So I was just asked the question: “What do you think about dating a married man?” I know that the normal gut reaction answer is NEVER, it only ends in heartbreak!. But humor me because I’m going to actually look at it from a less traditional perspective. Then again, I’m not exactly a traditional girl so what else would you expect.
So firstly, I’d like to mention that my perspective on marriage is a little skewed being part of the queer community because I know more than a few people who are in “Marriages of Convenience”. And quite frankly if I don’t have the right to get married regardless of how valid my relationship with my partner is I simply don’t believe in it. I don’t believe in something that isn’t a reality for me or for a good number of people that I love.
That being said, I don’t think dating a married man (or woman for that matter) is necessarily the greatest idea. I’m not one to judge, I clearly lead a life of chaos and mayhem, I just think there’s enough heartbreak in this world that getting involved with someone who is already attached (especially in a legal way) is just asking for trouble, especially in the straight world. Yes, love makes us do crazy things and no I don’t believe that one can have absolute control over your emotions. You fall for who you fall for and it sucks/is awesome all the same, but you do have control over getting into something that could be complicated and messy. What it really comes down to is whether you think it’s a good idea for you. I generally believe all is fair in love and war and have acted as such most of my life. I mean I really can’t judge since I met one of my exes while she was on a date with a boy. That being said thus far I haven’t dated anyone that I knew was actually attached (legally or otherwise) at the time. Part of it for me (especially in a heterosexual context) is that if the person I want to date made a commitment to someone else and is stepping out on them, then what makes it so different that I think they won’t step out on me? I mean I’d like to think that I’m fabulous and unforgettable and no one could ever bear to step out on me but at the same time, isn’t that what the other woman (or man) thought?
Certainly I’ll give pause for the situation that I was recently introduced to where a friend of mine was dating this man who was married to a woman because of his family but he was in reality quite gay. This complicates matters because the way he lived with his “wife” was essentially as roommates. So my friend ended up dating him. In essence, I guess what I’m getting at is that it isn’t a black and white issue. None of these things are. Whenever emotions are involved things get messy and weird. And when social norms get mixed up with civil rights and morals and whatnot it gets even more confusing. I’ve even encountered the well what if they’re only married for the visa question before. And you know what, it really comes down to what you are ok with. You have to consider what it will do to you and if you’re ok with the consequences. I think most of it comes from being really honest with yourself and knowing what you want and what you can or can’t live with.
Thing is I’m a little out of my element talking about any of this because I’ve never been in a relationship where I’ve had a lover outside of my relationship or to my knowledge where one of my partners has done so to me. So I don’t really know what it entails. Nor have I been in a situation where I am with someone out of convenience or necessity. I’ve always been very much infatuated if not actually in love with my partner at the time so that’s the standpoint where I’m coming from. And when I’m in love with someone, I don’t step out on them. No matter how angry I am or how much I would like to prove a point and be a bitch because I’m mad. (Yes, I’ve thought about it and had opportunity to act. But No, I’ve never been able to or even wanted to follow through.)
So the short answer is I think there’s also a lot of grey areas when your emotions are involved. I don’t think it’s an ideal situation and I would be fairly hesitant and quite cautious. However, I think what is right is on an individual basis and you have to figure that out for yourself.