Dating

4 Reasons Why Men (& Women) Cheat

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Have you ever cheated? Been cheated on? Though to my knowledge I haven’t, I did strongly suspect cheating once, and let me tell you, that was the moment that defined the outer limits of my personal crazy! With such strong emotional consequences, it begs the question: why does cheating happen?

4 Reasons Why Men (& Women) Cheat

Are We Still Cave Men?

Infidelity happens for a multitude of reasons, but the most commonly cited are our cave-man instincts. You know, evolution. Because subconscious biological incentives to cheat exist.

When you get down to our barest subconscious motives, men have an incentive to cheat because it means leaving behind more offspring, and women benefit from cheating by pursuing what evolutionary psychologists call a dual-mating strategy. Basically this means that when a woman is able to get a man to settle down and invest resources in her (but still get action on the side), she is able to maximize both ends of her reproductive strategy (great genes for future babies, plus more resources to help look after them). Not to mention that this strategy also helps her secure a backup in case suitor #1 decides to run off with someone else.

Another fun fact: a literal sperm war (yeah, those little swimmers duke it out!) takes place when a woman has more than one man’s sperm in her uterus. I am not even kidding about this; there are whole books on it.

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Raised in California and North Carolina, Jen is both an actress and a writer. She loves writing fiction, especially for young adults, and exercising her non-fiction muscles through Urbanette and her chocolate blog: Chocofiles. Jen also loves adventures, yoga, live music and spontaneous dance parties.

17 Comments

  1. I like what my pastor said when I asked why some people cheat, his answer was that it’s a matter of habit–how easily one flirts, feel the need to change partners, …
    I also think its a matter of mindset. I will never cheat like I will never kill. never.

  2. Brooke Tyre

    So, I asked a friend, who has cheated on his partner a lot, why he cheats. And his plain answer was that people look for variations. He said that he’d get bored doing the same things over and over again. Sometimes he needs respite, a little break before he goes back at it again. It’s the same with a relationship.

    He used food as an analogy of relationship. He said eating the same food at a given point of time will give you lesser and lesser satisfaction until you get to the point where you simply stop, or wait until your appetite for it goes back up again. And while taking that needed break, why not help yourself with the other dishes?

    When I first heard it, I found it to be preposterous. How can you just easily compare food and girlfriend? How can you just compare eating with a relationship? But, the more I thought of it, the more it made sense. Relationship is a continuous process. The couple has to continuously look for things that will keep the spark alive, otherwise it will become dull and boring. We have to understand that having “true love” and being “in love” are two different species of love. While true love is eternal, falling in love is just for a moment.

  3. Ashley Moore

    It is really hard to accept that your loved one cheated on you. The feeling that you’ve given him/her everything and after they did it, you will think if there still a thing you are not able or didn’t managed to give them. When my mama’s in the hospital because she couldn’t take it anymore and she’d given up, my grandpa said to her that she should live for her children FOR US. And because it is really heartbreaking and agonizing, the people who were cheated will eventually learn from it, stand up and get more stronger. This is a real story,our story, i think that if a person you loved the most left you, you should not think that your world’s only revolving on them and you can’t live without them because.. remember you’ve lived for too long even before without them, even before meeting them.

  4. Heather Strobel

    A lot of men said that if they know that they did something that will upset their partners they will just keep their mouth shut just not to hurt their partner, i don’t believe them. I am the kind of person who always value family and relationship. Cheaters might think that when they lose their love at their partners they might found it at other people and be happy. Some are looking for lust, some for money and some because they are not contented. That is just pure selfishness.

  5. Whether you want to cheat or not, it’s still your choice, the effects can be devastating, and the consequences are real. If your partner gave their trust to you, it’s like having a great power in your relationship. And as spidey’s uncle Ben said, “with great power, comes great responsibility”… So in being in a relationship, or even just planning to go into a relationship, ask yourself, are you responsible enough?

  6. Aimee Marks

    I think the driving force behind cheating is, aside from evolution, the satisfaction derived from it. The economics of mating/ dating states that having one or many depends on the cost and benefit derived from it. If having more gf/bf gives more benefits than cost, then it is a feasible undertaking. However, if it’s more costly, then why the heck do it. It all really boils down to what gives us UTILITY (satisfaction). And if everybody is of the same mind, then it might just work. This kind of thinking though is not acceptable in our society, and we are bound by all these social constructs and religious beliefs about monogamy, fidelity, and faithfulness. Unless it’s consensual, I wouldn’t want to be cheated on.

  7. Esther Earl Harris

    I really hate people who are like that –Cheaters. I’ve experienced it and it is really really hard at first, the feeling that i wanted to kill both of them then after that i also wanted to die for it to stop but I’ve realized that i should stay and continue living for my son. They should have think first what’s going to be the outcome of their infidelity. To those people who are torn between two lovers and thinking of doing this, Please stop because it is a SIN. Let us think how our actions will affect us and our loved ones not just in the present but also in the future.

  8. Grace Stirling

    Cheaters- they are very selfish and miserable people. I do get a feeling that a lot can relate to this. I want to ask a cheater why did they do it and i want a HONEST respond. Sometimes, i feel bad for the ones who were left behind because of this kind of unselfish act and behavior. but i also know that because of this kind of happening the people who’re left behind surely will be more braver and stronger.

  9. Hazel Collins

    i think why people cheat is because unhappy people are hard to please and will not get contented even if they’ve already have what they want. When they are in a relationship they will not look on what they’re partners are offering/giving to them but were only looking on what the other can’t give to them. When they met a person whom they think can give their desires and have the qualities they are looking for then cheating will get in the line. Whether it’s lust or for others to confirm their self-worth. Stop asking for more, appreciate what’s in front of you and love the people who are caring for you.

  10. ARE WE STILL CAVE MEN?! Of course not!

    But I love the fun facts you gave 🙂 It’s really hard to define reasons for cheating because most cheaters won’t admit or would just give the “I don’t know, I just did!” reason…

  11. Contrary to popular belief, cheating isn’t necessarily about sex. It’s often emotional like under-appreciated by partner or feeling of disconnection. It’s also not necessarily about looks, some cheaters I know did it because of money, power or education.

  12. Gabrielle Williams

    I used to think that immaturity or lack of experience as primary reason for infidelity. But as I get to know “experienced” and mature people cheat, I realized cheating is because of something else. From my conversations with these people, I can conclude that men (and women) cheat because of natural inferiority complex, ego (the feeling of being important) and emotional disconnection (though this one takes time to discover and it’s really sad and disheartening if this is the reason).

  13. HE SAID: “I cheat because of physical desire of a new partner.”
    SHE SAID: “I cheat because of emotional reasons.”

    For my part, I really try hard NOT TO CHEAT. If I’m no longer happy, I try to re-evaluate my relationship and then just end it (if needed) before starting a new one. I believe it will make me crazy or paranoid if I cheat… LOL

    • Francis Woods

      I know right!!! Cheating makes the cheater paranoid! A cheater would tend to make alibis and excuses which can cause headache, stress and terrible sweating!!! NOT GOOD!

  14. Hannah Mayers

    Of course, the most obvious reason for cheating is relationship troubles. But biological factors like hormone levels (porn addiction, maybe) or cultural factors (being a cheater makes you a man) can also be reasons for cheating. I guess simple act of discussing with your partner how “you might handle infidelity” increases your chances of staying together.

  15. I agree with the reasons for cheating this article cited. I personally think that cheating is a “sin” that destroys relationships. And I’ve observed that people who cheat have problems with self-confidence or that they want to prove something. Some also say they’re unhappy, but if “unhappiness” is the reason, then why even stay in your relationship?

  16. I really think that the key to “cheating prevention” is communication. You have to tell your partner what you like and don’t like in your relationship (and your partner needs to do the same). Be open and honest ALL THE TIME!

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