Q: I'm a 26-year-old female and have been single and living in the city for more than four years. Last week I went out for some after-work drinks and met an amazing guy who was in town for work. He was handsome, funny, and extremely charismatic. (Let's call him Jake.) Jake was with some coworkers and I had a friend with me, and we all had drinks and dinner. We hit it off right away and started talking about dating and relationships. He said he was in a six-year relationship and recently broke up with his girlfriend and that it was hard to have a relationship because he travels frequently for work. Jake also mentioned that dating in NYC is easy, but that he usually never gets past a first date, which I could easily relate to with dating in Boston. At some point during the night he mentioned that he had nieces, and that he would make me a housewife and take care of us while I took care of him and the kids. He had me sold.
We ended the night pretty early and headed back to his hotel where we proceeded to have sex multiple times. This was the first time I ever went home with a complete stranger, yet I felt oddly comfortable in his presence. In the morning he Uber'd me a car and asked for my number. I was uncertain whether he would actually use it or not, but was OK with that. I knew Jake's first and last name so of course I looked him up on Facebook when I got home (who wouldn't?) ... and I was appalled at what I found. His profile picture was him and a woman, his cover was a family photo with two girls. I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt and thought maybe they were his nieces he had talked about. They weren't. There were multiple family pictures and comments from others saying "beautiful family" etc. I thought maybe they're possibly separated, but then I found his wife's Facebook and saw even more proof and I am 100 percent certain he is married. I didn't want him to have the satisfaction of thinking he got away with it, so I sent him a quick message calling him out on it, and obviously never received a response. Contrary to what my friends said, I couldn't bring myself to message his wife and ruin his family.
There wasn't a single clue that gave it away, and his coworkers were all for it as well. He told me everything I wanted to hear and did all the right things. I can't even begin to fathom this situation. I didn't think this actually happened in real life. Some girls out there would still hook up with a guy whether he was married or not, but he didn't even give me that option and fooled me into adultery, which I'm not OK with. Am I naive for taking everything people say at face value? How can I trust anyone again after this? As soon as things started looking up for me, I lost all hope again.
– Fooled into Adultery, South Boston
A: The only way you can be sure about someone's integrity and real-life marital status is to get to know them. You went back to a hotel with a guy you'd just met -- someone who lives out of town and told you that he wanted to marry you. I'm not judging your choice to get intimate with someone so quickly (although I do have serious safety concerns about you going to a hotel alone with a man you don't know), but you have to admit that you were in the exact right situation to get fed a bunch of lies.
This kind of thing does happen in real life, which is why you have to be honest with yourself about your needs. If you need to know that you're with someone nice (and single), you can't sleep with strangers.
Don't let this experience stand for more than it does. There's no reason to lose all hope and to make big assumptions about the future of your love life. This was an isolated incident, and now you know that when it comes to one-night stands, there are no rules. If you're not OK with that, don't have them. The next time you meet someone nice, take your time.
Readers? How can she get over her participation in the adultery? Should she be losing hope? Does this happen often in real life? What can she do to move on from this? Should she have messaged the wife? Help.
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.