If you’ve made it this far in life without getting cheated on, I applaud you!
The chances of getting cheated on in a committed relationship can be as high as 25%.
Obviously, if you’re not in a committed relationship, those odds are a lot higher. A man who doesn’t feel committed to you or who hasn’t talked about being exclusive is much more likely to be sleeping with someone else.
If you want to know whether this guy is going to cheat on you, there are a lot of personality profiles out there. Supposedly cheaters have higher testosterone levels, more concern about their sexual performance, an impulsive nature, and moral ambivalence towards cheating.
But new research has taken a different approach. It’s looked at how people resist temptation when they’re in a relationship.
It turns out that two strategies are highly effective in helping couples stay faithful. And these strategies probably aren’t what you’d think.
Here’s what doesn’t work.
- Strengthening the relationship with date nights and lots of hot sex,
- Staying away from any source of temptation, like conversations with attractive co-workers, or
- Feeling guilty and horrible at feeling attracted to someone else.
No, a strong relationship doesn’t help you resist temptation, any more than feeling horribly guilty about having sexy thoughts about your next-door neighbor else does.
Here’s what actually works to keep us faithful.
1. Believing that no one else is as attractive as our partner.
Wearing rose-tinted glasses is one of the best ways of making your relationship thrive.
When you think your partner is smarter, stronger, funnier, and hotter than any other guy—even if you know that you’re probably the only person who thinks that way, aside from his mother—your relationship is on solid footing.
So pay attention to what color glasses your guy is wearing. Does he think you’re totally amazing?
Or do you think he compares you to other women? That could be a sign he’s not equipped to resist the call of temptation.
2. Not getting caught up staring at other women.
You and your guy are walking down the street when a sexy woman strolls past.
Now, if your guy is human, he’s going to notice. But if he’s the faithful type, he’ll immediately switch his attention back to you. It’s as if he’s saying, “So what? The only sexy woman I care about is the one I’m with.”
Men who cheat have a hard time disengaging. They see a sexy woman, and it’s tough to pull away. Perhaps because they don’t just look at her; they get caught up fantasizing about her.
In many ways, this is all common sense. A guy who doesn’t value you is more likely to cheat. And a guy who lets his attention get hijacked by pretty women is more likely to cheat.
What we need to realize is that the things we do to prevent cheating—like strengthening the relationship, or keeping him away from temptation, or lecturing him on the perils of cheating—don’t actually work.
Find a guy who thinks the sun rises and sets with you, who won’t look at another girl as long as he’s with you, and you’ll have the best chances of staying strong for the long haul.