What is it about wanting something we can’t have? That goes for a nicer house, a nicer car and men who are unavailable. The latter seems to be a trend that’s got sizable staying power.
According to an extensive 2009 study, 90 percent of single women preferred men who they believed to be attached. That’s compared to 59 percent of women who desired a single man.
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What gives? Psychologist Valerie Golden tells Psychology Today that “for some, the food on someone else’s plate always looks tastier. If someone else wants him, he must be worth wanting.”
It’s counterintuitive because, let’s face it: if he’s cheating with you, honesty and trust can’t be topping your list. Nor can respect, availability, spending holidays and family time together, or being his first priority. So why do it?
Dr. Golden says there’s also the thrill factor: sneaking around makes for exciting, illicit sex. Says Golden, “The need to be secretive, sneak around undiscovered, grabbing quick sexual encounters on the fly, can be a huge turn-on in comparison to a dinner date with a single man who calls on Wednesday night for Friday. Especially for rule-breakers, it’s just more fun being naughty. And bawdy.”
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There’s also the sad fact that some women just don’t trust men. So, if she’s the one he’s cheating with, he can’t possibly be cheating on her with another woman. But as Golden sternly reminds those women, “If he were to actually leave his wife or partner to make this relationship permanent, brace yourself for a nosedive. For starters, he cheated on her with you, so how could you ever know he wouldn’t treat you the same way?”