If you have been scammed, you are not alone. I’ve been in this boat myself before. It’s a horrible feeling, but I see people cheating on their significant other all the time. I hate to tell you, but college is not a place that encourages moral decision-making.
Infidelity is seemingly ubiquitous in the 21st century. Writers from gossip magazines like TMZ live to uncover the latest celebrity cheating scandal. TikTok and other social media platforms create opportunities for all their users to expose their disloyal partners.
Cheating in the celebrity world and online drama may seem far removed from most people’s daily concerns. However, when you go to a college party and observe some people you know making out in relationships with people other than their partner, it becomes difficult not to judge.
Most will agree that one thinks infidelity is immoral April 17, 2018 Asia Sentinel article. Central to monogamous relationships is the principle that a couple will not betray one another, either sexually or emotionally.
However, college notoriously marks a hedonistic stage in life. This is especially true for first graders who were released under the watchful eye of their parents. For the first time, they can set their own values and make their own rules.
Randall Harp, a philosophy professor, is particularly interested Collective action, free will and decision theoryhad some interesting thoughts on why infidelity may be more common in college.
“I think there are a few factors that could contribute to college campuses being particularly challenging places to meet ethical requirements,” Harp said.
Our ethics spring from a sense of community, he said. We set our values based on what the people around us prioritize. During their studies, first graders have to form new circles of friends and thus new values.
“People are trying to decide which communities are important to them and how to construct the values they want to live by according to those communities,” Harp said.
Although some people certainly emphasize the importance of their relationship in college, there is a dominance hook-up culture This can influence college students’ desire to prioritize immediate gratification over a long-term relationship, according to a 2016 article by College Student Affairs Leadership.
When our community prioritizes one-night stands over healthy relationships, then fidelity is undervalued and people are more likely to cheat on their significant other.
To complicate things further, relationships are never easy to navigate, especially for college students who are just beginning to develop their confidence. When conflict arises in a couple, I have found that one or both parties often lack the emotional maturity to resolve it in a healthy way.
According to an Oct. 10 Regain column, men are more likely to justify cheating with a lack of sexual satisfaction, while women often justify their infidelities with claims of emotional neglect.
The problems that lead to cheating are often exacerbated when couples are separated by physical distance. According to a May 14, 2019 article by The Atlantic, long-distance relationships come with a number of limitations that are beyond the couple’s control and can be difficult to manage.
When someone in a long-distance relationship feels overwhelmed by the various constraints of geographical separation, they may be seeking intimacy and emotional connection on their college campus without their partner’s approval.
In my research into this phenomenon at UVM, I spoke to an anonymous student source about her experience of cheating on her long-distance partner.
“I would ask him to be on the phone and he would go days without FaceTiming me,” the anonymous source said.
This person was hurt by their partner’s neglect, especially because if their partner tried to bring it up, they would start a fight and accuse them of being overly clingy.
“I think with other guys […] It was like they paid more attention to me than he did,” the anonymous source said.
The anonymous source’s first step toward infidelity was seeking attention and validation outside of their relationship. They felt their partner didn’t want to prioritize them and their emotions.
The source’s partner was also controlling and didn’t like it when they went out with friends at night, although they also engaged in the same activities.
“He’s always been a little bit like that, very possessive […] about who I’m dating,” said the anonymous source.
For the anonymous source, her partner’s controlling nature made it incredibly difficult to meet new people or date without feeling stressed. They wanted to enjoy their college experience but felt limited by their relationship. Eventually everything came to a head.
“I went out and did what I did because I was super angry and thought he already slept with someone else,” the anonymous source said.
The source ended up cheating on her partner at a basement concert one night and then broke up with her partner the next day.
They do not believe that the difficulties in their relationship justified their infidelity, but they do consider the influence their dissatisfaction with their significant other had in their ultimately seeking the attention of another romantic partner.
Sometimes it’s not easy to succumb to temptation and make an immoral decision when cheating on your partner. Infidelity can be the result of deeper problems in relationships.
It is evident that our college community is not designed to encourage the most moral behavior. Whether it’s “sexiling” your roommate at an ungodly hour, covering up your last date, or skipping a class, college students tend to make selfish decisions.
While one’s natural instincts can immediately chide the scammer for being a terrible person, sometimes external factors like college culture or relationship issues mean cheating isn’t so black and white.
I don’t condone infidelity by any means—I didn’t like being cheated on—but looking at all of the factors behind the downfall of trusting relationships can help paint a clearer picture of why someone might act this way.
When the connection culture of college finally gets to you, just be polite enough to break up with your partner before you leave them traumatized.