desiree hartsock james case bacheloretteOn this week's Bachelorette, Desiree sent single dad Brad McKinzie packing, but ended up giving a rose to 27-year-old James Case, who confessed on their date that he cheated on his ex-girlfriend in college. The fact that the incident happened way back when encouraged Des to give him the benefit of the doubt. But clearly, there were still some eyebrows raised by her decision to keep a guy who had strayed from a significant other -- no matter how long ago.

After all, isn't it possible that once a guy's a cheater, he'll always be?

In her defense, Des explained:

I appreciated his honesty and believe that no one should be judged by their past. I was disappointed because I had been cheated on, but I was hopeful that James was so forthcoming because he would never do it again. I decided I was not going to hold it against him ... Ending the night dancing in James's arms made me feel secure and happy about the date. Also, being a part of such a wonderful day together created a bond and an even stronger connection between us.

Okay, I get it. There's definitely a case (no pun intended) to look beyond what James says he sees as a past indiscretion -- which, yes, he was refreshingly open about. But at the same time, as a woman who had been burned in the past, Des seems way too open the door to drama by considering James as a potential partner.

The truth is he was capable of cheating at one time ... and even if it was specific to that circumstance, that relationship, immaturity, doesn't the fact that he did it before make it seem at least slightly more likely that he could do it again? Even if not, wouldn't she always at least wonder in the back of her mind?

Plus, when you've been cheated on, it's definitely more difficult to trust again. Then to compound things by falling for a self-confessed cheater? Seems like that's just asking for trouble -- or at least a lot more unnecessary stress.

Then again, look at someone like Brad Pitt. Yup, he cheated. Would he again? I highly doubt it. Maybe as much as we'd like to believe it is, forgiving and trusting a former cheater isn't as black and white as we'd like to make it out to be. It's just extremely personal. And just a guess, but I'm thinking that given her past, Des would be better off steering clear.

How do you feel about being with a self-confessed cheater?

 

Image via ABC