Worried you might be in a May-December relationship with a cheater? According to a recent study out of the University of Denver, one way to know if your older man will stray is to look into his dating history.
The group of researchers asked married couples about whether or not they’ve cheated on their partner, or if they’ve been cheated on. The results showed that respondents who admitted to having a sexual affair were three and a half times more likely to be unfaithful in their next relationship, too. Nearly half (45%) of the people who cheated in an earlier relationship said they did so again in their next one. According to these findings, there’s a good chance your May-December relationship will be affected by an affair if your older man has cheated in his past relationships.
The study had even more interesting findings for your May-December relationship. According to the findings, cheaters weren’t the only ones who followed a pattern. People who had been cheated on once were also three times more likely to be cheated on again. And if they were suspicious of an affair in a previous relationship, they were 10 times more likely to feel the same way in their next relationship.
Although this study doesn’t exactly determine why people follow these behavioral patterns, it does suggest some possible conclusions with regards to our dating practices. For instance, many women are drawn to a certain type of man and even though he was unfaithful, they still tend to be drawn to a May-December relationship with a man who shares many of those same qualities. For people who did the cheating in one of their past relationships, maybe they’re not ready for a long-term commitment, regardless of who they’re dating, which means they’re just as likely to stray again.
Regardless of the scenario, everyone has some degree of emotional baggage going into a new May-December relationship, but don’t let that define your relationship. There’s nothing wrong with voicing your concerns in a new relationship. And don’t just assume that if your first May-December relationship was a fail, your next one will be, too. Always go into it with an open mind and at least give it a chance before calling it quits.
What do you think: Do you believe that once a cheater, always a cheater?
Hillin, T., “Study Suggests People Who Cheat Are 3.5 Times More Likely To Do It Again,” Huffington Post web site, August 14, 2014; http://goo.gl/WVKuyn.