If you’ve ever been cheated on, you’ll be familiar with that initial feeling of numbness combined with a racing heartbeat that overwhelms your body the second you find out about your partner’s infidelity. For a moment it’s like your world is about to end.
But here’s the good news: It’s not!
According to researchers from Binghamton University in New York and University College London, women who’ve had to deal with an unfaithful partner develop a “higher mating intelligence” in the end, making them better equipped to spot a cheater early on in future.
Psychologists surveyed 5 000 people about their relationship break-ups and found that women who’d been cheated on had committed themselves to making more informed decisions afterwards. These women also revealed that they’d had a chance to experience personal growth outside their relationships.
Dr Craig Morris, an evolutionary biologist at Binghamton University, told the Daily Mail: “If we have evolved to seek out and maintain relationships, then it seems logical that there would be evolved mechanisms and responses to relationship termination.
“Our thesis is that the woman who ‘loses’ her mate to another woman will go through a period of post-relationship grief and betrayal, but come out of the experience with higher mating intelligence that allows her to better detect cues in future mates that may indicate low mate value.
“Hence, in the long term, she ‘wins’. The ‘other woman’, conversely, is now in a relationship with a partner who has a demonstrated history of deception and, likely, infidelity. Thus, in the long term, she ‘loses’.”
Here are some reasons why victims of cheating come out stronger in the end:
You make more informed decisions
Our judgement is often clouded within relationships, and we either defend cheating partners or don’t want to admit their infidelity. When you survived being cheated on, you’re able to identify red flags and address them immediately in your next relationship. Sadly, a cheater cannot always be spotted easily, but we know that a woman’s intuition is hardly ever wrong.
Tip: Don’t accuse your partner of cheating if evidence hasn’t been presented to you. Your first step should be to ask. Your partner’s reaction will possibly guide you as to what to do next.
Your guard is up
Policing your man is draining, so you shouldn’t constantly be on the lookout for a cheater, but infidelity does teach you to safeguard your heart. Never blame your new partner for the sins of your cheating ex, but don’t overlook red flags in a budding relationship. The great thing is that you now know what not to settle for.
You tackle trust issues head on
Women have difficulty trusting again after infidelity, and can bring these trust issues into their next relationship. Ask all the necessary questions that will set your mind at ease and answer any questions your partner might have. If trust comes easily in your relationship, you won’t need to constantly be asking: “who is he or she, and why are they always texting him in the middle of the night?”
Remember, a failed relationship doesn’t mean the end. As clichéd as it might sound, all men are not dogs. Take some time out before you get into another relationship and set standards for what you’re willing to give, and what you expect.