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Sexual vs. Emotional Cheating

What would break your heart: to find out that your significant other was in love with someone else—or was hooking up with someone? Some studies have said that the answer you give depends on whether you’re a man or a woman. Men are more upset by sexual infidelity, while women take emotional infidelity (falling in love) a lot more seriously.

But now Kenneth Levy, a psychologist at Penn State University, has come to a different conclusion. According to AOL Health, in a study of his own, Levy found that different “attachment styles”, not gender, may explain why sexual infidelity upsets some people most, and why other people react more strongly to emotional infidelity.

Read 5 New Ways to Catch a Cheater

Levy concluded that there are two different styles in relationships: “dismissive attachment” and “secure attachment.” People who show the dismissive style “don’t see the value in relationships” and are “hyper-independent.” But those who exhibit the secure style see relationships as valuable and like the intimacy that comes with them.

Not surprisingly, dismissive-attachment types are more offended by sexual infidelity, while secure-attachment types are more likely to be devastated by emotional infidelity. While it might seem logical that dismissive types shouldn’t care about either type of infidelity, Levy says that they do care about connections with others—just not on a vulnerable emotional level.

The most unexpected conclusion: the two attachment styles were found in both men and women. Some men were hurt by emotional infidelity; some women didn’t like sexual infidelity.

Levy also said that the attachment styles were usually learned in early childhood.

Tell us: what’s worse, emotional cheating or physical cheating?