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Can Women Cheat and Still Be in Love? What Science Says

Sophie Simons
January 3, 2024

Let’s get one thing straight: cheating is never and will never be okay. According to the most recent study by the General Social Survey, without having to stereotype between genders, men are generally still more likely to cheat on their partners.

But on the other hand, a source reveals that for men and women, the actions or things they consider to be cheating are different from the other gender. Though these “lists” may be different, the bottom line is that if an action causes you to disconnect and be unfaithful to your partner, it is considered cheating. 

It’s easy to say that if you’re no longer happy in the relationship, the best thing to do is to walk away from it. Some people may disagree and “test the waters” with someone else for fear of being alone. It’s like having a backup plan for other things, like a plan B for where you would go on a vacation or a plan B gift idea, except that your partner is a person and not just some fixture you pick up from the shelf. It takes a lot for a person to cheat, whether they are doing it intentionally or not. 

Some sources like this don’t necessarily agree with the term “unintentional” when it comes to cheating. They say that “a spade is a spade” - meaning if it deliberately breaks the rules of your commitment, it counts as cheating.

This research also points out what can be considered “micro-cheating” and some examples of actions that aren’t noticeable at first but are already signs of micro-cheating. Cases of micro-cheating are when you don’t feel that the relationship is ending but slowly slipping away from your grasp. It can be as simple as texting that co-worker that you find cute or hiding and deleting conversations from your partner so they won’t know about it.

Micro-Cheating is still Cheating

A study shows that women are just as emotional as men, which could mean that there is no differentiation in how people allow their emotions to affect them, regardless of gender. However, women generally tend to be more emotionally expressive, as suggested in this article.

Being more emotionally expressive could mean that when there is something that a woman feels is wrong in a relationship, she is more vocal in letting her partner know. So when her partner starts ignoring these thoughts and feelings, she may resent her partner and “find” ways to receive the response she would hope to get from her partner, unfortunately, from other people.

She hasn’t yet fallen out of love with her partner, but if this kind of treatment continues, this may be the end of her relationship. A woman usually remedies this by keeping her communication lines with her partner as open and as honest as possible, letting her partner know how she feels and how she wants to make it better.

But as in any partnership, it can’t sit on her shoulders alone. If she thinks her partner continues to ignore her and doesn’t care about her feelings, the relationship may go downhill. In this situation, she decides whether to stay in the relationship and maybe continue on the little texting with that cute co-worker, which can snowball into an affair or a relationship, or break the relationship off and pursue a better pursuit for herself.

Cheating with Benefits

Deciding to cheat on your partner isn’t a one-way street like some pathological cheaters make it to be. Some people may feel like once they start, they can’t ever go back, which is why the cheating progresses, and what was an innocent fling ends up being a relationship-shattering affair.

Some women may feel inclined to use cheating as a way to take revenge on their partner for not treating them well. It may also be possible that a woman may not be ready to fully let go of the “benefits” she gets from her partner, so she chooses to entertain someone on the side while keeping her relationship so that she still gets everything she wants, just not from the same person.

There may also be instances when the partnership is too deep to let go but the future may be equally scary because of the uncertainty that a person may opt to cheat to check if there is something outside of the relationship that’s worth trying.

Cheating could also be a way out of a relationship that is too scary to scar. As seen from these situations, what happens is that both the partner and the “side piece” are just being used for someone else’s benefit. The partnership is no longer give and take, and only one maximizes benefitting from the others.

Some affairs last for a few weeks or months, while others continue until they are found out. Then, this becomes messy and emotionally scarring, which is an outcome nobody would tell you they wanted in the first place. 

Jury Take-Away

As a woman, you should be able to give your partner the same respect you expect them to give. Cheating takes away so much from a person because you’ll always be on your toes. You can’t let your partner know of these little shindigs and dalliances, making you paranoid.

Cheating makes you feel different kinds of positive and negative emotions, and it’s difficult to feel all those and stay in love with your partner. Of course, it can’t be 100% guaranteed, as there may still be women whose minds are hardwired to handle these emotions and can honestly say they still love their partner.

While it is impossible to speak for everybody, committing and staying in love with your partner will not be easy, and there will be bumps along the way. There will always be ways to work around these bumps, but both parties in a partnership should be willing to work out their differences to survive.

As earlier established, cheating will never be okay. Cheating is a choice, and people may have different reasons for it, but the ramifications and consequences are all real. It is difficult, but it may not be impossible for a woman to cheat on her partner and stay in love with them. 

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Sophie Simons

Sophie Simons is a leading psychologist with a passion for enriching relationships. Through empathetic counseling and insightful guidance, she empowers couples and individuals to foster deeper connections, resolve conflicts, and create lasting harmony. Sophie's expertise in relationship advice has touched countless lives, making her a trusted source for building fulfilling partnerships.

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