Researchers conducted a survey of 495 adults with an average age of 20 who were asked if they've ever cheated in a relationship and if so, what their motivation for doing it was. Since the survey was pretty open-ended, researchers grouped the responses by commonality to find that there were 77 motivations for infidelity.
Among all the reasons given, the number one reason as to why people cheat is a "lack of love." In fact, 77 percent of the responses either explicitly stated it (i.e. "I had 'fallen out of love with' my primary partner") or alluded to it in some way. "While the guttural reaction to being cheated on is often that the person cheating has fallen out of love, the more accurate reasoning is that the person cheating no longer feels loved by his or her partner," Chelsea Leigh Trescott relationship expert and Founder of Breakupward tells Bustle.
Relationship and Wellness Coach, Shula Melamed MA MPH agrees that "a lack of love" could also mean the person feels a lack of appreciation, attention, and playfulness in the relationship. Of course, a healthier approach to dealing with these issues would be to put more effort into the relationship and communicating with their partner instead of infidelity . "Love is a verb, an action, and a skill," she says. "It's a dynamic process of doing rather than something you're simply just in. Love needs to be nurtured, replenished and not taken for granted."
So feeling a lack of love in the relationship is the biggest motivator to cheat, but what are others? Here are seven of the other biggest reasons, according to the study.