The other day, a friend of mine from KCSB and I were sitting around discussing one of my past columns about open relationships (Daily Nexus, Jan. 23, “How to Have Your Significant Other and the Hottie Next Door”).

“Dude, Sarah,” he said, “I read this whole thing about cheating on your girlfriend and you never actually said how to cheat. I’m disappointed.”

I tried explaining to him that the point of the column hadn’t been how to cheat, but something completely different. But he insisted on a how-to guide for cheating.

“Just don’t put my name in the column, in case my girlfriend reads it online.”


So, after a little investigative reporting on my part, here it is: The informational, unofficial guide on how to successfully (as successfully as possible, at least) cheat on your significant other (S.O.).

The most important thing to remember about any relationship-on-the-side is separation. Different states is probably best. So long as you can avoid having the person you’re cheating with (from now on, “cheatee”) nowhere near your real relationship, you’re on easy street.

Remember, though, it’s best to tell the cheatee that you have a real relationship back home. This kind of honesty helps when the S.O. comes into town on a visit; you can avoid uncomfortable encounters this way.

Even with this physical separation, there are a couple more rules to remember: First, NEVER cheat with a mutual friend. That’s asking for discovery and strangely it’s something that people forget. No matter what, someone will slip and you’ll both be caught dead.

Second, never tell a mutual friend that you’re cheating. You’ve got to separate the cheatee from your other life as much a possible because you never know which friend is going to be more loyal to your S.O. than to you.

Other than that, long-distance cheating is simple. Just don’t slip up and be honest … at least with the person you’re being unfaithful with. Piece of cake.

If you want more of a challenge, or you like pain, try cheating in the same town as your S.O. This closeness brings the added risk of running into your significant other or running into a friend of his/hers while you’re out with your cheatee. You’ve got to keep an eye on your date and an eye on the crowd.

Because remember: the one night you take some other girl or guy to the movie theater 10 miles from your S.O.’s house, he or she will be there with his/her friends. Or a friend of his/hers will be working as an usher that night and see you. And then you’re in trouble.

It’s kind of like playing one of those shoot’em-up video games, except without the guns.

Another thing to remember is the removal of “date spore.” This includes all the receipts, gum wrappers, bits of jewelry, business cards, phone numbers, whatever that your cheatee can leave behind after a date that your significant other could come across at any time. All it takes is a receipt on the desk from a nice restaurant that you didn’t take your S.O. to. If he/she finds it and thinks about it, you’re dead.

Better yet, try to avoid bringing your cheatee home. S.O.s are known for their unannounced visits at the wrong times, and there’s a greater chance of left-behind bits that you won’t notice, but your girlfriend or boyfriend will.

It sounds paranoid, but that’s how you’ve got to be. If you don’t pay attention to every last little detail, you’re going to be caught on it. From a credit card receipt for the Harbor Restaurant to the smell of your clothes, it’s all evidence against your sworn fidelity.

Finally, of course, don’t leave home without a good alibi. A good excuse has been known to save an ass or two in dire straits.

Daily Nexus editor Sarah Kent thinks cheating is bad, but her boyfriend’s 220 miles away. Who’d ever know? Send her your sex questions and comments to <>