New Research About Why Cheaters Cheat Emerges Online, And We Don't Know How To Feel

New Research About Why Cheaters Cheat Emerges Online, And We Don't Know How To Feel
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6 months ago

If you're one of those people who believes in and has posted that anonymous quote about cheating that's been memed and re-memed on the interwebs, you may be in for a bit of shock when you read the results of the latest study from The Journal of Sex Research

You know the quote I mean, don't you, it's the one that says:

Well, turns out that quote has it all wrong . . . or at least the first half. According to new research into the reasons behind why people cheat on their partners conducted by The Journal of Sex Research, the number one reason people gave (a whopping 77 percent!!) when asked why they cheated was "lack of love." They either explicitly stated this as in, "I fell out of love," or a lack of love was in some other way indicated. 

But in an interview with Bustle, relationship expert, Chelsea Leigh Trescott, Founder of Breakupward said:

   While the guttural reaction to being cheated on is often that the person cheating has fallen out of love, the more accurate reasoning is that the person cheating no longer feels loved by his or her partner.

Other reasons for partner infidelity included: 

  • A desire for more sexual partners (74 percent)
  • Feeling neglected by their partner (70 percent)
  • Situational excuses like being under the influence of alcohol or drugs (70 percent)
  • Feelings of insecurity or need for self-esteem  (57 percent)
  • Revenge or anger at their partner (43 percent) 
  • Feeling detached from their partner (41 percent)

Perhaps, not surprisingly, about a third of all people surveyed stated they cheated simply out of a desire for sex. 


The study also broke down the data across gender lines finding that:

  • Men were more likely to cheat due to situational circumstances or to increase their variety of sexual partners.
  • Women tended to cite feelings of being ignored, disconnected, or being otherwise unloved.

The authors of the study Dylan Selterman, Justin R. Garcia, and Irene Tsapelas also found that certain personality types were more prone to certain motivations for cheating: 

Our results also show personality correlates with infidelity motivations. Consistent with predictions, attachment insecurity was associated with motivations of anger, lack of love, neglect, low commitment, and esteem, while unrestricted socio-sexual orientation was associated with sexual variety. Implicit beliefs (e.g growth, destiny, romanticism)  were differentially associated with sexual desire, low commitment, lack of love, and neglect.

The takeaway here? 

Make sure your partner feels connected, loved and appreciated by you.