Many of us have totally fallen in love with a guy and then gotten our hearts broken because he decided another girl on the side would be “more fun,” to put it nicely. Been there, done that, and it sucks. So why do guys do it in the first place?
Yeah, there are the classic excuses: “I just wasn’t thinking,” or, “I’m so young, and I needed to explore.” But we found out the truth as to why guys cheat. We talked to college guys as well as couple of relationship experts, and the reasons we discovered may surprise you.
1. He’s afraid of confrontation.
Your guy may be unhappy with you, but he also may not have the courage to break up with you. Ugh, total wimp status.
“If [guys] are not into the relationship, but they’re afraid to break things off, they might turn to cheating as a way to work around that,” says Alex, a junior at Oakland University. “If you stay unhappy in a relationship long enough, some guys will end up doing whatever it takes to find happiness.”
If you suspect your man is unhappy and getting a little side action, do what he doesn’t have the guts to do: Confront him. And then kick him to the curb. A guy without guts doesn’t deserve you, anyway.
2. He’s simply bored.
Nathan, a sophomore at Purdue University, gave us a pretty basic reason for why dudes go astray.
“[Guys cheat] because they get bored,” he says. “Guys are visual creatures, and we like new material.”
Jason*, a recent grad from Michigan State University, echoes the same sentiments. “I would imagine some get bored of a relationship after the honeymoon phase is over,” he says.
Well, there’s not much we can say about that one, although, “Shame on you men for getting bored with us,” or, “Screw you” would work pretty well. Our piece of advice: If he gets bored with you, he wasn’t worth it anyway (although, it never hurts to keep it spicy in the bedroom). You’re fabulous.
3. You’re taking him for granted.
According to matchmaker, author and speaker Marla Martenson, if you’ve been a little lax on giving your guy love lately, he may turn to other means for finding it.
“Guys cheat because of the way the other woman makes them feel,” she says. “Many women jump to the conclusion that a man cheats because he finds a younger, hotter woman that he cannot resist. But the fact is, often in relationships, couples start taking each other for granted, forgetting to compliment each other or make each other feel special. If you aren't making your man feel special, make an effort before someone else does.”
Jim, a sophomore at Illinois State University, agrees that some guys roam due to a lack of warmth and gratitude from their partners.
“Many men cheat on their girlfriends and wives for the same reasons some women cheat on their boyfriends and husbands — because they don't feel loved or appreciated,” he says. “More often than not, it represents a lack of communication in the relationship. It is often assumed that the man is a scumbag who never really cared at all, and in many cases this is true. But the men in question are also hurting themselves, because they are failing to be honest with themselves and others about what they want from other people.”
Listen up, ladies: don’t forget to show your dude some affection! Give him backrubs, lots of kisses and occasional Taco Bell surprises. Or just remind him how much you mean to him every so often. Men want to feel wanted just as much as women, and if you don’t provide him with that feeling, there’s a chance he may turn elsewhere for it.
4. He just wants it both ways.
It’s totally self-seeking, but some men want the thrill of a sexual endeavor with another partner while also maintaining their real, emotional relationships.
“I think guys cheat on girls because the [sexual] opportunity arises with another girl, but at the same time, they don't want to give up on what they've built so far with their partner,” says Eric, a sophomore at Universitat de Barcelona. “Why would anyone want to? Maybe because they weigh the pros and cons of the situation, and they make the selfish choice of going with that girl, assuming it won't be found out.”
In a nutshell, the guy finds it particularly exciting to hook up with a new girl, but at the same time, he doesn’t want to lose the original connection. Incredibly tactless and totally inconsiderate, we know. As Eric said, it’s definitely the selfish choice if a couple originally agreed on monogamy.
5. He’s afraid of getting hurt.
While it’s never okay to cheat in a relationship where both parties are committed, this reasoning is probably the least of all evils.
Bethany*, a recent grad of a small liberal arts school in the Northeast, says she and her boyfriend cheated on each other in the same week for similar reasons.
“At that time, we didn't have the official boyfriend/girlfriend label since we were long distance, but we had assured each other that we wanted to be exclusive,” she says. “Later, we talked about it and realized we both had been afraid of getting too attached and getting hurt; we were going to different places even further away for the summer (which was right around the corner), and neither of us felt secure that the other one felt as strongly as we did. I think he cheated because long distance was hard.”
If you’re in a long-distance relationship, like this recent grad was, consider how serious you both are. Can both of you handle the distance? Will either of you be tempted to cheat? Is it better off to be apart? These are all things to consider before engaging in an LDR.
And if he’s simply too afraid to get attached because, well, guys have issues, too, consider talking to him before he goes off the path. You’ll know he’s scared of getting hurt if you suddenly feel him pulling away or growing distant. Have a serious heart-to-heart with him. Be sure to be non-accusatory as well as calm and collected. You could say something like, “Hey, Sam, I feel like you’re giving me a little bit of the cold shoulder. Is there a reason for this? I just want to make sure we’re okay.” Be patient; it’s tough for guys to open up!
6. He feels sexually inadequate.
If your guy feels like he’s not pleasing you in the sack, he may wander for this very reason.
“The easy access to pornography, and especially at such a young age, has created in many a false sense of what a sexual relationship should be like,” says dating coach Margie Burciaga. “Most men and women are inexperienced at sex. Just because a man is wired to have sex doesn't mean he is good, and when things don't go well in bed with a mate or meet up to his expectations, suddenly it is her fault, not realizing he doesn't know how to please her to even create a desire and wonderment about sex.”
While banning your guy from watching porn probably isn’t a good idea (that’ll make him want it more and you less!), you should definitely have a conversation with him about your sex life, especially if you get the sense that he’s feeling bad about it or is dissatisfied. Talk about what you like and don’t like, and make sure you find out what he wants, too! As cheesy as it sounds, walk him through it while you’re doing the deed or even just messing around (sometimes, men need all the direction they can get). Instead of critiquing his moves, boost his ego by giving him lots of compliments when he’s doing it right — men love to feel sexually desired, and if he feels desired by you, he won’t feel the need to find that desire or “wonderment” somewhere else.
Cheating hurts, no matter the reason why it happened. However, it’s good to have a little insight as to why he committed the act in order to better prevent it from happening again in your current or future relationships.
*Names have been changed.