It turns out that all of the advice your friends give you about dating may be true. When it comes to the cautionary tale of ‘once a cheater, always a cheater,’ science is now backing up the claim. Looks like dating bad boys and edgy women may indeed leave you heartbroken.
In a new study titled Once a Cheater, Always a Cheater? Serial Infidelity Across Subsequent Relationships researchers found that the more we lie, the more comfortable we become as liars. The study was published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior and followed 484 participants in mixed-gender relationships. Participants were asked to record their instances of sex with people other than their partner and whether they suspected their partner had been unfaithful in previous relationships and their current relationship.
The results found that those who had been unfaithful in previous relationships were three times more likely to cheat on their current partner than those who did not report any previous indiscretions. That means in terms of advice your girlfriends gave you (that you didn’t want to listen to), dating someone who’s previously cheated on their partner means there is a very good chance they’ll cheat on you as well.
And those who reported that their partner cheated in their first relationship were twice as likely to report that their partner cheated on them in their current relationship.
Cheating isn’t the only thing that tends to follow people in their relationships, though — distrust does too. Of those surveyed, participants who suspected previous partners of cheating were four times more likely to suspect a current partner of infidelity.
The study also found that neither gender nor marital status had any significant impact on the findings, meaning that men and people who are dating are just as likely to cheat as women and couples who are married. Yay for equality…
Neil Garrett, a researcher at Princeton Neuroscience Institute, noted that one of the reasons people continue to cheat in their relationships is that they adapt to lying, and it becomes normal.
Speaking with Elite Daily, Garrett explained that “the first time we commit adultery we feel bad about it. But the next time we feel less bad and so on, with the result that we can commit adultery to a greater extent.”
Garrett said that while guilt often plagues first-time cheaters, this reaction is diluted as a person continues to cheat, allowing them to cheat more with a decreasing amount of guilt.
Aren’t relationships fun?