Yesterday, we discussed your friend who humps every hawt man she meets. One week later, she's planning her dream wedding to him. She changes men like she changes her underwear, and she hops from bed to bed like a rabbit in heat.
Your friend is most likely an addictive personality type who raves about her love for men she barely knows. There's a certain level of desperation that separates her from other women in your peer group.
But here's a scenario from the perspective of a non-addictive personality type, who meets a man after being single for awhile. She would probably say something like this:
"I met a guy. He seems nice. We have a lot in common. We've agreed to see each other again. I'll wait and see where this leads..."
The non-addictive personality type is not as desperate to jump into a relationship with a man she just met. She's able to think more clearly and make better decisions. Her brain is not addled by dopamine, so she is more in control of her behavior and her thought processes.
She more than likely doesn't drink, smoke or do drugs. The non-addictive personality type channels her energy into more productive pursuits (and less destructive) activities, such as jogging or blogging.
So how does all of this tie into cheating? People who have addictive personalities develop destructive behavior patterns over time, such as cheating, abusing drugs or alcohol, gambling, pornography, and risk taking.
Yesterday, we discussed the neurotransmitter dopamine and how it ties into our biological beginnings: by "teaching" us to recall our responses to pleasurable stimuli so that the next time we encountered that same stimuli, we would remember that we enjoyed it.
Because of the effects of dopamine on the brain, early man learned to enjoy sex (to further the human species), and he learned to enjoy hunting (to ensure the survival of the human species) even if it meant he might be killed by the wild game he was pursuing.
Men (and women) who have addictive personalities tend to find cheating to be a pleasurable activity, and they may not have the will power to stop it.
Because we can think more clearly, the non-addictive personality type might cheat once, if at all, and only during a moment of weakness.
But the addictive personality type will continue to cheat, sometimes for years. That's because they have a pressing need to reproduce that high, that dopamine rush that they got from cheating, coupled with the thrill of possibly getting caught.
Cheaters often have one or more vices, such as smoking weed or stumbling home drunk from the club. If your man (or woman) smokes weed or drinks heavily, he or she is more likely to cheat on you -- and they are more likely to lie about it if you confront them.
"The at-risk person is the one who tries something once and gets something from it that he doesn't get from any other part of his life, and [he] has to keep doing that behavior to get that rush," explains Dr. Reef Karim, M.D., a psychiatrist at UCLA.
Peter Selby, M.D., clinical director of the addictions program at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, explains that just being a man increases the likelihood of being an addictive personality.
It's the same with lesbians or "studs" who assume a thug/macho persona or image.
...trying to be more macho and capable raises the risk, because you're expressing yourself with actions, not words. The more easygoing and communicative you are, the less your chances of becoming addicted."
In other words, just by relaxing and being yourself, and not increasing your stress level by trying to be something you're not, lowers your risk of becoming an addictive personality.
So do you have an addictive personality?
Take the test on Menshealth.com to see if you are at-risk of becoming an addictive personality -- or if you're already a lost case.
This has been your Medical Minute.
More Info From The Web
The Addictive Personality - Psychology Today
The Addictive Personality: Why Recovery Is a Lifetime Thing - blog.beliefnet.com
Addictive Personality – Do I have one - Addiction Blog.org
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