Is Your Relationship Cheat-Proof?

Couple with friends
Spending time with pals lessens the likelihood of straying
Do you think your relationship is strong enough to withstand the temptations that brought down Tiger Woods, Jesse James, and Brett Favre? Of course, we all know there’s no electric collar we can put on our husbands to prevent straying (wait, are there?), but a recent study from the University of Iowa says there are certain risk factors that indicate one member of a couple is more likely to cheat.

Does your twosome have what it takes to last?


Anthony Paik is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Iowa and one of the authors of the study, which was published in the journal Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. He says that there’s been “a major shift toward non-romantic sexual partnerships,” otherwise known as “friends with benefits.” Unsurprisingly, this kind of relationship doesn’t tend to be monogamous, and he says this is speeding up the spread of STDs.

This study took a look at a wide range of relationships and found the ones most safe from infidelity had these factors in common:

  • Less experienced partners: The longer your “list,” the less likely you are to be faithful.
  • Commitment: Well, duh. Married couples tend to be more exclusive than unmarried ones.
  • Longer relationships: Married or not, the longer you’re together, the less likely you’ll stray.
  • Social embeddedness: The more you’re hooked in with your partner’s network of friends and family (and vice versa), the less likely either one of you will cheat.

You know what I don’t see in this study? A discussion about whether exclusiveness was expected. Regardless, the most interesting factor is that last one. If you only see your lov-ah during a booty call, you can’t expect to fence him in. But if you take him to Sunday dinner with your parents, there’s an increased expectation of, you know, keeping it in his pants.

Nothing’s a guarantee, but these factors apparently have weight. I take exception to that first one, but I’m not saying why!

Is your relationship cheat-proof? Tell us in the comments!

Image via InfinitelyDigital/Flickr

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