Eek! Are people in relationships more likely to cheat than you actually thought?

Relationships are wonderful, delicate, and special things. However, things don’t always go to plan, especially if you’re in a relationship that prescribes to monogamy. While we all hope that our partner (or potential partner – there’s someone out there for everyone, right?) won’t cheat on us, infidelity is a fact of life.

However, according to a new study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, it seems that people in relationships feel that while other people might cheat, their own partners are unlikely to.

So just how many people *think* their partner is cheating?

The study surveyed around 200 heterosexual people who had been involved with someone for over three months, asking them to fill out an online questionnaire with questions asking daters to say what they think happens in their own and other people’s relationships in terms of infidelity.

The survey found that respondents felt that there was around a 40% chance that someone of the opposite sex would cheat, or has cheated, on their partner.

In contrast, however, only 5% of respondents felt that their own partner had cheated or would cheat. And only 9% of respondents actually admitted to cheating on their partner. That is not #relationshipgoals…


But how important is infidelity to a relationship?

Despite the high proportion of respondents that felt that someone of the opposite sex was likely to cheat on their partner, nearly all people believed that it was important that their partners were monogamous, with 9 out of every 10 saying that they’d want to know if their partner had been unfaithful.

Interestingly, the study found that 70% of respondents hadn’t actually had a conversation with their partner as to what constituted infidelity and what the expectations were in their relationship.

Okay, but what does this actually mean about infidelity and relationships?

Well, on the surface this means that people believed that there are high rates of infidelity among the general population, but often feel that their relationship is immune to such behaviors.  Similarly, people reported cheating at twice the rate they thought their partner’s had, or would, cheat on them.

Essentially, there’s a lot of good will and trust put into a relationship, despite people being concerned about the reality of infidelity in wider society.


Should we just all give up on monogamous relationships, then?

Absolutely NOT! According to figures presented by Science of Relationships, the lowest figure of adultery or infidelity in dating couples, i.e. those who are unmarried, is around 14%, which, given the size of the population of people in relationships, is pretty low.

In fact, if you twist this all around it shows that people truly do believe in love and their partners, despite having wider reservations about the philandering behavior of the wider population.

So, basically, #LoveWins…right?


[H/T The Independent]

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