have cheated before. She is asking how and when to ask that question. That isn't to say that she won't find someone who hasn't cheated who nevertheless would cheat if the opportunity presented itself. That's possible too.

I do think that asking it that way, "Have you ever cheated before?" On the first date might mark someone as having trust issues. Better to wait a couple of dates or approach the subject indirectly. If there seems to be a vague reason for a previous relationship ending that could be a bad sign.
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post #9 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 05:28 PM
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Re: Do you ask dates if they have cheated?

IMO, it's best to get to know someone slowly so that questions like this can evolve naturally. Asking a new partner something like this early on in the relationship isn't going to necessarily prevent you from wasting time on someone who's cheated; in fact if they don't know you that well, there's a good chance they wouldn't answer truthfully anyway.

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post #10 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 05:40 PM
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Re: Do you ask dates if they have cheated?

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Originally Posted by joannacroc View Post
Like any other question you ask someone when you first date, of course, they might not answer honestly. If they have cheated before, they might so "no," but there is a small chance if they answer honestly, it could help weed out people who have cheated in the past, and have poor boundaries.
Quote:
1) What is a good way to phrase the question so they won't feel offended?
2) Is it OK to ask someone this?
3) If so, when should I ask? First date? Second date?
You answered your own question....only you didn't.

All your dates who say No! are now alerted to your fears and mistrust. It tells them that they must button their lips, be less forthcoming, less spontaneous, more guarded. It tells them that you are wounded....have baggage.

It [hints at] or tells them that your husband cheated on you. They do not know you from baked beans. If you ask, they will THEN ask if YOU were cheated on. In the back of their minds they will think, "Why did her husband cheat on her?" Does she have problems with intimacy? Did she drive the poor fellow away....into the arms of another?"

All this is crap. But only you know this.

If they tell you No!, they did not cheat on their ex-wife, but actually did.....lie, cheat and deceive, this is the first shot across your bow. Only you will never see or hear the round, the shell of a man flying into your sickbay. A man who peddles virtue to you....again. Ahhg.

Do not ask until you are certain that PIV is what you want. Do not give [yet another cheater] your prize.

If you just want relief, want sex, someone to hold........oh so close. Do not ask.....do not care. He will be gone....soon.


This....This is the nub of the stick that pokes me in the eye when the light of day energizes my optic nerve....SunCMars.... The Allegory of the Cave--> On this, I did a '180' and stepped out.

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post #11 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 05:57 PM
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Re: Do you ask dates if they have cheated?

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1) What is a good way to phrase the question so they won't feel offended?
2) Is it OK to ask someone this?
3) If so, when should I ask? First date? Second date?
*Disclaimer: EB's most humble opinion and nothing more*

The first date is a sample... do I really want to know this person better? (no second date if a negative beyond your comfort shows)

The second is a confirmation... yes my gut is right in in the positive I felt from the first date.

The third date is introducing your more permanent boundaries and introduce it casually... not some "yep! I'll tell you now if ever catch someone cheating on me I'd string him up by his <bleep!>".

Something placed into the conversation as a response and more like "there are so many uncertainties in life, but above all, if I cannot trust somebody then I can't spend another moment with them.... that's just how I'm wired", or something to that effect.

Then watch the reaction and trust your gut with what you see... words may flow like honey, but the eyes tell you where the stingers are hidden.

Absolutely ask in some way... dates that are uncomfortable with your values will let you know quite quickly, but be careful not to sound too judgemental and your message will be quite clear.

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post #12 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 07:05 PM
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Cool Re: Do you ask dates if they have cheated?

On the first few dates, I just like to keep my eyes and ears open and attempt to pickup on the subtle nuances in their conversation or tone that might reflect that in some point in their life, that they might have been a party to cheating, or perhaps having been a victim of being cheated on!

But if a relationship is nearing a "seriousness threshold," then I would think that asking that question of them is definitely apropos !

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post #13 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-15-2016, 04:22 AM
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Re: Do you ask dates if they have cheated?

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You should reread OP's question. OP doesn't want to waste her time on a person who would cheat. So she wants to know if they have cheated before. She is asking how and when to ask that question. That isn't to say that she won't find someone who hasn't cheated who nevertheless would cheat if the opportunity presented itself. That's possible too.

I do think that asking it that way, "Have you ever cheated before?" On the first date might mark someone as having trust issues. Better to wait a couple of dates or approach the subject indirectly. If there seems to be a vague reason for a previous relationship ending that could be a bad sign.
Hi...I get it but here's the deal...EVERYONE lies about something in their life or they exaggerate. Everyone. So which lie is worse than the others and do you need to find out about first? Does it really matter? I think the OP needs to let go and live in the present...not the past...not the future. Try not to get caught up in the limerance of a new relationship and see the person for who they are. The truth comes out and you don't even have to be blunt about asking...just listen for gaps or inconsistencies in stories...
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post #14 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-15-2016, 06:42 AM
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Cool Re: Do you ask dates if they have cheated?

In addition to what I have already offered up on this thread, the first few dates are like initial job interviews: in my minds eye, it usually takes 3 or 4 to cement the deal to see if there is any potential of permanence there!

While having "deal-breakers" in place like having cheated on a former spouse carries utmost weight with most folks, other areas of discernment include, but certainly not limited to, whether they have murdered or seriously assaulted someone, have been incarcerated, have been a party to have committed some other heinous crime, embezzled or stolen something, are an alcoholic, a drug addict, or a sot, or have ever been guilty of being a spouse or child abuser! Add to that their behavioral patterns like if they are emotionally unstable, bipolar, or are a fearful or complacent sexual prude!

Direct or cross-examining questions never really have to be employed because, as with most any job or even "love applicant," it doesn't exactly take a rocket scientist to make you see that if what they're telling you is simply them pi$$ing on your shoes then telling you that it's only a thundershower! And I'd like to say that this mechanism works both ways, unless of course, one of the parties is simply an habitual, unconsciable, pathological liar!

All of these are so ultra-important to find out because in any new relationship, no matter how it is added up, all of this certainly falls directly under the mantra of "trust!"

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Last edited by arbitrator; 11-15-2016 at 08:49 AM. Reason: Edification
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post #15 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-15-2016, 07:58 AM
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Re: Do you ask dates if they have cheated?

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Hi...I get it but here's the deal...EVERYONE lies about something in their life or they exaggerate. Everyone. So which lie is worse than the others and do you need to find out about first? Does it really matter? I think the OP needs to let go and live in the present...not the past...not the future. Try not to get caught up in the limerance of a new relationship and see the person for who they are. The truth comes out and you don't even have to be blunt about asking...just listen for gaps or inconsistencies in stories...
Wow. That's called rationalization. I guess you would be surprised to learn that not everyone has so little personal integrity.

Maybe some people exaggerate the size of the fish they caught. Other people lie about being serial cheaters. I don't think they're equivalent. I guess you do.
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