Dear EFAP: Burnt once too often

Thank you to those who have written to “Dear EFAP” for input on your dilemmas. As you are aware, we read every inquiry that comes in but we are only able to print a small selection of responses.  Our “pithy” answers are modeled after the lighter hearted Dear Abby style and are grounded in common sense.  If your issues require a more personalized level of support please call EFAP (1-800-505-4929) and we can confidentially book you a counselling appointment with a senior level therapist

We welcome all inquiries – please submit these to All printed responses use the anonymous descriptor that you sign your inquiry with and do not reveal any identifying information.  Our goal is to support you through insight and common sense.

Below is our response to the next selection – enjoy!


I want to find a man who doesn’t cheat. I want to find a man who is not so full of himself that there is no room for me – or anyone else for that matter. I have been burned so badly by these types of guys that my heart truly feels charred. What should I be most aware of so it does not happen again?

  • Burned Once Too Often

Dear Burned Once Too Often

One might want to say that dating guys who have cheated or guys who want to look in the mirror more than at you might indeed be good folks to stay away from.  How do you suss this out?

My thoughts are that you need to assess for honesty. Simply put, a cheater is really a liar. Yes, they may be hanging their adulterous hat on the blame of no sex, or that they need variety, or communication issues but the fact that they decided without regard for you to start in on other relationship and have not told the truth about it, is what is  key to me.

If they had told the truth about the way that they were feeling, then you would have had a chance to fix it or leave on good (at least pretty good) terms. Going behind someone’s back is a lie and liars in the end never prosper, my friend.

So my thoughts on this is to slow down and build a foundation and carefully assess your prospects for honesty and it will lead you down a better path. How about tend the initial fire that burns out quickly differently, and instead in future, slowly feed that fire with emotional kindling, one step at a time. If along the way you decide it is not for you, you can douse it much more easily and reduce the current large scale charring to the odd piece of singed wood and that is much easier on the old heart.  Onward, and keep me posted.

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The advice offered in this column is meant to be used as general guidance based on the facts provided. The opinions or views expressed should not be relied on as treatment or counselling services. If you are a VCH staff member and find yourself in need of counselling or support, please contact EFAP toll free at 1-800-505-4929 or 604-872-4929, your family doctor, or another appropriately trained and qualified specialist.

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