Don’t Get Cheated On

image MSNBC.com and iVillage.com “Lust, Love & Loyalty Survey” asked more then 70,000 adults questions about love and infidelity in a 30 question poll. Among other facts, they found that the number one reason men cheat is because they are dissatisfied with their relationship, while women most commonly cheat because they feel emotionally deprived.

I am a very lucky gal. I have never cheated on a guy (that’s just me, not luck) and I have never been cheated on. However, I have many friends (male and female) who are not so lucky. It makes me wonder, what are they doing differently than I am? While I may not have a magical cheating prevention spell, I think there are some things I do in relationships that others don’t.

Ignoring Red Flags – I tend to be more cynical than some of my friends. Not necessarily negative, just a little more cautious. I expect there to be some bumps in the road to romance, and I anticipate them. So I see red flags when they pop up, evaluate each one and decide if it’s something I can live with.

Red flags that are deal breakers for me:

  • Lying
  • Leaving someone else for me (they need to be single when they meet me)
  • Hiding things (not lying, but omitting important details)

Ignoring the “Best By” Date – There are times when we know a relationship is over. Sometimes, the band just plays on and we move deck chairs. This type of situation can lead to cheating, because emotionally someone has already checked out. Knowing when a relationship is over, and cutting ties then saves the trouble of being heartbroken six months down the road because you were too scared to be alone, or just so comfortable with each other.

Ignoring Mind Numbing Boredom – Once in a relationship rut, it’s easy to let the days move past with out doing anything to spice it up. Remember the thrill in the beginning of the relationship? The butterflies, the tingles and fireworks? One thing I always seek in long-term relationships is a way to keep some excitement in and out of the bedroom. It doesn’t matter if you can add new pages to the Karma Sutra if there is no mental stimulation. Once you are no longer thrilled by your partner, the urge to look elsewhere for that spark may appear.

Ignoring Basic Personality – Now this is a tough one for me. I don’t always believe in “Once a cheater, always a cheater.” However, if there is a long history of cheating, that can be a major warning sign. Also, anyone who’s a real adrenaline junkie can be caught up in the thrill of the illicit. The excitement of not getting caught. Finding a way to keep the thrill seeker interested in YOU can be very fulfilling. However, if they also have a pattern of cheating behavior you need to decide if they are worth the risk at the beginning of the relationship.

Ignoring Self-Esteem Issues – This goes both ways. Sometimes people will cheat in a self destructive manner, because they don’t feel they deserve the relationship. Others will be cheated on because they also have low self esteem. If you don’t believe that you are worthy of faithfulness, chances are, you are going to attract partners who are ready to prove you right. It’s the victim mentality spiral all over again. I know that I am worth being faithful to. I know that if a guy cheats on me, it’s HIS problem, and I can do better. They sense this confidence.

Ignoring Definitions and Expectations – Sometimes we don’t want to define or label a relationship. We are concerned that that can add to much pressure. However, not clearly defining what’s expected and where the relationship is at. Is it really cheating if you are the only one that has an expectation of monogamy? I know more than one person who has been hurt because they assumed that they were in a monogamous relationship.

Ignoring Basic Needs – I’m not talking about food and housing, hopefully you have that taken care of. However, if your basic emotional needs are not being met, eventually you will seek it elsewhere. I know I need a guy who can make me laugh. When I’ve dated boring guys, it never lasts long enough for me to be tempted, because I recognize what I’m missing.

Ignoring the Facts – Once you’ve confirmed that your partner has cheated on you, you have to decide what to do. Was it a one time thing? Can you actually forgive and move on? If you do stay in the relationship, it’s going to be tough. Once resentment and anger start to grow, they can do far more damage than just a one night stand. However, if you do stay with someone who cheated, decide what your limits are. I have a friend who keeps taking back his girlfriend, even though she has cheated on him numerous times. Each time he’s just as shocked and hurt as he was the first time.

There are many reasons for people to cheat, and I’m no psychic. I can’t tell if I’m going to be cheated on at the outset. However these basic relationship building blocks need attention if you want to have a solid foundation. If you have been cheated on, or been a cheater I would love to know what you think, please comment.

Written by Mandi
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5 Responses to “Don’t Get Cheated On”

  1. eliezer says:

    well i’ve had those red flags for the whole year that my relationship has been on the road.

    i think she cheated at me like 4 or 5 times, and i, as your friend, keep taking my old lady back. why? i don’t know, i guess i’m just too in love with her and that’s something she can’t understand, how to love and how to forgive. how to live.

  2. Kay says:

    Eliezer – is it really worth it? Wouldn’t you rather be with someone who valued your love? Then there’s the very real concern about disease… Do yourself a favor and really think this through.

  3. cleocactus says:

    My boyfriend cheated on me once.i felt cold and utterly numb.I didnt leave him though.six months later,the girl died.i was very happy and my boyfriend was very scared..so,now i’m sure he’ll never repeat the mistake.
    Cheers

  4. jane says:

    Lol to cleocactus. I hope i have the same luck! My bf cheated on me. He’s made moves on girls before but now he actually went through with it. Being a sucker, i didnt dump him just yet even though im sure he’ll do it again. The problem is appart from that we get along great and we have a great sex life and intimacy. He just constantly makes bad decisions for himself. But everytime i say “next time its over” and then he pushes my limits but i stay. rawr. i feel like shaking him.

  5. dazzled says:

    Jane, you can find someone else with whom you’ll get along great and have a great sex life. Cheaters aren’t worth it. They cause a lot of pain, and they don’t change their ways (temporarily perhaps, but not permanently). Plus there’s always the risk of serious disease. Yes, he makes bad decisions for himself, but so are you. Do yourself a favor and say “this time it’s over.”

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