The Upside of Youthful Infidelity

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new study suggests that committing infidelity in your youth could lead to great personal growth.

Researchers in Spain studied 346 adolescents and asked them about the reasons that they might cheat on a boyfriend or girlfriend. The ones who said that they would cheat because of emotional or sexual dissatisfaction reported fewer negative emotions about cheating. They also had higher levels of self-esteem and greater psychological well-being.

Those who cited anger and neglect as a reason to cheat did not feel so good about it.

“The main conclusion that can be drawn from our research is that sometimes, infidelity — despite its generally being viewed as intolerable and intransigent behavior — can be positive and can contribute favorably to the personal growth of adolescents, given their need to explore sensations and novel feelings,” the social psychologist who led the study said.

Sure, everything has the power to be a teachable moment. We wonder how much personal growth there is if you’re the one being cheated on.


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