You’d have thought there were myriad reasons why people in a monogamous relationship would cheat on each other — dissatisfaction, resentment, high libido or mere boredom. The definition of cheating is unclear and changing all the time: Research released last week suggested that over a third of Britons don’t think engaging in sexting constitutes as cheating on a partner.
But the team behind The School of Life think they have at least cracked the reason why cheaters do what they do, and it all boils down to one simple thing — the conflict between closeness and distance. On one hand: “In a relationship that threatens to lean perilously towards over-closeness, we can be driven to stray by a powerful urge to prove that everything we do and are is owned by the partner”.
But on the other hand: “Too much distance reads like constant rejection... we may end up having an affair not because we don’t love the partner any more, but precisely because we do, and yet the distance is unendurable and humiliating”. To make matters even more troublesome, two people almost never enter a relationship with the same needs for distance or closeness, according to The School.