There is no reason to cheat. Ever. Cheating is a concept I have never fully understood because the rational in me believes it is an action that is completely under one’s control. On the other end of that spectrum, I don’t believe traditional monogamy works for a vast majority of people in modern society.
Monogamy is a lifelong concept. For those of us that are natural monogamists, we tend to fall into the perceived serial monogamy trap for a variety of reasons; my personal reasons revolve around consistently finding myself on the receiving end of a cheating partner. Prior to getting involved with my last partner, I spent 8 years single based largely on this fact and even that one wasn’t built for it.
My decision to not remain with these cheating partners automatically places me in the serial monogamy category in most circles, but I don’t agree with that.
In my view, serial monogamy defines those who jump relationships with little to no break in between. They may be in a sexually monogamous relationship with one person, see someone else they want to have sex with, break up with their partner and get into a monogamous sexual relationship with the next one. Serial monogamy is better than cheating, but it reeks of a general lack of loyalty. My level of loyalty has always been a bit extreme, in comparison with the majority. I have also notoriously gone years between relationships and have never left someone because I found someone else. 99% of the time I have ended relationships, it has been because of cheating. I just won’t deal with it, and yes, I have even tried dealing with it in the past.
In recent years, I have concluded that my natural tendencies and general views on the subject are astonishingly rare.
I have a rather close circle of male friends I have known since middle school and exactly zero of them have any similarities in this department. In fact, nearly all of them have been serial cheaters since I have known them, despite their long-term relationships and marriages. You would think they would have grown out of it, but alas, I have never really given a shit what they do since it never affected me personally, however there have been some heated arguments about what they were doing to their wives. They are well-aware of my disdain for the subject, but I have learned a lot from them. I have also had a couple of female counterparts over the years who followed a similar pattern. In my 6 serious relationships since high school (2 of them were marriages), 5 of them cheated. In the years between relationships, I typically didn’t date much with the exception of the 8 year period, where I dated many, but none of them were monogamous at any level, nor did I like them enough to give a shit if they were so yes, I went 8 years without any kind of sexual relationship.
Cheating is the worst possible thing someone can do to someone else. Dump them or disappear; cheating should never be a subject that warrants discussion. If you are the type of person that needs to have sex with multiple people, then more power to you. Own it, embrace an open lifestyle, find someone that shares your views at the beginning or just remain single. How hard is that? Evidently, it is fucking impossible for most people. My simple solution? Know thyself before committing to any kind of serious relationship.
Sadly, most people don’t know themselves at all, which I believe is the #1 cause of cheating.
It is quite simple; if you know that you are the kind of person that cannot handle monogamy past a few months (or the NRE period), then be up front about it. There is seriously nothing wrong with that and there are plenty of people out there who are similar. Unfortunately, many of these people feel shameful about it, which I never understood. Forcing themselves into a monogamous partnership is not a cure and no, I don’t believe people can change. These types get lost in the blindness of irrational NRE (yes NRE aka new relationship energy is fucking irrational) and think they have the ability to handle monogamy. They lose the grip of who they really are and present a false ideal of themselves in order to lock down this wonderful person. You know, this wonderful person who is highly incompatible, however meets some other superficial ideal which is worth looking past these major incompatibilities.
I have clearly fallen trap to this a few times. The fact that I made it very clear who I was in the beginning has been frequently overlooked. If any one of these traps would have been honest in the beginning, I would have walked before it even started; but isn’t that their great fear? The fear that telling someone about who they really are will cause them to walk away. Well yeah, isn’t that the point? I would personally want someone incompatible to walk away before engaging in any kind of false ideal. Perhaps that is just me.
I have a lot of respect for people that can be honest about who they are, know themselves and have no shame in sharing things about themselves without fear of the outcome; compatible or not. I have come across a few of those over the years, and it always ends well. You know what doesn’t end well? I don’t need to answer that.
Also published on Medium.