- Dean Smith
The Balance of Self-Gratification and Intimacy in Terms of Infidelity
Author, blogger, and entrepreneur, Mark Manson, blogged a most interesting interpretation of why people cheat in relationships. We would never have been able to articulate his ideas quite like he had, so we are citing a small portion of this great read as a simplified explanation.
Manson explains the following algorithm:
SELF-GRATIFICATION > INTIMACY = CHEATING
As humans, we all have a natural desire for self-gratification. Good food. Good sex. Little work. Lots of sleep. Porn and video games and corn flakes.
As humans, we also all have a natural desire for intimacy and to feel loved by somebody else, to feel as though we are sharing our lives with somebody.
Unfortunately, these two needs are often contradictory. To achieve that intimacy and love, you have to sacrifice your own self-gratification at times. And to achieve self-gratification, you often have to sacrifice some love and intimacy.
This can be as simple as watching a movie you don’t really like or attending some boring work party you don’t care about. But it can also be deep and complex, like being open about your fears and insecurities to your partner or making a conscious commitment to be monogamous with that person for an indefinite amount of time.
If a person values self-gratification more than the intimacy they gain from a relationship, then they will stop sacrificing for the relationship and are likely to end up cheating. If a person values the intimacy they gain from a relationship more than self-gratification, then they will willingly sacrifice some of their self-gratification to remain faithful.
Think of it like a scale. On one side you have self-gratification and on the other you have intimacy. If at any point the self-gratification side outweighs the intimacy side, well, then you get a cheater.
There are two ways this can happen. The first way is that a person is just shallow and selfish and needs to be gratified constantly. The second reason is that the relationship is failing to provide sufficient intimacy and desire.
We highly recommend reading the full article here! You’ll thank us later.
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