At the beginning of a relationship, both partners tend to be on their best possible behavior, which can make it difficult to see the red flags. However, even in the early phases, you can pay attention to your partner’s behaviors and tendencies, and they can unintentionally shed light on who your partner truly is.
Even though cheaters don’t wear a sign that says “I am a cheater,” they often give themselves away. Being a victim of cheating is a painful experience that no one likes to go through. And the faster you spot them, the less painful it will be. A serial cheater is someone that displays cheating behaviors at all times – rather than someone who made a mistake. It’s important to know the difference, so you can discern how to handle situations that arise.
With that being said, here are 7 tendencies of serial cheaters that should immediately set off red flags.
1. They keep things light.
A serial cheater will opt to keep things light instead of wanting to go deeper. According to Kevin Darne, the author of My Cat Won’t Bark (A Relationship Epiphany) says “Serious discussions usually lead to making promises, giving reassurances, setting expectations, emotional investment, and developing a deeper commitment,” he explains. “Serial cheaters prefer to have their partner assume what he or she feels instead of having to openly express and confirm those feelings or their status. This allows them certain deniability if they’re ever caught cheating, since they can say, ‘We never said we were exclusive.”
“Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find – and Keep – Love” by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller offers insights into how different attachment styles can affect relationship dynamics, including behaviors that may predispose individuals to infidelity.
2. They are too charming.
Serial cheaters often are too good at charming others. Why? Because they work to charm people all of the time. While charm alone doesn’t make a cheater, it is a bit fishy when someone always has the right things to say, almost the point of fakeness.
3. They lack transparency.
When someone keeps things to themselves all of the time, and are constantly on guard, it could mean they are hiding something. Especially, if you notice they are intentionally vague when you ask them questions, or that they hide things intentionally.
4. They subtly downplay the seriousness of infidelity.
When you bring up the subject of infidelity, this person may excuse it or downplay it. You may notice they are uncomfortable when you bring up cheating and how it makes you feel. If you notice this – run.
“In Sheep’s Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People” by George K. Simon Jr. can help readers identify and cope with manipulative behaviors, which are often exhibited by individuals who are not transparent about their intentions.
5. They lack guilt in other circumstances.
How someone approaches personal responsibility in other aspects of their life, and whether they feel shame when they do wrong, is something you should pay attention to. Someone who lacks remorse when they do wrong likely won’t feel bad for hurting you.
6. They are self-centered.
Self-centered people do not make good partners. If your partner makes everything about them and is constantly seeking attention, it could be that they only think of themselves. In turn, they likely wouldn’t bat an eye to cheat on you.
“The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are” by Brené Brown encourages self-acceptance and authenticity, empowering individuals to recognize their worth and to demand respect and honesty in relationships.
7. They manufacture fights.
Oftentimes, cheaters will start fights, so they can have a reason to cheat or to push you away long enough for them to slip into someone else’s bed. While fights happen- if your partner is always picking fights, this is a bad sign, regardless of why they do it.