Will Your Guy Cheat on You? 4 Ways To Find Out


You don’t need lipstick on a collar to know your man is the two-timing type. Here, a simple test that’ll reveal his philandering potential

By Jennifer Benjamin 

You can forgive a guy for some indiscretions, but it’s damn near impossible to turn the other cheek if he strays. Well, Cosmo did some investigating to ascertain the traits that may make men more likely to cheat, and some of our findings were surprising as hell. But before you freak, realize that just because he possesses characteristics of a mangy scoundrel doesn’t mean he’s actually getting some on the side. “You have to listen to your gut as well as read the clues,” says Gary Aumiller, Ph.D., a psychologist and coauthor of Red Flags! How to Know When You’re Dating a Loser. Run through this list of wandering-eye warning signs to see if your partner is predisposed to prowl…and find out how you can deal. 


Cheat Predictor 1 

Was he spoiled as a kid?

Do his parents tend to baby him and help him out of financial jams?

Has he ever bragged about cheating on an exam or paying someone to write a paper for him in college? 

If your man seems to have sailed through life without ever hitting the rough waters that rock the rest of us, beware. Privileged chaps tend to suffer from a sense of entitlement (read: bratty-boy syndrome), so he may believe that the rules don’t apply to him. He’s so used to getting what he wants, why should he stop now? “He might cheat because he thinks he deserves to fulfill all of his needs, no matter who he might hurt,” says Shirley Glass, Ph.D., a psychologist, infidelity expert and author of the forthcoming Not Just Friends: Protecting Your Relationship from Infidelity and Healing from the Trauma of Betrayal.


Related: 4 Signs He’s Hiding Something 

“He probably has little concept of how upset you would be if you found out because he’s too self-centered to think about your feelings.” So how do you know if your have-it-all hunk has other women on his wish list? Glass suggests paying attention to how he copes when he’s confronted with any bad behavior on his part. Does he regret getting caught forwarding your racy emails to his friends but feel no guilt for doing it in the first place? Does he blame others when he screws up rather than take responsibility himself? If he can’t see how his actions affect others, he’s not likely to say, “Whoa, what about my girlfriend?” when temptation strikes. 


Cheat Predictor 2


Does he work mostly with women?

Is he always logging in late hours, whether it be at the office, at dinner with clients or on business trips?

Does he make a lot of money? 

It’s great to date a guy with ambition — and his deep pockets definitely don’t hurt when he brings you pricey baubles — but the office environment can open the door to private meetings of the carnal kind. According to Glass, studies show that when men cheat, it’s most often with a work colleague. “Not only are people with similar interests side by side on a daily basis, but the time they spend together is usually when they’re most energetic and look their best.” Unfortunately, the bigger his wallet, the more likely your busy bee is to cozy up with an office buddy. According to a study conducted by Jan Halper, Ph.D., author of Quiet Desperation: The Truth About Successful Men, top-tier guys have affairs more often than those on a lower rung…and not just because big bucks can be babe magnets. 

Related: Is Your Man Having An Office Affair? 

“Evolution has wired men to understand that the better they are at providing, the more appealing they are to women,” says Alon Gratch, Ph.D., a psychologist and author of If Men Could Talk. “Since testosterone is what drives men’s quest for power, if a guy has achieved status, he’s more likely to act on his sexual desires.” Remember that little Oval Office incident? But before you start staking out your guy’s office parking lot, realize that a career-oriented man might just be spending time with his spreadsheets, not spreading his assistant’s sheets. If he sounds happy that you call during the day, invites you to his office and takes you to company parties, you’re most likely his one and only partner. It’s when he acts more secretive about his work than a CIA agent that he’s probably taking on after-hours clients. 

Related: When It’s Time to Tame a Flirty Friend 

Cheat Predictor 3 

Can he talk his way out of anything (parking tickets, rolling into work late)?

Does he make an effort to charm everyone — your coworkers, your older sister, a saleswoman?

When you go to parties, does he insist on making the rounds? 

Your friends and family love him, and he always manages to keep you entertained. How could you not adore him? But according to Glass, sweet-talkers often have a deep need for approval and thrive on attention. So what’s wrong with dating a really friendly fella? Well, sometimes a smooth operator’s need for the spotlight can’t be satisfied by one woman’s ego-stroking…or other, less innocent, stroking. And if he’s suave with the ladies, opportunities undoubtedly arise. “Charmers meet a lot of women and win them over easily,” says Aumiller. “So even if his intentions aren’t to bed them, they might be willing, and that’s hard to resist.” 


Related: He Cheated. Do You Take Him Back or Dump Him? 

To determine if your charmer might become a two-timer, watch how he interacts with you in social settings. A guy who wants to play with other partners may brush you off when chatting with a new female friend or get noticeably more uncomfortable with PDAs when other women are around. “He should act like a boyfriend, giving you side glances when he’s talking with someone else, for example, or making sure he spends at least part of the night partying with you,” says Gratch. But it also wouldn’t hurt to remind him how attention-worthy you are. When he chats up a chick in the corner, flirt with a few guys yourself. Once he sees that you have your own game going on, he’ll focus back on you.

Cheat Predictor 4 

Does he usually hang out with a crew of mostly single guys?

Do his friends encourage him to join them in just-for-men activities?

Do his pals have problems staying in relationships? 

The booze, the bars, the dudes-only deeds we’re better off not knowing the details of — it’s enough to make any woman worry just a wee bit. Although boys-will-be-boys bonding time helps a committed man feel less, well, trapped, the appeals of bachelorhood may make him long to be a free agent. A recent study of 37,000 men and women showed that when guys see those around them splitting from their significant others, it tends to encourage them to do the same. And if your stud is hitting the town with sex-seeking singles, he might feel tempted to swing as well. You want to believe that his buddies would have enough sense to stop your guy from canoodling with some cute club-hopper, but they won’t always be on your side. 

Related: Experts Reveal: Why Powerful Men Are More Likely To Cheat 

According to Aumiller, “If a coupled-up guy’s friends are all looking to score, they may not only tease him about being tied down but also actually dare him to cheat. At the very least, they’ll cover for him.” Still, there’s no need to ban him from hanging out with the bachelors if he’s able to strike the right balance between his buddies and you. “He should include you sometimes when he meets up with friends,” says Glass. Although your fella’s frat pack might seem like the enemy, chumming it up with the guys (fake fondness if you have to) can do wonders for your relationship. Once you’ve earned their respect, they’re much less likely to push your partner into prowling. 

BONUS: Real Men Confess 

In addition to consulting experts, we interviewed real men who have screwed around. Try not to gag while reading these shameless confessions. 

Related: 3 Rules To Get Over a Breakup

“I had been with my girlfriend for so long that anyone who was different from her seemed better and more exciting. I met the girl I cheated with out one night, and I was immediately struck by how different her look and attitude was from my girlfriend’s: She had short dark hair, was a few years older than me, and just seemed really independent. I’m not trying to excuse my behavior, but if she hadn’t come on to me we probably wouldn’t have hooked up. But she did, and we went back to her place and had sex. I felt so guilty afterwards that I ended up admitting what I’d done to my girlfriend, who promptly broke up with me.” —Brian, 30 

“I surprised myself when I cheated, because I actually felt pretty happy with my then girlfriend. It’s only looking back now that I can see what a mismatch we were. She was so sweet, but a total homebody. I am a really social person, and we ended up spending a lot of weekends on the couch because that’s what she preferred to do. About nine months into our relationship, I started a new job that had a big happy hour culture. I really hit it off with a co-worker who was more my speed, she was outgoing and vivacious and had tons of friends. We made out a few times, but she wouldn’t go any further until I had broken up with my girlfriend. I did, and three years later, I’m still with my co-worker.” —Mike, 27 

Related: The Secret To An Amazing Relationship“My ex-girlfriend—who was my first love—broke up with me when we went away to college. But whenever we were home on break we would hook up. When I started dating a new girl my sophomore year, I told myself I wasn’t going to fool around with my ex anymore, but I just couldn’t resist her. I pretty much lived a double life for the rest of college. At school, I was with my girlfriend, but when I was at home I was with my ex, and neither knew about the other. I never got caught. That was years ago, and I realize now that I was only able to do that because I wasn’t mature enough to recognize how hurtful my behavior was.” —Wade, 26 

“There was a while when I was cheating in almost every relationship I was in. I had an insatiable appetite for the ‘wonder’ that was hidden beneath each woman I was attracted to. I sincerely believed through cheating and exploration, I would come to find the kind of person I was meant to be with. And feeling like I shouldn’t be with someone else because I was in a relationship made that other woman seem much more appealing than she probably was.” —Ryan, 24 

Related:  How to Break a Toxic Love Pattern 

“I cheated with one of those friend of a friend of a friend—someone I wasn’t in a close circle with but saw out occasionally. In hindsight I know I did it out of spite. My girlfriend of a year was working long hours and I felt neglected, and this other girl made me feel like everything I did or said was the most brilliant thing in the world. We hooked up a few times, and I even took her out to dinner! One of my friends knew what was going on, and he kind of did an intervention, telling me that I was screwing up the great thing I had with my girlfriend. So I broke things off with the other girl. That was over two years ago, and I’m still with my girlfriend and am so happy that I listened to my friend.” —Taylor, 26 

“I loved my girlfriend and couldn’t imagine being without her, but at twenty-two years old I also felt like I was too young to settle down. It seemed like I had two choices: Break up with her to have my freedom, but risk losing her forever, or fool around on her behind her back until I had gotten everything out of my system. I figured that would happen by the time I was twenty-four, twenty-five, and then I actually thought I was going to propose and be a faithful fiance/husband. Yeah, I was an a—- and delusional, and I also got what was coming to me. One of her friends tipped her off to my behavior, and my girlfriend broke up with me. I know if I had just broken up with her because I wasn’t ready to be serious that now, a few years later, we would have a good chance of getting back together. Instead, she won’t have anything to do with me.” —Phillip, 25 

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