Are you able to tell if someone is a serial cheater?
Not many people can, but knowing what signs to look for can save you a lot of time and (at least some) heartbreak.
“Fundamentally, we are not monogamous by nature, but rather it’s our culture that calls for monogamy,” relationship expert Chantal Heide says. “Why are some people chronic cheaters? The fact is the act of meeting a new partner and beginning a new relationship has intense chemical drivers, since we’re designed by nature to couple up and copulate in order to ensure the proliferation of the species. The chemicals in our bodies release when a relationship is new or incredibly intense, and can be compared to the same internal reactions we have when we do cocaine, meth and ecstasy.”
Like with drugs, however, Heide explains that our bodies have become accustomed to them and their intensity wears off.
“People who are more driven by their body’s responses than their emotional intellect will continue to seek out that initial high only found in new relationships,” she says. “That’s even if they’re loathe to relinquish the benefits they receive in established relationships like financial security, and a partner to help manage a household and raise children, and they don’t want to give up the security that comes from knowing there’s someone steady waiting for them at the end of the day.”
On the other hand, there are also people who are too insecure to maintain a monogamous committed relationship, Heide adds. These people, she says, lack the fundamental esteem and constantly hunger for validation and one person can never provide enough.
Another reason, for guys in particular, may be due to high testosterone levels, Heide says.
“[They] feel compelled to seek out multiple sexual partners to satisfy their high sex drive,” she explains. “They care less about people’s feelings than they do about physically satisfying themselves, and often say or do whatever it takes to gain the sexual partners they’re interested in.”
So how can you tell if someone is a cheater? Well, it all depends if it’s a new or long-term relationship, but being a man or woman has no bearing on the signs Heide says.
“The unfortunate fact is we are powerless to change other people, but people can choose to change if they feel it benefits them,” Heide says. “If your standard is such that you won’t tolerate cheating in your relationship and your partner can’t imagine a better life without you, they’ll change their behaviour in order to stay with you.”
If you’re in a relationship with a person who is cheating, Heide advises that you focus on yourself.
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“My advice is to focus on themselves and what they want in their relationship and to stand by their desired outcomes,” she says. “If you find out your partner is cheating, insist on therapy, both or separately or together, as well as total transparency and accountability.”
If your partner refuses to cooperate, then it’s a sign they are more attached to their behaviour than to you and you should move on, she says.
“Keep in mind that the best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour and don’t hope for change unless you see these specific changes in behaviour,” she says.Follow @danidmedia
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