Cyber Cheater

Advice on manners and morals.
Nov. 1 2001 2:18 PM

Cyber Cheater



Get "Dear Prudence" delivered to your inbox each week; click hereto sign up.Please send your questions for publication to (Questions may be edited.)


Dear Prudie,

My boyfriend of three years was on his computer while I was in the room, and I saw quite clearly that he had an e-mail from an online dating service. Well, of course he closed this out quickly—but not soon enough. Later that night I joined the same service. There he was, plain as day. So I checked out some other sites. He was on at least five more. I tried contacting him on two of them, but he didn't check them on time, and the e-mails were deleted. I mentioned to him one day that I had hit my sexual peak and needed him around more, which is the truth. Jokingly, I said maybe I should try an online dating service. He said in a really odd tone, "Oh, I'm sure you'd find some real winners there." I feel as though the information I have is inadmissible since I "happened" across it. I guess I am yellow about confronting him.


Dear Con,

Nothing like a guy on at least six dating sites to make a girl question his commitment. Three years together not withstanding, this chap is still looking. Regarding whether or not what you know is "admissible," your life is not a court of law, and you know what you know ... however you learned it. Prudie would suggest you bow out of the relationship with no mention of the "evidence." Let him wonder where the yellow went.

—Prudie, tactically

Dear Prudence,

I had been taking my sons to Dr. XXX for about two years. He was my second son's first doctor. He seemed very competent and kind. The boys seemed to like him. One day when I took my eldest in for a check up, he asked me for a kiss. I thought I misheard him, but then he repeated himself. I just kind of smiled awkwardly and didn't respond, so he came over put his arms around me. I turned my head, and a kiss landed on my face. One more squeeze from Dr. XXX, and I was out of there. I didn't go back and quickly contacted my medical insurance provider for a referral to another pediatrician. Was there something else I should have done? One of my friends thought I should notify the powers that be, but wouldn't that destroy the man's career? Did I act too hastily?


Dear Dis,

You did not act hastily enough. Too bad the lech with a stethoscope got close enough to plant one, but Prudie is sympathetic to your being rattled by all the "attention," with a child present, no less. It is unlikely that anything you could do would ruin his career, but you can dim its luster a little—and maybe save another mother from his advances. The guy should not be given a pass, pardon the pun. Prudie's favorite physician says the thing you should do is file a complaint with the Board of Registration in your state, i.e., the licensing board. The complaint will certainly be reported back to the physician and put him on notice that he is being watched. There is even a chance he may face a penalty. Do not be shy about this. You did nothing wrong. He did.

—Prudie, righteously

Dear Prudie,

Now that school has started, I am in a pickle. Last year, I somehow wound up in a romance with one of my professors. (I wasn't doing it to get better grades or anything; actually, this man sort of "noticed" me because of my good grades.) The problem, now, is this year. He wants to resume, and I've been putting him off because I think maybe this isn't the right thing for me to be doing. I go to a university that's across the country from where I live, so this past summer was not an issue. Any thoughts about the ethical correctness—or lack thereof—in this kind of relationship


Sports Nut

Grandmaster Clash

One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

Do the Celebrities Whose Nude Photos Were Stolen Have a Case Against Apple?

The NFL Explains How It Sees “the Role of the Female”

Future Tense

Amazon Is Now a Gadget Company


How to Order Chinese Food

First, stop thinking of it as “Chinese food.”

Scotland Is Inspiring Secessionists Across America

The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant

The XX Factor
Sept. 18 2014 11:40 AM The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant
Sept. 17 2014 5:10 PM The Most Awkward Scenario in Which a Man Can Hold a Door for a Woman
  News & Politics
Sept. 18 2014 3:19 PM In Defense of Congress Leaving Town Without a New War Vote
Business Insider
Sept. 18 2014 3:31 PM What Europe Would Look Like If All the Separatist Movements Got Their Way
Sept. 18 2014 3:24 PM Symantec Removes Its “Sexual Orientation” Filter
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 18 2014 3:30 PM How Crisis Pregnancy Centers Trick Women
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 18 2014 1:23 PM “It’s Not Every Day That You Can Beat the World Champion” An exclusive interview with chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
Brow Beat
Sept. 18 2014 3:55 PM Why Television Needs a New Cosby Show
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 2:39 PM Here's How to Keep Apple From Sharing Your iPhone Data With the Police
  Health & Science
Sept. 18 2014 3:35 PM Do People Still Die of Rabies? And how do you know if an animal is rabid?
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.