“Why even happy couples cheat” is a talk from Esther Perel, and I found it on the Sex Positive sub-Reddit. Her book Mating in Captivity should also be read closely and in a Straussian way. Although Mating in Captivity is superficially about how to maintain an erotic spark in a long-term relationship, a better reading is simpler and, for many men, harsher: All long-term relationships eventually curdle. Partners get bored with each other. Boredom is baked into the structure of relationships.
In other words, you can expect cheating or misery or both from long-term relationships of sufficient duration. The only way out is not to engage in them (or, possibly, to engage in them at a much older age: 40+ at a bare minimum).
“Why Even Happy Couples Cheat” is an extension of Mating in Captivity: they cheat because cheating is a way of avoiding both the trade-offs of relationships (security, reliability) and being single (novelty, fun).
The important point, however, is not about the why “happy” couples cheat, but about what lessons you should incorporate into your own life:
- Don’t get married. This should be obvious.
- If someone tells you the baby is yours, make sure a DNA test proves it.
- Always have a contingency plan in any relationship. You’re only as good as your options.
- Don’t live together. This one is personally important because a couple weeks ago I told a woman I was dating that I didn’t want to live with a woman again. She was flabbergasted and wanted to know why. I explained that I think sex is better and relationships are better with distance. This strategy is less economical, but I’d rather live in a tiny studio on my own than a palatial two- or three-bedroom apartment with someone else. I also lived with a woman in my 20s and had two kids with her. I made the usual mistakes but I avoided two very important ones: I never married her and we never bought property together. Owning property in today’s day and age is slavery, not freedom. When our relationship ended, I could just leave the lease. I got reamed through the usual ways with child “support,” but I could still leave by letting the lease end and avoided giving up more money through alimony.
The latest woman and I broke up because the relationship “wasn’t going anywhere.” To me, it was its own reward, but that wasn’t true for her. I actually respect her for the solid breakup and no backsliding.
- Most people have no idea what they actually want. I’m not an exception to this. You probably aren’t either.
I think we’re undergoing a slow but real realignment of the fundamental structure of society. You can fight it or accept it. I used to fight and think I was different. I’m not.
Also, you have to realize that you’re going to cheat or be cheated on. The question is: Which?
There is no viable modern alternative to learning game.