By Bunmi Sofola
How do you spot a love rat? The current man in your life has virtually swept you off your feet. He texts you all day, takes you to your favourite eatery from time to time, buys you little gifts and calls you at night because he ‘cant stop thinking of you’! The first time Sandra’s phone went at 2 am, she was as mad as hell. “I’m a bad sleeper,” she says.
“Even the sound of a cockroach rummaging in my wardrobe wakes me up. I’d forgotten to put my mobile on the ‘silent’ mode on this day in question. What’s more, I seldom get calls at that time of the day.
”When Chika’s name and number showed on the screen, I was worried. We’d met just a few weeks ago and the chemistry was fantastic. We were in love. How lucky can one get?
“Hello”, I said, still groggy from sleep. ‘Is there anything wrong?’ ‘I’m sorry if I woke you,’ he was really apologetic. “I just couldn’t sleep, Sandra. I had a good day in the office today and I’m so happy. I want to share my happiness with you. I love you so much.
”My resentment simply melted. We talked for the next one hour, then hung up. What an incredible man! In the space of a few weeks, I’d met most of his friends and two of his siblings. He always introduced me with a lot of pride. We were both smitten. If I played my cards right, it could be the beginning of a meaningful relationship.”
But could it? For a fortunate few, this type of romantic whirlwind can lead to a lifetime of happiness with a faithful man. But, according to recent research, when a man falls in love too quickly, it’s a woman’s alarm bells that should start ringing not her heart.
A survey of 5,000 people for the dating website has revealed that men who believe in love at first sight are three times more likely to cheat on a partner than those who take their time. Most of the men questioned said that it took them at least five dates over several weeks to decide whether or not they wanted to start a relationship. One in four men, however, said they believed in the chemistry of instant attraction. And, of those men, almost half said they had cheated in a previous relationship.
According to Dr. Nafsika Thalassis, a relationship expert: “Men who tend to fall in love at first sight are impulsive. They may barely know you but profess to be in love and want everything to happen quickly. Impulsiveness is a quality many women find attractive, while not every impulsive man is going to be a love rat,” the survey does indicate that there is a close correlation between infidelity and this trait. Men who consider themselves ‘in love’ within minutes of meeting someone are likely to fall in love rather frequently even when they’re already in a relationship. It is also likely that such men interpret attraction’ and love as more or less the same thing.
“This means that when they meet an attractive stranger they are prone to telling themselves: “I have fallen in love …. I haven’t felt that way about my partner in years …. I have to try this out” rather than more cautious: I I find this person exceptionally attractive but I love my partner and therefore I won’t pursue things.1
Now to the big question: How can you make sure you’ve hooked up with a decent man and not a serial love cheat? According to Dr. Thalassis, “By far the strongest indicator will be his past. It’s worth finding out if this person does this kind of thing a lot, finding out a bit about their relationship history. Clearly, if your new man has already proposed to a string of women, it doesn’t bode well.
“Looking into his family history could also help. One factor that can influence us is if our parents had an affair. We do get influenced by the model we grew up with. Another good pointer is his depth of feeling. Some men find it hard to bond. Researchers in Sweden have found what’s been called a ‘love rat’ gene. Scientists claim that the gene linked to the bonding chemical vasopressin – could explain why some men find it hard to commit.
Men with this gene are less likely to marry even if they have children with a long -term partner.
Look at whether your man has any stable relation