Let social media tell it, everyone is cheating. Every time we scroll down our timelines or turn on our televisions, we are faced with yet another cheating scandal. It’s almost as if we’ve reached a point where it’s expected for people not to be 100 percent faithful within relationships, and for eyes to wander at some point. But it leads me to question, why have we allowed cheating to become so normalized in our society? It’s not a rite of passage to be cheated on in a relationship. So why are we accepting the bare minimum from people who clearly aren’t ready to do right? And more importantly, if staying faithful and committed to one person is too much of a hassle, why not just stay single and save innocent people unnecessary heartache and pain?
I never understood people who willingly get into full-blown relationships and choose to cheat anyway. Guys who give women engagement rings to “lock it down” while they run around mixing and mingling with the next woman. Women who fool around with their ex while saying they’d finally found the “right one.” We all know them. They are the ones who want to have their cake and eat it too. In fact, you probably know them well, because according to statisticsbrain.com, 57 percent of men have admitted to committing infidelity of some sort in any relationship they’ve had. Surprisingly, women are not far behind with a shocking 54 percent engaging in similar behavior.
But why do people continue to cheat? What is so hard about being open and honest about what you want and plan to do, as opposed to immediately satisfying your own selfish needs and simply hoping your partner doesn’t find out about it later? Why add all this unnecessary stress to the lives of all parties when there is a better way? Removing yourself from a relationship and remaining single to do as you please is still a valid option, and in all reality, it’s the best one for everyone involved.
But instead of going the easier, morally-conscious route, we choose to complicate our dating lives with unnecessary stress, guilt and loads of confusion by cheating. And for what?
I don’t understand what would bring one to willingly hurt someone they care about through betrayal, when they can easily remove themselves from the situation altogether. Yes, a breakup will hurt the other party temporarily, but they would be let go for the right reasons — because they deserve something you can’t give them. Finding out their partner cheated on them instead would hurt far worse.
The easy answer to all of my aforementioned questions is that people are selfish. They want to keep the person who is loyal to them, all the while, being incredibly disloyal. They want what they can’t give to others. And more than anything, they do what they feel the other person will allow. It can’t be that bad if you stay, right? It’s time we set the bar a bit higher for ourselves and stop waiting around for someone’s poor attempts to reach it.
If you ask me, being single is a great time for exploration. And there are plenty of other single people (based on those cheating statistics) who are interested in the same things. If sowing your wild oats is that important to you, make the decision to do so openly, honestly, and by yourself, without hurting others in the process. Give people a choice instead of trapping them with lies.
Speaking of choices, being faithful to someone is a choice, much like cheating on someone is also a choice. If you know you aren’t prepared to make the choice to be fully committed to someone, there is no point in pretending otherwise. Many of us pride ourselves on believing that we are “good” people. That we don’t go around leaving storms in our wake and hurting others like it means nothing. Cheating may not be on the same level to people as other dangerous misdeeds, but doing so, especially habitually, still isn’t the mark of a so-called “good” person. If you are bold enough to consider stepping out on your relationship and letting temptation get the best of you, you should be bold enough to walk away from it beforehand for the betterment of all parties.