Sometimes I forget the way the world is. I trust most people I meet, I don’t think that almost anyone would ever mean to hurt me, and even if someone does something not so nice, I often still think their heart is probably good — they just don’t have the empathy for a situation simply because they cannot understand it.
One of my friends and I were talking about relationships and dating — as many of my real-life conversations totally revolve around that too — and we got on the topic of cheating. We both agreed that’s one way a guy could never get a second chance with us, as it’s one unforgivable sin in a relationship. I know some people feel differently; I just personally couldn’t be with someone who treated another girl the way he should always only treat me.
“I wonder how many people in the population cheat at some point,” I questioned aloud. I thought about my friends and family and don’t think there’s been a lot of that kind of thing, but I suppose there are people who kept their affairs quiet that I don’t know anything about. “What do you think the number is?” I asked as I went for my phone to Google it.
“Hmmm,” she thought.
“I’d say 5% of people have cheated on a partner,” I said confidently happy with my number.
“What?!” she exclaimed. “There’s no way that’s right!”
My eyes got wide with embarrassment. I had overshot my number. Of course it couldn’t be 5%. That’s 5 out of 100 people; there’s no way that many people have cheated on their partner. What a foolish guess!
“Uhh, OK, you’re right,” I backtracked. “I’ll go with 1% for my guess.” I felt good about that number. 1 in 100; that seems about right!
She looked at me like I was insane. “Krista,” she started, “It’s at least like, 30%. Are you kidding me?! Think about it for a second!”
I did. I couldn’t imagine that 30…. 30! people in 100 would cheat on their partner. Like, that’s a huge offense! It’s not something that is a little mistake you could ever accidentally make. Cheating takes some calculated measures and steps toward that action. It’s not like it “just happens.” You have to form a bond to someone — at least in some capacity. You have to let yourself think about them in a way that isn’t appropriate when you’re in a relationship with someone else. You have to actively pursue some sort of relationship with a person who isn’t your partner. That’s a pretty long string of mistakes. All of that in my opinion is already just as bad as the physical act of cheating, but it still seems like a lot of these things could be prevented.
When we looked it up, we found that my friend was right. In fact, it seems like 30 is a low estimate in most of the articles we found. The next time I’m in a room of 100 people I don’t think I’ll be able to look at it the same way. I always assume most people who are married or dating are generally faithful because in my mind it is impossible to ever even consider straying from someone you’re supposed to be loyal to. You’ve promised your heart to them, so how could you give a part of it to someone else?
These statistics definitely shook me. I don’t like to think that anyone I know would hurt their partner in a way like this, much less such a large percentage of people.
You can’t control what other people do or how you’re treated, but you can choose how to react to things that happen in your life. People can absolutely learn to control their thoughts as adult human beings, and if they aren’t making an effort to treat you in the way you deserve, please remember your worth. I can’t speak on anyone else’s behalf, but I can say with absolute certainty that I will never stray from a committed relationship. I make a million-and-one other mistakes in my life, but this is something I take so incredibly seriously and would never even picture any part of my life with another individual when I am invested in someone. I have always been careful about what I think, what kind of media I consume, and who I look up to; all of this has played a part in making it really easy to keep my thoughts and actions all in check. I like to think most people feel the same way I do. I still somehow believe those numbers listed are high and that whoever conducted the surveys just chose people who aren’t the norm.
What do you think? Do you believe the guesstimates that were made in articles like the one above or do you think they’re incorrect, too?