Is cheating in a relationship getting worse?

Valentine’s Day was just a week ago, prompting one to question how most people chose to interpret it. Several people chose to look at it as a means to show their romantic partner some additional affection while others perceived it differently. This leads to the follow-up question — what is love? The word “love” has so many divergent meanings. In my opinion, love is the special bond shared between two people. These two individuals show tenderness, affection and loyalty for one another.

Today, loyalty seems to be fading at a very fast rate. Most married couples in the United States engage in infidelity at some point during their marriage. In an article called the Truth about Deception, it is estimated that about 45 percent of all married individuals engage in infidelity during their marriages. Infidelity is more common among people under 30, and roughly 2.5 percent of children are the product of infidelity.

Another article in the New York Times states that surveys conducted in person are likely to underestimate the real rate of adultery since people are reluctant to admit to such behavior face to face. The Huffington Post published an article about a study conducted at the University of Michigan that evaluated what people perceive as constituting infidelity with an index of 27 behaviors rated on a scale of one to 100.

Kissing on the lips ranked highest, with holding hands coming in fifth on the index of behaviors. Researchers concluded that social behaviors are considered to be more indicative of cheating by those in serious relationships. Those in non-committed relationships do not tend to consider explicit and erotic behavior as indicative of infidelity.

Students and faculty interviewed at this university all had their opinions on love, infidelity and the recently passed Valentine’s Day.

Natalie Winsor, a mass media major, together with Alyssa Wisner and Nicole Scholal, both undecided, all reported believing in love but explained that it proves to be a bit of a challenge. These three women agreed that cheating today is getting worse due to the ease of keeping secrets and lying afforded by general advancements in technology and social media.

Winsor stated that relationships are about trust, and that once anyone agrees to get into a relationship they should be faithful no matter the cost.

Connor Larson, an exercise science major, similarly reported believing in love as a special bond between two people, stating that in the past, Valentine’s Day held some importance to him when he had someone to share it with. Larson also said that cheating and keeping secrets is getting easier due to social media.

Kory Theil, McElroy Hall Director, said that he does believe in love, but that it is tough to tell what love feels like until one truly experiences it. He explained that people’s intentions are not always stated up front when they decide to go into a relationship, which ends up creating mistrust and disloyalty.

Touching on Valentine’s Day, Theil said that romance should be spontaneous and not necessarily confined to one day of the year associated with romance.

Winsor, Scholal, and Wisner shared that past Valentine’s Days have each had value in their own way.

The term “side piece” is often used today to refer to someone that a person is very non-committal toward and only calls on for pleasure or satisfaction. Bringing other individuals into the equation and attaching titles to them just shows that you were not in the relationship for the right reasons from the start.

Finding a partner that is completely devoted to you and ready to start a relationship that is heading somewhere is not an easy task. In short, a true relationship is two imperfect individuals refusing to give up on one another through both contentment and struggle.

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