Is the cheater’s gene real?
Cheating is super fun for some people. Like, thrill seekers who are literally turned on not so much by the act of cheating, but by the possibility of being caught while doing so. Cheating has gone on since the beginning of time whether it be on a test (damn algebra) or on our partners. Why do we cheat? Is there a true genetic predisposition to be a cheater or have we all just lost our sense of impulse control?
First, we have to look at what constitutes cheating on your partner. Here is where things can get tricky because we all have our own interpretations of what cheating actually is. For some, it’s dancing with someone that is not their partner at a club. For some, it’s watching porn. Other people feel texting someone that is not their partner is cheating. Those acts are not even physical, but can be cheating. Then, there are the physical acts of kissing, touching, or having sex with someone who is not your partner, which are also considered acts of cheating.
Emotional cheating is perpetuated by women more than men. Why? That’s an easy answer — we are emotional. I don’t mean burn your clothes, set your house on fire, key your car emotional (those are extreme cases that have happened; can we ever forget Angela Bassett’s character setting her cheating husbands clothes on fire in Waiting to Exhale? Nope). Women are hardwired to express their emotions freely and are nurturers by nature, so we need a partner who is there for us both physically and emotionally.
What is emotional cheating? Seeking emotional comfort from someone outside of your partner in an intimate way. It’s not hugging your co-worker when your dog dies, its calling, texting, and spending time with someone else who creates a sense of security, which leads to intimacy. For example, you and your partner have a fight, and instead of talking with your partner about how you feel, you turn to another man or woman. Now, discussing relationship issues with your bestie, and discussing these issues with your cute coworker are different. You are creating a security and intimacy with this person in a way that may upset your partner. Would your partner be okay with the conversations that take place between you two? Has your partner met this person? More importantly would you be comfortable with your partner interacting with someone else in the same manner?
The thing is, we women love to be intimate with people, and by “intimate” I mean we love to form bonds with others. How many times have you gone to the market and struck up a conversation with someone in the checkout line about some random fact of your lives you happen to have in common? We get our hair done and tell our beauticians everything that’s going on in our lives, and yet we only see them a few times per month. Many of our decision are based on emotional connectedness; like who are doctors will be or where we will live. Do we feel a connection to this person or environment, and if we do we feel more inclined to integrate them into our lives.
Emotional cheating is in fact very easy to perpetuate, and most times not even realized. I remember when my ex and I were going through the last six months of our relationship. During that period, I formed a serious and intimate bond with my previous boyfriend and would tell him all about my relationship. We would talk or text all day almost daily, and soon it led to sexting — pics and everything. While it never led to physical cheating, but the emotions were there and had been built up because I allowed them to be. I reached out to someone else who was giving me the emotional support I desperately needed at that time in my life. We have all been there.