When the news broke that Adam Levine has been unfaithful to Victoria’s Secret model Behati Prinsloo, The really surprising thing has been the way in which social networks have thrown their hands in their heads not because this supposes the end of an (apparent) love story worthy of a fairy tale, but because many people are unable to understand how it is possible for a man to be unfaithful to a supermodel. That was the speech that also transcended when it was learned that Emily Ratajkowski’s husband had cheated on the model, a formula that takes us back to the time when society was shocked by the fact that Jude Law he would have been unfaithful to Sienna Miller (to Sienna Miller!) with the nanny (with his nanny!) of his children. The message was clear: how the hell can a man cheat on such a beautiful woman? That is to say… Society thinks that beauty protects you from infidelity, and whoever does not adhere to the normative aesthetic margins, is therefore susceptible to being deceived.
Why do we have to leave beauty out of the equation when talking about relationships and the causes of infidelity? “Although beauty is subjective, it is true that we have established beauty canons that unconsciously imply success, not being rejected, being chosen in a job interview… The moment a socially respected person cuckolds you as a beauty, it is that success that is breaking. People wonder then how you can deny what is accepted by the world, we are associating beauty with social acceptance”, explains Raquel Mascaraque, specialized in emotional psychology.
Human nature instinctively tends towards pleasure and the contemplation of beauty. “Beauty is an important aspect as far as relationships are concerned, it is the first thing we look at when we meet someone, since it constitutes their letter of introduction and influences the formation of love, but even so it is not determinant. The perception of physical beauty is totally subjective. What may seem attractive to one may not be to another. This relativism is what facilitates the construction of attraction, since every relationship begins with the contemplation of beauty and physical attraction. Subsequently, the feeling of love is generated, which is what will truly determine the future and progress of the relationship, to the detriment of physical beauty. Being beautiful is not a guarantee of durability or fidelity in a couple, nor is it the reason to be unfaithful or to stop being unfaithful”, comments the TherapyChat Clinical Content Team led by Isabel Aranda, health psychologist and Chief Content Officer of TherapyChat.
“Beauty in a relationship, whatever its nature, is not that important, because the basis of a sporadic or permanent, formal or informal, relationship is built on the basis of common values and affinities, which have nothing to do with the beauty. When we talk about a relationship and the reasons to start it, what unites is not the physical, but the way of being of the person and the emotions and attraction that arouses us, and that is something that beauty can hardly achieve, no matter how dazzling. whatever,” he says.
Lara Ferreiro, official psychologist of the dating platform Ashley Madison. she says that love is like a video game in which there are four screens of love. “The first is falling in love, the second is the comfort zone, the third is the crisis zone, and the fourth is unconditional love. During the first phase, infidelities do not usually occur, because you are focused on living as much as possible with your crush, the butterflies in your stomach fly inside you and you do not have eyes for anyone else. After the infatuation phase, which usually lasts around 17 months, the love hormones stabilize. In phase 2, the comfort zone in the couple no longer feels the same, sexual desire tends to decrease and in this phase is where infidelities could begin. No matter how attractive your partner is, beauty after a while tends to normalize in the eyes of the beholder. That is why it is important to share intellectual concerns and other variables other than beauty so that deeper levels continue to be cultivated with your partner. Otherwise, there will be no durability. If a woman, no matter how attractive she may be, has a partner who is a “serial cheater”, she will find that she will systematically have lovers regardless of whether she is very or not very attractive. These types of men cheat by nature. They are unfaithful because of her personality and because they see it as a form of self-care, not because of anything she has done or not done, “she says.
Why do we link beauty to good qualities and therefore cannot understand that someone is unfaithful to a beautiful woman? Although it was believed that the attribution of good qualities to beauty was something cultural and social and, as such, learned, it has been discovered that biological factors are also involved in this process. “Surrounding yourself with beautiful people has a survival value that perpetuates the species, or so we understood. We are born with the instinct to look for someone healthy and beautiful, as a synonym of fertility and continuity of the species, as has been well demonstrated in numerous studies such as those of the psychologist and researcher at the University of Texas Judith Langlois. The brain is programmed to look for and find certain desirable characteristics. But, in addition to this explanation, another can also be given from psychology. This fact can be explained thanks to the halo effect outlined and empirically demonstrated by Edward Thorndike, which comes to say that people have a natural tendency to infer certain attributes, abilities or skills of a person or circumstance based on the scant data they have about them. of that person. This leads to judgments that are not based on real data, but on which we infer, act and decide. This is nothing more than a cognitive bias and a way of distorting a reality that we invented, without having any basis to do so. In short, from a single element that we know or perceive about a person, we build a generalized and complete opinion of that person”, explains the TherapyChat Clinical Content team led by Isabel Aranda, health psychologist and Chief Content Officer of TherapyChat.
“By this rule, it is very common to attribute positive qualities to a person of whom we only know their beauty. But beauty and goodness are not always linked, no matter how many good feelings someone beautiful firsthand generates in us.”, they explain before pointing out that it is totally plausible that a person can be unfaithful, despite having someone especially beautiful by his side, because it does not mean that he is having a good relationship with her.
They emphasize that fidelity is not based on the beauty of the members of a couple and is not a guarantee of success, since, as we have seen, other factors and needs prevail over it. For all these reasons, we can conclude that you can be unfaithful to a person no matter how beautiful they are.
Emily Ratajkowski has not hesitated to point out the sexism surrounding the Adam Levine infidelity scandal. “I don’t understand why we keep blaming women for men’s mistakes, especially when you’re talking about a 20-year-old woman dealing with men in positions of power twice her age. The power dynamic is really perverse, it’s ridiculous, predatory and manipulative,” says the model. Why do we link beauty to good qualities and therefore cannot understand that someone is unfaithful to a beautiful woman? “That woman just doesn’t have what her partner needs at that moment. She likewise sleeps with another for her affection, because she makes him laugh… Or perhaps we are not being true to ourselves. We have to stop social appropriation and live according to our values”, says Raquel Mascaraque.
The dating application Bumble has released the study “What do women (really) want?”, in which he talks about the hardballing. This is a growing trend around dating, which is to be very clear with potential partners about what you are looking for in a relationship. 79% of millennials say they have a very clear idea of what they are looking for. Yet 28% of Gen Z are taking the opposite approach, focusing more on exploration and rejecting a prescriptive approach to dating. In this context, we ask ourselves if we really know what we want and if we are honest about it with our partner. “We keep quiet a lot, because sometimes it’s easier to keep quiet than to accept the consequences, and this comes from the loss of control. Talking things out loud can mean that they are over. The more trust and communication there is, the stronger the couples will be. If you don’t talk about it, you submit to what you idealize about a relationship, not what you’re living”, says Raquel.
To conclude, Lara Ferreiro, official psychologist of the Ashley Madison dating platform, points out that a person being unfaithful is not because of a characteristic that their partner has, but rather because of an individual variable and because of the type of personality they are. “Beauty is like a nice window display in a clothing store that you will stop to look at more and it may attract more people, but it will not be the quality that will make your partner not cheat on you.”