At the top of nearly every survey about what singles want in a partner is a person who is faithful, loyal, and trustworthy. In other words, singles in a committed relationship want someone who will not cheat on them.
Unfortunately, the reality of that desire often comes to a painful end as time goes on. Accurate statistics are hard to come by (because lots of people don’t want to admit to cheating), but researchers agree that 30 to 50 percent of men and 20 to 40 percent of women are unfaithful. Can you ever know for sure that your partner won’t cheat? No, because people and circumstances change over time. But you can look for specific personal qualities that offer a strong predisposition for faithfulness instead of unfaithfulness:
1. Your partner keeps his/her word in other areas. Reliability and trustworthiness across many aspects of life is a good indicator of faithfulness in your relationship.
2. The person likes your friends but keeps a respectful distance. Researchers found that nearly half (45 percent) of men and more than one-fourth (26 percent) of women are attracted to friends of their partners and are tempted to act on it.
3. Your partner does not keep secrets. Small secrets can blossom into big ones down the line.
4. He/she is aware of the danger zones. For instance, business trips are particularly troublesome: 36 percent of men and 13 percent of women said they gave in to temptation on a business trip.
5. Your partner has extinguished old flames. Many people look back on past relationships with fond memories, and some even maintain friendships with past loves. But wise individuals guard against too much interaction with an ex. That’s because 32 percent of women and 21 percent of men who admitted to acting on sexual temptation said it was with a former boyfriend/girlfriend.
6. Your love is invested in maintaining a friendship, as well as a romance, with you. Many individuals who get involved in affairs have been unable to deepen their love relationship beyond the early phase of infatuation and adrenaline rushes.
7. The individual maintains proper boundaries with coworkers. That’s because 60 percent of affairs start at work.
8. He/she feels appreciated. And this is where you can make a huge difference: More than 90 percent of men, and a similar number of women, said that feeling unappreciated and unwanted contributed strongly to their affairs.
9. The person is not a narcissist. People with narcissistic tendencies—self-absorbed, lacking empathy–are especially prone to straying.
10. Your partner knows the importance of a satisfying sex life. After all, 52 percent of people with unsatisfying sex lives said they would be tempted to cheat, while only 17 percent who were sexually satisfied said they would be tempted.
11. He/she doesn’t have an excessive need to be admired and liked. A need to have one’s ego boosted leads to inappropriate relationships from someone eager to flatter.
12. At the appropriate time, your partner will be completely open about finances. Since money disputes are the number one cause of divorce, psychologists have coined the term “financial infidelity,” in which individuals deceive their partner with hidden debt, secret credit cards, and undisclosed shopping sprees.
13. Your lover doesn’t flirt with anyone but you. Flirting or checking out other people is disrespectful to you, and disrespect is a step toward unfaithfulness.
14. The person is realistic, knowing no one is immune. One of the biggest dangers is thinking “it could never happen to me.” Approximately 69 percent of people who cheated never considered it a possibility before it happened.
15. Your partner’s strong emphasis is “we,” not “I.” Faithful partners recognize the value of preserving the relationship’s love and intimacy—and will take measures to protect the special bond they share.