(Don Draper, Mad Men)
A couple of years ago, I struck up a conversation with a woman when we walked out of the gym and towards the car park. I’d noticed her in there on a few occasions, and I’d picked up on minimal eye contact interest on her part. It has to be said that her indicator of interest level projected onto me was far less than many other women during that particular timeframe. With this in mind, I expected little in terms of promising outcome.
If the truth be told, there were enough signs even before she opened her mouth that I perceived her as nothing more than short term fling material. Whilst in relatively subtle mode, a tattoo on her wrist, upper back and inner arm forearm were enough information signals to allow me to think she wasn’t the brightest bulb in the pack from an intelligence or conversational perspective, and that she was likely from a lower social class upbringing to me. Nevertheless, I always give someone a chance to prove my perception wrong.
My perception wasn’t wrong. As soon as she opened her mouth, it was one of those sinking feelings when you immediately know you couldn’t talk to her for more than five minutes without wanting the conversation to end. There was also a nose stud to look at which I hadn’t seen before. Regardless, I still thought it was worth a stab in the dark, so to speak!
When I effectively asked her out, she didn’t hesitate in mentioning she attained a partner. I made an internally half-hearted and sarcastic response in stating I would now go into a puddle of self-doubt such is she rejected me, and we went our separate ways.
The weeks that followed consisted of her going out of her way to avoid eye contact with me, contrasting to another occasion when she even smiled as she saw me in a suit concurrent to working on a laptop around the coffee area of the complex. She seemed to stop going to the gym for a while, then we had the COVID-19 lockdown, followed by the reopening approximately a year after asking her out. I then changed gym memberships shortly after.
Two years later (after the first interaction)
From about twenty yards away from where I stood, two years later I saw her walk out of the new gym I had recently joined. She looked like she’d put on a bit of weight, but nothing too noticeable.
Then one Saturday morning I saw her working out close to me. After five minutes of training next to each other (predictably she made no eye contact), I asked her how long she had been at this gym after leaving the last one. She seemed amiable at the first point, and as the conversation went on, she warmed that little more. It has to be said though that it was me asking all the questions, with her asking me nothing in return. This previous post explains all to be known. What almost made me lose my balance was when she told me she was twenty-four. I thought she looked nearer thirty-one in age even a couple of years ago. That said, she was still looking hot.
We then moved onto talking about relationships. I asked her how long she had been with her partner, and when she answered I responded by saying that is about the same time as “us”. She certainly didn’t reflect glee when I mentioned my girlfriend. I then went onto add that, contrary to people’s perception of what I’m like in this respect, I have never cheated on any woman whilst being in a committed relationship. Once more, rather than look and sound happy and applauding, she came across as a little disappointed this was the case.
Why would this be the case?
I would make a strong argument that her disappointment of my fidelity claim was on the basis that she had no intention whatsoever to ever (in a million years!) hold a thought of being in a long-term relationship with me. With this in mind, the positive aspect of male fidelity becomes irrelevant as a benefit to her. If she was talking to a man she would consider as a future boyfriend/husband material, this eradication of infidelity would be seen as a plus point.
What was more likely, without any proof or confirmation of being right, is that she would have considered a night or short-term liaison in cheating on our respective partners. This would be even more applicable if she was talking to me during her most fertile ovulation cycle timeframe. When I mentioned the fact I had never cheated on anyone – which in her mind would construe as not being a guy who would ever cheat, or who condones being unfaithful – it would reflect in her disheartened body language.
Do women prefer men with fidelity or infidelity pasts?
There are so many variables, such is that it can only be sub-divided by the use of each bullet point and associated explanation:
· The hotter the woman, the more likely she will be attracted to a man (within reason) who has acted out infidelity in the past. This is because the hotter the woman, the more options she attains and the more attention she receives from men. This manifests in these women seeking for the most sought-after men (and essentially men with the most options with women), and a man who has cheated in the past can be interpreted by said woman as a man who is more valuable than his faithful male counterpart.
· The less physically attractive the woman, the more likely she will be attracted to a man who has been faithful all his life. Conversely to the hotter woman as explained above, less attractive women have not been blessed with male attention or men queuing up to take them out. With this consideration, this kind of woman will desire a man to stay loyal to her.
· On the basis she is looking for a long-term relationship, the better looking the man, the more impressed a woman will be with his fidelity record. This is because a woman will already assume a good-looking man will have a high number of women who find him attractive, therefore the pre-selection validation that can be reflected with infidelity becomes far less pertinent and necessary.
· If a woman is looking for a long-term relationship, she will give more leeway to an average looking man if he has performed infidelity misdemeanours in the past. As a man of this physical attractiveness standing will not allow a woman to think he has been pre-selected by many (if any) other women out there on his face value alone, the knowledge of his cheating ways will make her believe he is more worth having.
· On the basis she is looking for a short-term fling or casual sex, the better looking the man, the happier (or at least open to) a woman will be with his infidelity record. This was illustrated in my scenario with anecdotal woman.
· All else equal, the younger the woman, the more likely she will be attracted to a man (within reason) who has acted out infidelity in the past. Same reasoning as above to ‘the hotter the woman’.
· All else equal, the older the woman, the more likely she will be attracted to a man who has been faithful all his life. Same reasoning as above to ‘the less physically attractive the woman’. The one big caveat to this is when said older woman in considerably more mentally immature than her birth certificate reflects (which, unfortunately, signifies a higher percentage of women than is beneficial to society).
· Drama seeking women will be more attracted to men with an infidelity past. No more clarification should be required to why.
· All else equal, the lower the social class of the woman, the more she will be ignited towards a man who has a cheating history. This is mainly in line with the drama seeking and mentally immature manifestations.
· All else equal, the higher the social class of the woman, the more she will be impressed with a man who has shown faithfulness to his past girlfriends/fiancé/wife. The big (but minority) example is when the rich good girl goes through a phase when she wants the rough, and often lower class, bad boy.
A final thought
A phrase never leaves me that I must have read over ten years ago:
A woman does not want to be cheated on by a man, but she wants to know that she could be cheated on by him.
In easy practical language, this best mirrors the third bullet point down with reference to the loyal man who is good looking and high value. Simply put, most women, excluding the drama queens of the world, do not actually hold strong desires (or any desires at all) to be cheated on by their man, but there is something in their innate female nature that uncontrollably needs other women to want him.
Consequently, this balancing act is a fine one. On the one hand a woman doesn’t hold inclinations for her man to cheat on her, yet on the other hand nothing arouses her more to see women near his vicinity and flirting with him, whilst she is the one holding his hand.
On the fact that >95% of men are not men with a plethora of women who subconsciously cannot take their eyes off him, it’s no surprise that you will find many women who devise make believe stories about how their mediocre looking boyfriends have mysterious (and sometimes fictitious) women who are interested in him. Even more often, these women will claim some of their female allies or enemies want to be with him. The stories just don’t stack up with the objective offerings of the man, at least if you don’t understand how women’s emotional minds function.
It's in a woman's interest to elevate the importance and appeal of her boyfriend, especially when he objectively does not stand out within the male crowd. By enhancing his popularity and social standing beyond what is seen by the wider public's two eyes, she is effectively trying to promote herself.