We’ve all seen those online dating profiles when swiping…’looking for discreet fun’…’will send face pics after matching’. Cheaters are all over the apps (and in real life) and I’ve unfortunately encountered a few, despite avoiding these kind of profiles. I’ve always ended a relationship if I’m not happy, but it seems there’s no shortage of people out there who would rather cheat on their partners. 

So why do people cheat instead of breaking up? Some reasons might be:

  • Fun: Selfish people are happy to hurt anyone in the process of them getting their thrills (and cheating is definitely a kink for some)
  • Fear: Of being single, of hurting their partner by breaking up, of being seen as the ‘bad guy’, of a sunken investment of time (in long term relationships)
  • Unintentional: Feelings may start to develop for another person while they are still in a relationship and they act on those feelings

The truth will always come out with cheating and everyone will be hurt by the situation. Why is cheating so damaging?:

  • Trauma: It causes pain for everyone involved and can lead to long term problems in future relationships, especially for the innocent parties
  • Broken trust: Once trust is lost in a relationship, there may be no way to repair things even if you decide you want to
  • Reputation: ‘Once a cheater, always a cheater’…if you have cheated, it’s likely to be a black mark on your character for future dating
  • Sexual Health: Aside from the emotional impact of cheating, there can be physical risks too. The risk of transmitting STIs increases with multiple partners and even if you are practising safer sex you could pass on something to an unsuspecting partner

If things have gotten that bad in your relationship that you feel the need to cheat, you’ve got nothing to lose by being honest instead. There are healthier alternatives to cheating:

  • Work things out: Face the problems in your relationship, discuss the issues and seek therapy if you decide to move forward together
  • Explore relationship alternatives: Monogamy is usually the default model we are raised with but is it right for you? Research and discuss other options like ethical non-monogamy (ENM)
  • Break up: If you can’t see a way forward together, letting each other go and moving on separately is the kindest thing for everyone. Ensure you take the time getting over someone before dating again.

Cheating isn’t the solution to an unhappy relationship, it’s the cowardly alternative that causes more pain in the long run. Break ups will always hurt or putting time into repairing a relationship is difficult…but both are far better alternatives to cheating.

5 thoughts on “Cheating

  1. My first marriage was an open relationship and eventually I realized I was just looking for what I was missing because my ex wife was worthless in almost every category. Having bad self confidence led me to dating and marrying her.

    My ex girlfriend had suggested I sleep with other women and I refused. She was sexually very kinky but I had no desire despite the green light.

    My new wife and I now are traditionally monogamous.


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