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For the last month, I’ve posed as 40 fake people to find out how the Internet makes infidelity easier to commit and harder to detect.I’ve brushed shoulders with total creeps, hopeless romantics, probable sex addicts, and everyone in between.Unfortunately that didn’t work, so I resorted to a combination of begging and promising them that their faces would be pixelated beyond recognition.Once they were on board and I had nice natural shots of 10 attractive men and women, I allocated them in pairs to five American cities. I wanted my bait to have the best possible chance of cheating on their nonexistent wives, husbands, girlfriends and boyfriends.The science of cheating is clear on this point: Roughly 3% of all mammals, including humans, practice what is called pair bonding or monogamous mating.However, even within the 3% of mammals that practice monogamy, very few species, including humans, are truly monogamous (see Barash & Lipton).Do the plethora of revolving dating partners and sex without dating help us find romantic partners that last more than a few weeks or months? I began my research on the state of our unions by looking at the growing number of early life attachment injuries that predispose adults to avoid or obsess over intimacy. Children of emotional neglect or abuse can grow up to become vigilant clock-watchers, obsessively reading texts like tea leaves, ever the ready to perceive a threat of abandonment, while others behave like skilled surgeons on a quest for no-love-attached sex, cleverly slicing into hearts until the genitals become available and then slipping out the door before the triage.
Because a multiple-partner approach was a better reproductive strategy than monogamy, men and women living today are the descendants of people who had the desire to have sex with more than one other person over the course of their lifespan.If you want to prevent your girflriend or wife from straying, then you need to understand on the idea that, evolutionarily speaking, that we’re a promiscuous species.On the male side of things, we’ve evolved many techniques for maximizing our own reproductive chances while minimizing those of our competitors; this is known as sperm competition.If you strip away the romance and the complicated societal rules and obligations and general philosophical meandering, humanity’s purpose is very simple: we’re here to ensure the continuation of our genetic lineage. Men want to ensure that their own genes are passed along while simultaneously trying to prevent other males from impregnating the same females, thus ensuring that they’re not raising someone else’s child.
Women want men whose genes will help ensure that their children will survive to reproduce in turn and who can help raise and protect the child until it reaches maturity. In our current high-supply sexual economy, sexual opportunity is everywhere, sexual restraint out of fashion, and love, the illusive Holy Grail, has a generation addicted to dating.