13 alternatives to cheating that'll give you a rush without the rash
Great news, ladies and gents. You don’t have to cheat on your partner to get the same feeling cheating gives you. Thankfully, there are other options that’ll give you that rush of excitement and risk factor without landing you a primetime spot on “Maury's Baby Daddy Special Volume III.”
Ah, the holy grail of the anti-cheating methods. Open relationships are the best way to satisfy your need for strange while keeping your relationship with the person that you love, but they only work if you’re in a good, communicative place in your relationship. You must have the nerve to both speak honestly about what you want and feel confident enough in yourselves to know whoever else you or your partner plays with won’t hurt your relationship. Set rules. Break rules. Communicate. Repeat.
Your head is like Vegas; what happens there, stays there — except the gonorrhea; that’ll come home with you. There’s no harm in fantasizing about someone else; it’s actually good for you because it allows you a place to live out your desires. It’s a release without the release. Studies show fantasizing about someone has the same effect on your brain as cheating. Although the effect is obviously a diluted one compared to the real thing, it’ll give you the same high you get from cheating, sans that whole “whoops, banged your best friend” thing.
Flirting is as close as you can get to cheating without actually doing it. If there’s someone else who’s making you stutter and have spontaneous boners, then by all means, flirt it up. If you’re cheating because you don’t feel attractive or like you’re not getting enough attention in your relationship, harmlessly joking around with someone else can prove to you that you’ve still got it and could have that other person if you wanted to. Sometimes just having that knowledge is enough, and it’s better than dealing with the shitstorm if you take it too far and actually cheat.
Taking Risks with Your Partner
Skydiving, going to a strip club, taking molly, doing anything with your partner that would make your grandma gawk will make you feel the same pleasurable rush of getting away with something risky cheating does. That’s because variety and spontaneity spark a pleasurable dopamine response in the brain, making you crave the source of that variety. Whereas cheating will spark the variety-dopamine pathway in your brain and fuck you over later, doing something risky or taboo will benefit you in a positive way … as long as you don’t die. If you do those things with your partner, your brain will start to associate that person with excitement, which can make the sex so good you’ll forget about cheating.
The heart isn’t the only thing that grows fonder during periods of absence, if you know what we mean. Taking a break from your partner, whether that means physically (you’re far away from each other), or emotionally (you decide not to talk for a while), can make you want that person like Rick James wants cocaine. Absence can also mean developing your own interests and hobbies, spending more time with your friends or hanging out with yourself, even though you can be really boring sometimes. More often than not, the less you see of your partner, the more you want that person and not someone else.
Trust us, we hate that diet and exercise are the answer to everything just as much as you do, but if you’re having a hard time staying faithful, not free-basing that cake and going on a run or 10 instead can really help. One major reason people cheat is to reassert their own attractiveness to themselves; attention from new people makes you feel hot as shit. If you need to prove to yourself you’re still a bona-fide babe, there’s nothing that’ll do it like getting in shape. Diet and exercise improve self-image, and once you start feeling sexier, you may not need stray outside of your relationship to feel like Baberaham Lincoln.
Put More Effort Into Your Relationship
A lot of cheating happens because, as relationships progress, initiating sex, being romantic and not wearing sweatpants fall lower on the list. Don’t get mad at your partner for slacking off; you can’t expect anyone to meet your standards if you don’t set the standards yourself. If you’re looking for more effort, give to your partner instead of seeking to receive from someone new. Studies show giving, rather than receiving, activates some of the same positive pleasure pathways in your brain falling in love with a new person does. A good rule to follow is give 90 percent and expect 10 percent … except when it comes to sweatpants.
Dose Yourself with Dopamine
When you cheat, your brain gets all excited and splooges dopamine everywhere, which makes you feel excited and confident. Fortunately, you don’t have to cheat to get a dose of dopamine. A diet rich in tyrosine and antioxidants, coupled with exercise, adequate sleep and doing things that make you happy, all stimulate dopamine in the exact same way cheating does. One weird way to satisfy your craving for dopamine is to stay up for 24 hours. You’ll be groggy and pissy as hell, but a lack of sleep floods your brain with the neurotransmitter. So if you’re feeling the urge to cheat, eat some avocados and almonds, do some jumping jacks, and swear off sleep; you might notice that you think about that other person a lot less.
Set and Reach Goals
Waning self-confidence and a lack of attention from a partner are two huge reasons people cheat. If you take initiative in your life, we’ll bet you our meager life savings you’ll start to feel better about yourself, and your partner will take notice. Plus, focusing on goals you want to attain might distract you from thinking about that other person and might keep you too busy to put yourself in situations in which you could easily fuck. If you involve your partner in the goals and work toward reaching them together, it’ll make you feel closers and stronger as a couple, giving the urge to cheat a much-needed kick in the ass.
Really go at it. If you’re cheating because you’re just flat out horny and your partner has the sex drive of a frozen alpine tree, then satisfy it yourself. We know, it’s not the same as the pleasure you get from seducing a stranger and having crazy sex, but let’s be honest, aren’t you the best sex you’ve ever had? You can give yourself something no foray into infidelity can; an earth-shattering orgasm free of guilt and shame and a not-STI.
Surround Yourself with Friends
There’s nothing that’ll cock-block the urge to cheat quite like friends who know you and your partner. Chances are, if you’re cheating, it’s a secretive thing, and most of your friends don’t know about it. If you stay close to people that would be crushed if they knew you were cheating or would tell your partner, then you can’t cheat nearly as easily. Plus, socializing and going out with friends is great for your self-esteem, so if you’re looking to cheat as a way to gain confidence, look to your friends before you do something stupid.
Tell Everyone You’re in a Relationship Immediately
Doing this won’t squelch your desire to cheat, but if you tell the person you’re thinking of cheating with you’re in a relationship the first chance you get, there’s a good chance you won’t get any. Research shows doing the “right thing,” like being up-front about your situation, is both calming and pleasurable. So while you might miss out on some stranger sex, using your relationship as a shield to ward off potential new partners will actually make you feel good.
Get a Ferret
What’s the only thing more terrifying than your partner finding out you’re cheating? A loose ferret in your house. That thing will be so mean and scary, tearing up your laundry and hissing rabies at you, that you’ll forget about cheating entirely and focus on more important things like crying and watching where you walk. Think we’re joking? Think again. Shit works.