Branislav Jovanović

Why We're Programmed To Cheat And It Ruins Our Love Lives


Last year, I listened to a very interesting book about dating. It was "Modern Romance" by Aziz Ansari, and it was easily one of the most illuminating books I had come across in recent memory.

The book details the difference between our parents' generation and our own when it came to dating, how dating differs in major cities around the world, how we tackle different forms of dating and the hardships we face in today's society when it comes to dating.

I was amazed at what I had learned. As an American, I'm so accustomed to the idea of dating apps and websites that I naively assumed it was a fairly common practice around the world.

Of course, in some cultures, that simply isn't true. And I was ashamed at myself for assuming the whole world had become so progressive.

But was I wrong to make such an assumption? I almost don't think I was.

When it comes to society as a whole, we make certain assumptions — no matter where we're thinking about on this planet — about certain aspects of our lives because of the type of world we now live in, especially when it comes to dating.

As Americans, we've somehow come to a point where everything is so easily accessible, everything is at the click of a button and we're simply no longer satisfied.

We have so many options for movies to watch, TV shows to binge, books to read, artists to discover, porn to watch, food to eat, places to go and people to see that we assume that transfers into the dating world.

This is how cheating culture has become less taboo.

We've gotten to the point in our society where the possibility of something else, something better just waiting around the corner has become insidious. We've trained ourselves to believe that while what we have is “just fine," there's always something we can do to make it better, to find someone better.

It's created in us this idea that you need to have as many people on the burner as possible. You're dating this person, but you like sleeping with this person, but this person seems interesting.

Sure, you love your significant other, but that person over there is super hot or the guy two desks down is really funny and maybe you should see where that goes.

The idea of side chicks/dudes is getting totally out of control. We've normalized it in a way that is glorified on TV shows like "Girls" and in countless rap songs that people want to emulate that idea.

We've hit a point where one isn't enough, two is better and maybe three is where you get everything you want. We've stopped looking for The One and instead are looking for Thing One, Thing Two and so on.

In a society where we have so many options, it really isn't surprising that it has seeped into the dating world. But how have we hit this point? Why is it that it's so normal for us to talk about?

How are there endless memes depicting what it's like when you run into boyfriend number two when you're out with boyfriend number one, or how your new girl is in your phone as Pizza Hut so your current lady doesn't get suspicious?

When did one not become enough? The idea that we've normalized cheating is frankly just disgusting.

This isn't me talking from some sort of moralistic standpoint. This is me being completely confused about how you could go so far as to hurt someone you “love” or “care for” just because you can't keep it in your pants.

I don't buy what Scarlett Johansson recently said about how we're not meant to be monogamous. Why are we acting like it's OK to have our cake and eat it too?

I believe anyone is capable of monogamy. It's a choice to cheat on your significant other, to have more than one at a time. Polygamy is a choice, not something dictated by nature. (Unless you were born into a cult, but that's a different story altogether.)

It's a choice to stray and believe that one is not enough.

Why have people been searching for centuries for a good match or The One if it wasn't possible? Have you heard of many stories of people searching for The One Plus This One and That One Too?

No, because society being OK with choosing to cheat is a completely and entirely a new concept.

Dating isn't a candy shop. You don't get to go into it thinking you get to eat all of the candy at once. You try different pieces, you see which ones you like and you always have a favorite.

You don't get to pick and choose which person you want on a Wednesday because what you had on a Tuesday wasn't satisfying.

Having too many options is giving people big ideas of what is and isn't OK. No one takes anyone's feelings into account and are of the “gimme, gimme, gimme all I can have” mentality because how do you know if the right one IS the right one if you don't see what else is out there?

Get it together, folks, because the right one isn't going to stand for that type of thing. The right one won't let you stray and come back. The right one will know their worth and will not let you take away from that.

The Right One will never want to share you, and you won't want to share them. The Right One isn't going to let you walk all over them because you can't make up your mind.