Surprising Habits That Serial Cheaters Have In Common

Believe it or not, people don’t just cheat because they’re unhappy or because they’re bad. They often share similar habits or traits that make them more likely to do it.

Knowing the signs can both help you to avoid cheaters as well as help cheaters better understand themselves to hopefully put an end to it.

They Like To Keep Tabs On You

man texts on his phone
Photo Credit: Thom Holmes / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Thom Holmes / Unsplash

Cheaters tend to be overprotective. In fact, they can be aggressively jealous. They might even be suspicious of you.

They’re projecting their own trust issues because if they know they’re capable of violating your trust, then they assume you could do the same.

They Always Have A Way Of Justifying It

woman looks off to the distance
Photo Credit: Kevin Turcios / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Kevin Turcios / Unsplash

Maybe it’s to mask their own guilt, but cheaters will always find a way to justify their actions. They’ll blame their partner for not paying attention to them, for withholding intimacy or not being supportive, etc.

They create a need that needed to be fulfilled and use that to feel entitled to cheat.

More Than Half Of Cheaters Were Already Happy In Their Relationships

couple outdoors holds hands
Photo Credit: Dương Hữu / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Dương Hữu / Unsplash

You’d be surprised, but cheaters don’t always do it because they’re unhappy. Sometimes it’s just because they can.

A study by Rutgers University found that 56% of men who had affairs were happy with their partners, as well as 34% of women.

They’re Scared Of Being Alone

woman sits in the dark
Photo Credit: Melanie Wasser / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Melanie Wasser / Unsplash

Cheaters share a deep fear of abandonment. They use a side relationship as a means to feel more secure because if one leaves then they’ll still have another.

This fear is rooted in loneliness and their own personal baggage. Often, they find out the hard way that cheating leaves them with nothing.

They Have An Idealized Notion Of Love

couple looks over sunset with candles
Photo Credit: Nathan Dumlao / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Nathan Dumlao / Unsplash

They’re trying to create some kind of rom-com storyline. They can’t be happy because they’re stuck trying to create this fantasy and think of it as the only true notion of love.

Naturally, they quickly get bored and go on to chase a new thrill. They’re almost addicted to the rush of feelings that come with new romances.

They Know How To Create Opportunities

man walks through campus
Photo Credit: Bruce Mars / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Bruce Mars / Unsplash

Serial cheaters are opportunists who often occupy positions of power. They can be overly calculating and pick their mates very carefully.

This is why they often get with someone when that person is in a vulnerable state.

They Don’t Actually Want To Hurt Anyone

man sits on teh couch upset
Photo Credit: Nik Shuliahin / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Nik Shuliahin / Unsplash

Believe it or not, many cheaters don’t actually intend on hurting anyone. In fact, they believe going behind their partner’s back is the nicest thing they could do in that situation.

By “sparing” their partner’s feelings, they’re actually just avoiding the conflict that comes with dealing directly with the issues in their relationship.

They Overcompensate By Being Overly Affectionate

man and woman kiss
Photo Credit: Hendo Wang / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Hendo Wang / Unsplash

Cheaters are overly affectionate for various reasons. Guilt is one of the biggest ones. Cheating doesn’t entirely mean that they don’t still have some kind of emotional investment in you.

They hope their affection will appease you, get you off their scent, or, in the worst-case scenario where you found out, help you forgive them.

They Tend To Stay Up Late

woman looks up from under the sheets
Photo Credit: Alexandra Gorn / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Alexandra Gorn / Unsplash

Most cheating happens after 9 p.m. and rarely in the middle of the day. This is because it’s a lot easier to play it off during those hours with excuses such as “going out with friends” or “staying late at work.”

All other communication with their lovers is usually done through text.

They Believe They’re Unlovable

woman lays in bed sad
Photo Credit: Anthony Tran / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Anthony Tran / Unsplash

Some people cheat because they’re truly afraid they’re unlovable. They’re trying to prove themselves wrong over and over again.

They act out of insecurity even though they never actually let themselves be vulnerable enough to deepen the connections they make. Instead, they remain unsatisfied and ruin it.

Cheaters Are More Likely To Be Fans Of Rock And Roll

vishnu-r-nair-m1WZS5ye404-unsplash
Photo Credit: Vishnu R Nair / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Vishnu R Nair / Unsplash

Research has found that music and sex basically go hand in hand. Their studies have found that 41% of cheaters prefer rock music to all other genres.

Pop music is second at 16% with hip-hop coming in last place with only 2%.

They Prefer To Lead A Private Life

woman hides her face
Photo Credit: Parker Johnson / uNSPLASH
Photo Credit: Parker Johnson / uNSPLASH

They might come off as a child or closed off, and you might think it’s cute at first, but really, it’s their way of purposefully excluding you from a vital portion of their lives.

Not only will they keep their phones locked, but they’re not the kind of people to elaborate on a story or share personal details about their friends and family.

The Cheating Is Usually With Someone They Know

coworkers in a meeting
Photo Credit: smartworks cowroking / Unsplash
Photo Credit: smartworks cowroking / Unsplash

You’d think that most cheaters just pick someone up at a bar for a quickie, but studies have shown that serial cheaters actually tend to invest in someone that’s already around them rather than a one-night stand.

Research has found that 85% of cheating starts between coworkers, but friends and neighbors are also common.

They Prefer Pet Names To Real Names

couple in bed makes out
Photo Credit:Sabina Tone / Unsplash
Photo Credit:Sabina Tone / Unsplash

If they call all their side pieces “baby,” then they’re likely to accidentally mix up their names in the heat of passion.

It’s a strategy to not have to explain blurting out the wrong partner’s name while simultaneously saving them some effort.

They Often Do Want To Get Caught

woman held by the rope
Photo Credit: engin Akyurt / Unsplash
Photo Credit: engin Akyurt / Unsplash

The cheating eventually weighs enough on them that sometimes they will go as far as setting themselves up to get caught.

A clinical professor at Brown University has found that cheaters often want to get help but can’t help themselves. They make the cheating obvious because “they want to stop but don’t know how.”

They’re Expert Liars

man taht speaks the truth
Photo Credit: Taras Chernus / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Taras Chernus / Unsplash

Don’t feel bad for having fallen for a cheater—they’re master manipulators. They’re so good at lying (probably from perfecting it over time) that they will go as far as laying the groundwork for future lies.

Not only do they say the right things, but they know how to say it in the way they use their body language and carry themselves. They can look you right in the eyes while blatantly telling a lie.

They Think It’s Their Partner’s Job To Make Them Happy

alMan Kisses Woman's Forehead
Photo Credit: Allef Vincius / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Allef Vincius / Unsplash

Cheaters will often rely on their partner to make things work. When issues arise, they don’t even know how to deal with it other than to cheat.

The real problem is they don’t know how to make themselves happy and aren’t happy internally, so they’re looking for someone else to do it for them.

They Think Of Cheating As A Disease They Can’t Fight

man is sad at bed
Photo Credit: Claudia Wolff / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Claudia Wolff / Unsplash

Often, cheaters will not be able to explain why they cheated and feel like they couldn’t have prevented it. They think of it as this problem they were born with that they have no control over.

This is completely false and can be altered by figuring out why they did it. They can do so by analyzing their patterns of behavior, automatic thinking, and coping skills.

They Gravitate Towards Those Who Feed Their Egos

Confident man in suit
Photo Credit: Kazi Mizan / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Kazi Mizan / Unsplash

Cheaters like to feel wanted to make up for their lack of self-esteem and to compensate for their insecurities. They will keep on searching for lovers who shower them with love and don’t know them well enough yet to see their flaws.

This gives them a sense of worthiness, for at least a short while.

The Grass Is Always Greener Somewhere Else

close up of green grass
Photo Credit: Ochir-Erdene Oyunmedeg / Unspalsh
Photo Credit: Ochir-Erdene Oyunmedeg / Unspalsh

They convince themselves that the next person will finally be the one to make them happy. They don’t necessarily plan or intend to cheat again every time they meet someone, but they get stuck in their own patterns.

Odds are that if they did it once, they will do it again…until they take a hard look at themselves and work through their issues.