The research suggests that monogamy ain't natural. Should we give up on long-term love?
We asked readers: is infidelity more common these days, or are we just hearing about it more? Those who responded obviously have no misconceptions about the urge to cheat. In fact, they seem to be in unanimous agreement that on-the-side hanky-panky was just as prevalent way back when as it is now. (Fun fact: way back, when it was even condoned.) So why have we been hearing about it so much more?
When you see stories like that of Tiger Woods (admittedly an extreme case), it becomes obvious: while developing technology has made it easier to seek out extra sex partners, it's also made it easier for infidelities to be discovered. And with the recent study claiming that those who cheat are just less intelligent, it should come as no surprise that they keep getting caught.
Still, much of the general public is in an uproar over the sudden rash of high-profile infidelities. Not surprising, really. It's made many of us anxious about our own relationships. We ask ourselves: am I enough for him? Will he cheat? Is our relationship doomed!?
With all the brouhaha over infidelity, researchers Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha released a book that would serve to remind the rest of us of what should already be obvious: Sexual monogamy just doesn't work.
A heavy read but engaging nonetheless, Sex at Dawn seeks to answer the questions so many of the lovelorn are struggling with: Why is long-term fidelity so hard? Why does sexual passion fade? Why can't I stop flirting with that hot dude at the office? Why do so many people have affairs? (Hint: it's in our blood.)
As bleak as it all seems, Ryan and Jetha seem to hold out hope for non-sexual monogamy. But here's the thing. Can non-physical love survive when our libidos are climbing the walls in search of relief? Can we separate sex and deeper emotion? Can we change our mindset surrounding monogamy when the idea of "traditional" love is so deeply embedded in our modern-day culture?
Why are we trying so darned hard to make monogamy work anyway?