Is cheating the newest trend?

What do John Mulaney, Adam Levine and Jason Derulo all have in common besides being famous? They have cheated on their significant others in the last year. 

Recently, former Try Guy Ned Fulmer joined this growing group. On Tuesday, Fulmer announced on Instagram that he cheated on his wife by having a “consensual workplace relationship.” The Try Guys issued a statement saying that Fulmer is no longer working with them as they “do not see a path forward together.”

If you don’t care about any meaningless celebrity gossip, you should be concerned at the alarming rates of cheating scandals increasing. Just when you think another celebrity power couple will be together forever, a scandal hits the front page of a tabloid website. In the last year, a wide range of celebrities have either come forth about their infidelity while allegations have been directed at others.

All this news about cheating scandals got me thinking: is cheating a new trend?

Cheating seems like the norm – and not in a good way. Do people think it’s thrilling to have a secret side piece? Are cheaters too afraid to talk about being in an open relationship? Celebrity or not, cheating has become too common. It can be confusing for those who don’t have a title on their “situationship.” If there is no title and the person you are talking to ghosts you, only to post a photo of them with their relationship on Instagram a few weeks later, are you feeling disappointed? Or did you expect nothing to come out of it? 

One reason that people may indulge in cheating is the hunger for 15 minutes of fame. Sliding into a celebrity’s DM’s to acknowledge their work is one thing. Trying to disrupt their marriage is another. Getting a response from a celebrity is a rare occurrence, but homewreckers enjoy the fun of hitting on a celebrity. If they get exposed and their relationship is leaked to the public, they’ll get numerous comments on the scandal, good and bad. Their social media following will blow up as people check out their pages. If the relationship doesn’t work out, they can still contact TMZ as an anonymous source.

No one likes getting a broken heart. Healing after the heartbreak can take months or years. A theory is that women gain a sense of empowerment from the scandal. Initially when the news breaks, the thoughts are focused on why their partner cheated and if anything could have been done differently. When the paparazzis dig deeper and reveal the cheater’s messages or any photos of them out in public, then the attitude can shift. 

Now, instead of the guilt and shame that comes from a cheating partner, there’s a renewed sense of empowerment. They gain followers on Instagram and sympathies pour in from around the world. Their partner is seen as a P.O.S. and they come out with a clean record.

If you feel the relationship is losing a spark, it’s better to break up with your partner than cheat on them, leaving them with a million unanswered questions of what they did wrong. Keeping the lines of communication open with your partner is crucial to a healthy relationship. If you feel the temptation to cheat, have a mental check in with why you might be having those thoughts. Before hopping into a relationship, consider what you’re looking for. A one night stand? Friends with benefits? A long term relationship? Don’t break others’ hearts if yours isn’t feeling full. 

Next time you hear of a scandal, consider the motives of why your favorite actor or singer cheated on their partner. But dear god, it better not be Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively.

Write to Emma Johnson at emma.johnson.5@mnsu.edu

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