It started with a work rotation in DC and ended with an affair. Bored and in a new city, she began casually seeing a co-worker. At first, their actions did not have any meaningful consequences. As two single people, they met up randomly at movie theaters, restaurants, and each other’s apartments, relishing in the fact that most of their coworkers had no clue. The office gossip eventually started, but the games continued. There were occasional talks about whether one day there could be more, but the end of the rotation made it clear that things would basically stay the way they were unclear and noncommittal.

Eventually moving to DC for good, the games began again. A few weeks into it all, he revealed that he had met someone, but was still “officially single.” Contradiction, ladies and gentlemen, is the first sign of the good guy myth. The “officially single” disclaimer was his way of explaining coming over in the first place, but the “met someone” spiel was his way of defending himself from any future accusations of playing the field.

The new woman was almost a decade older and had two teenage kids (he was 26 at the time). Her? Huh? What? And she has what? 2 kids. 2 big ass kids? Hearing that news immediately answered the age-old question of whether you would like the other woman to be mentally/physically/socially flawed à la Arnold Schwarzenegger’s sidepiece or drop dead gorgeous à la Tiger Woods’ harem. Drop dead gorgeous, ladies and gentlemen. It’s way better than the flawed option. You can excuse all the behavior by the beauty and appeal. The other option just leaves questions and confusion. And there were questions and confusion, but she ignored these feelings. Ignoring reality, ladies and gentlemen, the first step to the demise of the good girl.

She took in the news, but tried not to think about it all too much. They weren’t a couple, but it was still shady as hell. She decided to accept the “officially single” disclaimer, and they went about business as usual. The back and forth continued until she learned that he wasn’t officially single as he claimed. The new woman was very much his girlfriend. It turned into an argument, but they eventually began speaking again … and again returned to old habits.

At this point, the ‘good girl’ was on a mission. It became less about boredom but more about proving that the world was out-of-order that she was there first and less f**** up than the new woman with a trunk full of baggage. The idea of being in a relationship was out of the window. This mission was what it was all about. And the more she learned about the woman, the more bad stereotypes came to light. Divorcee, baby daddies, drama. It was almost too easy to throw shade. Throwing shade, ladies and gentlemen, the official sign of the good girl morphing into a legit mean girl.

The more she heard, the more intense her mission became. Their games took on a whole new level. Now their motivating factor was the forbidden nature of cheating on this woman, rather than office gossip. They met up several times, both acting as full participants in sh*tting on this woman. It’s funny. In normal circumstances, the good girl would root for this lady. Would somehow want her to overcome the stereotypes and meet a good guy willing to put with her baggage. But not in this situation. There was no longer the good girl, and there was certainly no good guy in sight.

As time passed, things eventually stopped. His relationship with the new woman grew, albeit because she was completely in the dark about the cheating. They moved in together, and eventually he stopped telling everyone he was “officially single.” Now settled into DC, the good girl-turned mean girl started dating someone else, and the mission became a thing of the past. At least temporarily.

After nearly a year, her relationship ended, and old habits popped up again. Acting on old bad habits, ladies and gentlemen, is the ultimate demise of the good guy and good girl. They eventually began talking more frequently and bringing up past meet ups. Vivid retelling. Single, she didn’t give a flying flip about crossing this line. Perhaps bored, nostalgic, horny — all of the above — he didn’t care either. This time they went farther than before. Meeting up late, photos, and just straight up lying. No more pretending to even be a good girl and good guy. Just trifling. The new woman somehow remained oblivious even when he was arriving home at 2 AM.

The next day, he gave a big speech about how he felt so guilty and things had to stop. Oh, but yeah, he wasn’t going to tell his girlfriend about the cheating. He didn’t feel that guilty, of course! The good-guy-turned-loser-boyfriend, ladies and gentlemen, must always express remorse but act out like he doesn’t give a sh*t.

She felt the same way but was a bit put off by his arrogant tone throughout it all. This tone of “I better break this news to her gently. Issa taken man, now!” In the year that passed, however, she had other prospects in place. But yeah, she didn’t reveal those cards during the mission. C’mon. The truth was that even a good-girl-turned-mean-girl was put off by a guy who lost his good guy cred. And unlike the new woman, she knew he lost his good guy standing a long time ago.

So, this is where it all stands. The mission and games are over. New women is still in la la land. So what can good girl take away from all of this? What drove her behavior? It was never the sex. The sex was average at best. It was not love. They never pursued a relationship for it to get that far. Most likely the high of doing something that was forbidden. First, the whole hooking up with a coworker thing, and then the whole quasi-cheating to full-blown cheating thing. It was also stubbornness. The idea of a guy running off with Adriana Lima is believable, but not someone with tons and tons of baggage.

The most important lesson, however, was learning the myth of the good guy and good girl. “Good guys” are only as good as they present themselves. Mr. Officially Single can have a wifey and two kids at home. Can be a great guy by day, and a horn dog by night. Likewise, the good girl can stray from what she knows is right. She can bash the type of woman she would normally root for, and do all kinds of stuff to prove a horrible point. Perhaps waking up is the first sign of redemption for a former good girl.

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