Your answer to those pairing questions really has me fantasizing how Dan would possibly react if he thought Amy was cheating on him… I think I’m a little too into the potential of anguish/ dramatic shift in power dynamic, but I do wonder how he’d process his emotions.
Answer: very, very badly. I mean, Dan’s default mode of expressing complex emotion is acting like a massive dick, and I think this would be a far more complicated emotion than anything he’s had in the show thus far.
My best guess is that he would find the person who would hurt Amy the most and cheat with her as a kind of retaliation. Which…well, I don’t want to speculate too much about that, as it would get very, very ugly.
But for Amy to cheat on him would require their relationship to deteriorate so seriously that I think there would have to be much bigger problems than the infidelity. She didn’t cheat on either Ed or Buddy, after all, no matter how unhappy she became, and she is far more invested in Dan than she was in either of them, so I really do think it would be out of character. She seems to check out of relationships when they become dissatisfying, but we’ve seen nothing to indicate that she tries to build herself a life raft or anything, and (since she never cheated on Ed with Dan) some evidence that she’s able to resist temptation. She also doesn’t seem interested in sex with men she doesn’t know at least a little, so the kind of drive-by opportunities that Dan might take advantage of probably wouldn’t be attractive to her.
Dan has also, at times, been rather possessive of her, and I could see him kind of using that to hide his own hurt from himself? As in, expressing his outrage that she would dare sleep with someone else when she is Amy Brookheimer and therefore the exclusive property of Dan Egan, but never coming out and admitting that he was hurt or blindsided by the betrayal of trust (both of which he absolutely would be). I think he also knows that the easiest way to hurt Amy is to imply that they have no relationship, she’s a tool not a person he cares for, so I think we’d get a lot of “never liked you anyway,” probably with a side order of “you’re not my type.” And since Dan knows Amy very, very well, you could expect him to say these things in the most brutal, crude, and hurtful manner humanly possible.
The odd thing is – and perhaps this is because I can only imagine Amy cheating in a scenario where Dan had been so flagrantly awful to her, in ways well beyond what we’ve seen, that even HE knew he’d crossed a line – I don’t think it would make him not want to be with her. He would probably be horrible for a while, but I don’t think the basic desire to have Amy in his life would go away. Whereas, I’m pretty certain Amy would drop Dan flat on his ass if he cheated and probably never look back.
But she has a far more resentful temperament than Dan, and she’s also far more likely to have an actual love affair. In other words, I think Amy is much less likely to cheat, but if she does it’s a sign that things are catastrophically wrong. Whereas Dan might cheat if the opportunity arose and if (a very important it here) he thought Amy would never find out. (On the other hand, having lost her to Buddy for a a year after the last fuck-up, he may not want to take the risk again – I think both options are possible).
The person to feel really sorry for is whatever poor unfortunate Amy cheated with, because that dude is about to have his life burned down, very unpleasantly and probably publicly too.