When two people enter a romantic relationship, they have certain expectations from each other. In most romantic relationships, each partner wants to be the exclusive recipient of the other partner’s love and intimacy.
When one partner breaks this rule and diverts their love and intimacy to a third person, they’re said to have cheated.
Of course, what exactly constitutes cheating could be different for different people. It ranges from flirting with a third person to getting physically intimate with them while still being in a relationship with the second person.
Why do people cheat?
There are several reasons why people cheat, but they all revolve around the principle that a cheating person is trying to gain more at the cost of their partner. They want to maximize their own benefits and pleasure with no consideration for their partner’s feelings.
People cheat to gain more from a third person, even if they’re satisfied in their current relationship. In other cases, they cheat because they’re gaining very little in their current relationship, i.e., they’re dissatisfied.
Characteristics of a cheating woman
This article focuses on the personality and behavioral characteristics of a cheating woman. It’ll discuss the personality traits that make a woman more likely to cheat. It’ll also throw light on her behaviors that may indicate she’s cheating on you.
Under each point, I’ve briefly explained why a ‘sign’ can indicate cheating so we can stay logical about this potentially emotional topic. If you see most of these signs in your woman, you have cause for concern.
1. She becomes emotionally distant
Just as you can’t fit a plug in two electrical sockets simultaneously, you can’t emotionally invest in two people equally. When a woman cheats, she becomes emotionally distant from her partner so she can invest emotionally in the third person.
You’ll most likely sense this decrease in her level of emotional investment in you. She may either completely withdraw emotionally from you or she may reduce her emotional investment in you to a bare minimum.
Your conversations become dry and superficial. She stops talking about her feelings with you. She’s no longer interested in your well-being.
2. She avoids you
She spends less time with you, cancels plans, and says ‘No’ to activities she previously had no problems doing with you. She has found another person to engage with, and to engage with him, she has to disengage with you.
Also, a cheating woman may have a fear of getting caught. The more she avoids you, the less likely it is that she’ll give off signs that may rouse your suspicions.
3. She hides and lies
Her secrecy behaviors increase. She withholds information she had no problems disclosing previously. She panics if you touch her phone.
When you ask her where she’s been, she avoids the question or provides unnecessary details. This is a classic overcompensation behavior to divert your attention from the truth and keep it focused on the false details.
She explains things that don’t need explaining. She tells you she’s been spending time with her best friend without you even asking. You’re like:
“Why’s she telling me this? I didn’t even ask her.”
In her mind, she feels naked and vulnerable to getting caught. So, she uses every opportunity she can to ‘cover up’ and often ends up overdoing it.
4. She’s nicer to you than ever
People in romantic relationships are generally nice to each other. Over time, things start to flatten out as they get used to each other’s company. If there’s a sudden spike in her niceness towards you, this may indicate she’s guilty about something. And that something could be cheating.
Again, this is an overcompensation behavior. She does nice things for you to ease her guilt. She buys you gifts, lets you take that trip with your buddies, and stuff like that. She may even do something for you she’s never done before.
5. She gets mad at you
When you ask her about certain things, she gets mad at you. This is an avoidance strategy to avoid talking about the things that could expose her. She may retort with things like:
“Why are you asking me that?”
“Don’t you love me?”
“I can’t believe you just said that.”
Also, getting mad at you and picking fights can be an unconscious tactic to justify her cheating. If you react to her with your own anger and bad behavior, then she was right in cheating on you. You’re a bad lover who ought to be cheated on.
6. She doesn’t get mad at you
We get angry with those we care about. When she’s cheating, she’s no longer invested in you and doesn’t care about you. She no longer accuses or blames you when you do stupid and hurtful things. Your actions simply have no effect on her anymore.
7. She stops sharing her life with you
Sharing and emotional investment go hand in hand. Our life experiences make us feel a certain way and then we need to share all that stuff with someone. It seems like a cheating woman leads a separate life that doesn’t involve you.
She doesn’t talk to you as much as she used to. She replies late to your texts or avoids replying altogether, doesn’t pick up calls, and so on.
8. She’s a rule-breaker
If she has a tendency to disregard rules in general, what makes you think she won’t break relationship rules?
We all tend to have some rules for how we live our life. Rule-breakers consistently break the rules, not only of others but also their own. If you see she has a penchant for rule-breaking, don’t be surprised if she approaches her relationship in the same manner.
9. She can’t delay gratification
A person who finds it hard to delay gratification struggles with resisting their impulses and temptations. Cheating is a temptation and a person who keeps falling for instant gratification is more likely to cheat.
Look at her habits. Do they seem out of control? Or can she delay gratification when needed?
Those who can’t delay gratification more easily fall for the next bright shiny object in their vicinity, not paying heed to the consequences of their choices.
10. She’s a power-hungry sociopath
Partners who’re possessive and dominating tend to be power-hungry sociopaths. They can hurt people just for the sake of hurting them. It makes them feel good, in control, and powerful.
11. She keeps playing the victim
Being dissatisfied and feeling that you’ve been treated unfairly can lead to cheating down the road. If your woman constantly complains that she’s being treated unfairly, you need to make amends right away. If you don’t, you give her a reason to leave you or if she can’t do that, cheat on you.
12. She’s done it before
If a woman has cheated on someone before, she’s likely to cheat again. For most people, their past behavior is a good predictor of their future behavior. This is why reputation matters.
Also, you’re better off being with someone who’s maintained their relationships for a good period of time in the past. As opposed to someone who just hopped from one person to another, not knowing what they want.
As a rule, those who’re slow to enter relationships maintain them longer.
13. She has commitment issues
This is related to the previous point. Some people seem to be afraid of commitment. Whatever the reason behind that fear, unless they overcome it, they’ll struggle with maintaining a relationship.
If a person is committed in their other life areas, they tend to be committed to their partners too. Commitment is a skill that can be learned by, well, trying to commit to things- to projects, goals, plans, exercise regimens, and relationships.
14. She’s an over-demanding person
Over-demanding to the point that she loses consideration for her partner. Some people are never satisfied and keep wanting more, more, and more. There’s nothing wrong with striving for more. It’s a very human thing, but how far are you willing to go?
Ethical people strive for more within the boundaries of their values. Unethical people can go to any lengths to get more, even if it involves hurting others.
15. She’s jealous of you, not cutely
There are two types of jealousy in a romantic relationship. One is the benign, cute type of jealousy where your partner acts slightly possessive of you. The other is toxic jealousy that can make your partner cheat on you.
If you’ve been seeing other women behind her back or have cheated on her in the past, she’ll likely cheat on you to take revenge. Cheating here is an attempt to make you feel the same jealousy that you made her feel. Women tend to take revenge on the level of emotions this way.
16. She has low self-esteem
Women with low self-esteem feel they’re unworthy of love deep down. Thus, they do what they can to sabotage their relationships. When things go well in their relationship, they feel something is wrong (they weren’t supposed to be loved). So, they ‘fix’ things by sabotaging their relationship. One way to do that is cheating.
17. She’s narcissistic
Narcissists are self-centered and lack empathy. They think about themselves and their needs 24/7 and have no regard for the needs of their partners.
18. She has normalized cheating
She may have grown up in a family where cheating was common. So, she has this ‘template’ about relationships in her mind that says cheating is inevitable.
She’s likely to cheat on you if a parent of hers cheated, too. We tend to unconsciously behave in relationships the way our parents did.
If she has friends who’re cheaters, she’s likely to follow suit. Infidelity research has shown that women are more likely to cheat if their friends and acquaintances cheat too. Women have a greater need to conform to their social group.
19. She’s lonely
A lot of women cheat because they feel lonely. Things get worse if she feels disconnected in her romantic relationship and doesn’t have a social life on top of that. Cheating in such cases can be a means to seek connection and a relief from loneliness.
20. She suddenly improves her appearance
Ideally, romantic partners should keep paying attention to their looks to stay attractive for their partners. But once people settle into a relationship, they stop being in shape and neglect their appearance as they no longer have to attract anyone.
It follows that if they do suddenly improve their looks, they’re trying to attract someone. And that someone may not be you.
When a woman is cheating, she has a new target to chase and impress. So, she suddenly puts more effort into her looks. She buys nice clothes, shoes, and does heavy make-up.
21. She’s constantly and unexplainably in a good mood
If your woman is constantly and unexplainably in a good mood, it could be a sign of cheating. If you ask her why she’s in such a good mood, she’ll lie or not give a straightforward answer.
22. She accuses you of cheating
This is a defense mechanism where she projects her vice onto you so she can feel a little better about herself. It’s also a way to shift attention from her to you. The less she’s in the spotlight of attention, the less likely it is that she’ll get caught.
23. She isn’t talking about the future with you
When women intend to stay with someone, they talk about their future together. If she doesn’t talk to you about her plans, it probably means you don’t feature in them. And chances are, someone else does.
24. She’s afraid of being cheated on
Sometimes women cheat because they’re afraid of being cheated on. Since she thinks her partner will leave her soon, cheating allows her to have an option she can fall back on. If she constantly becomes suspicious of you, it can betray a fear of being cheated on.
25. Body language changes
Since she’s trying to avoid you, she’ll maintain not only emotional but also physical distance from you. If she previously hugged you when you came from work, she may now only nod from a distance.
26. She flirts with you to distract you
If you ask her uncomfortable questions, she acts extra-flirty with you mid-conversation to distract you. Women know men can be easily manipulated and fooled by flirting.
27. She becomes unreceptive to your love
This goes back to the plug-in-socket analogy of the first point. Since a cheating woman withdraws her emotional investment from you, she removes her expectations of being loved by you.
So, when you shower your love on her, she can’t accept it and feels uncomfortable.
Before you accuse your partner of cheating, make sure you’ve gathered solid, irrefutable evidence. The thing is, if they’re cheating on you, you’re bound to get that feeling of something being off. But you can’t act on that feeling alone. You could be wrong.
If you wrongly accuse your partner of cheating, it can ruin your relationship. You want to do your investigation under the radar before you can draw any conclusions and take serious actions.
Hi, I’m Hanan Parvez (MBA, MA Psychology), founder and author of PsychMechanics. I’ve published one book and authored 400+ articles on this blog (started in 2014) that have garnered over 4.5 million views. PsychMechanics has been featured in Forbes, Business Insider, Reader’s Digest, and Entrepreneur. Feel free to contact me if you have a query.