Tweet What counts as cheating? Monogamous, monogamish, polyamorous — there are many ways to be happily committed. There are also, it seems, many ways to cheat. As I perused these articles, I found that many of them conflated perfectly normal, harmless behaviours like fantasising about someone else with shadier stuff like purposefully saving the phone number of somebody attractive under a code name in order to avoid detection.
As someone who studies sex and relationships for a living, I was annoyed, to say the least. At first, I was tempted to ignore micro-cheating, and to dismiss it as yet another fleeting internet trend. The concept points to some commonly held beliefs that far too many Americans have about the loves of their lives, beliefs that could cause them unnecessary heartache in the long run.
That kind of possessiveness represents an unhealthy and unrealistic approach to love. This is because we — like many animal species — are subject to something known as the Coolidge Effect. This refers to the well-documented finding that sexual interest in one partner tends to wane over time, but comes roaring back in response to new partners. When having sex to fill a void becomes just bad sex "My dating life has been a comedy of errors.
But a common theme has been the employment of sex to fill a void, to forget, to feel valued or wanted or barely alive. To be clear, the fact that the Coolidge Effect exists does not mean that long-term passion is impossible in a monogamous relationship or that an open relationship is the only option.
This will likely enhance your relationship in the long run. In truth, giving each other some space may be good for both of you. Having some psychological distance or separation can therefore be a very healthy thing, because it gives us the ability to be ourselves while also making us crave our partners.
Some of them are indeed signs of trouble, namely the ones that involve deception. This article originally appeared on Science of Us: Distributed by Tribune Content. Related content Twitter users around the world celebrate mixed race marriage "The best way of fighting racism is living your life, standing tall and educating.