09/02/2011 07:52 EDT | Updated 11/02/2011 05:12 EDT

I Cheated on You... Will You Marry Me?

I believe in love. And I also believe in men having fire lit up under their butts after dalliances, suddenly panicking and making the gravest of life decisions to save the said butts.

Every time I got cheated on, I was promised stronger commitment to make up for it. The first time, a reluctant boyfriend begged to move in, the second time a boyfriend got down on his knees and proposed, the third time a boyfriend signed us up for some very pricey counseling. All three times were effective tactics because I stuck around longer, though never making the mistake of marrying any of the clowns.

Recently, it was announced that Adam Giambrone is about to marry Sarah McQuarrie, his live-in girlfriend of more than five years. For those who don't know, Giambrone is Toronto's would-be mayoral candidate who had to resign because it was revealed he had an on-going affair with a 19-year-old girl (who, resolutely, disclosed transcripts of their passionate texting and messaging). Furthermore, Giambrone revealed publicly that there were multiple affairs going on in his life. Then he resigned from his candidature.

An attractive journalist friend confessed to being hit on by Giambrone at a media event; said he had a boyish, single-dude vibe about him. She was intrigued, especially since he seemed so sincere. If you read the incriminating texts, you'll see how Giambrone comes across as someone who really is sincere and, is, additionally, tragically committed to a woman in pearls who photographs well. If you're a 19-year-old you will buy this, but you don't have to be 19 -- you can be a middle-aged desperado and a tied-down man's lies will sound like the sweetest nectar to your ears. This is because you believe in love and because (some) men are good at manipulating this belief.

In any case, here we are now, 18 or so months later, Giambrone asking to marry his woman in pearls, despite, at one point, swearing up and down he would not do that (in one text to his 19-year-old lover). If you were a cynical person you could say Giambrone is marrying his political beard. But if you go by what Joe Pantalone, a former deputy mayor of Toronto and a friend of Giambrone, says, you'll be happy to know that "the couple is deeply in love."

I believe in love. And I also believe in men having fire lit up under their asses after dalliances, suddenly panicking and making the gravest of life decisions to save the said asses. I'm sure Giambrone is planning to run for the office again so his marriage to McQuarrie may be politically motivated after all, but I'm also quite sure that he'd finally realized what a gem he had at home all along while chasing skirt elsewhere. Or maybe he just realized that he didn't like to be alone and she was the only one who understood him (yikes).

Either way, bad boys don't let go so easily. They are all about prodigious-son returns -- at least my own experience shows it. And women are forever forgiving, posing with pearls and pearly smiles beside their bad boys. Is McQuarrie's "Yes" a case of low self-esteem blues? Possibly. But then, hello Hilary Clinton!

And I can tell you that my own self-esteem has nothing to do with forgiving my bad boys in the past. I mean, even if I wanted to get rid of them there was no way to do it -- the amount of declarations, poetry, gifts and begging was astonishing, weakening every defense I had... And then there were always the big guns (marriage, moving in, therapy) that would finally make me capitulate completely and give it another go. As I said, I believe in love and love means forgiveness, even though, for me, cheating was supposedly a deal breaker. At the same time, I can always lower my standards (not my self-esteem as I don't draw it from my relationships, thankfully), especially when it comes to love.

Plus, with the opposite sex, I'm just naturally weak. How could I not be? Biologically, I'm programmed to respond to pursuit. And what is begging and pleading and promises if not a form of pursuit? You get worn down and you capitulate. Sometimes you end up with a very heavy rock on your finger that blinds you so effectively that you can't see past it. I don't know for sure what made McQuarrie stay but I'm guessing it was biology and belief in love. Because what is "will you marry me?" if not the biggest declaration of love in our screwed up Western world?