Image Source: Getty / Frazer Harrison
When the world found out that Adam Levine allegedly cheated on his wife, Behati Prinsloo, the internet exploded with confusion. One Twitter user Tweeted: “Adam Levine was dating a VS MODEL BRO. AND HE CHEATED ON HER.” Another said, “BEHATI WAS DOING CHARITY WORK MARRING ADAM LEVINE.”
Many people couldn’t understand how or why this would ever happen — especially to someone who is literally paid for looking the way they do. But this isn’t the only example of a “hot girl” being cheated on. It’s honestly pretty common. Think about Shakira, Emily Ratajowski, and Beyoncé — all “hot girls” who were allegedly cheated on by their partners. Again, many people couldn’t understand how these women could ever be cheated on — not just because of their attractiveness but also because of their success and the pedestal we, as a culture, have put them on.
But this situation also isn’t exclusive to celebs. (Raise your hand if you’ve ever been cheated on and the first thing people tell you is some sort of iteration of, “You’re too hot for them, anyway!”)
So the question of the hour is: how can a person — and men, especially — cheat on someone we consider to be of top-tier attractiveness? And why do we find it so shocking and discomforting when that happens?
“Adam Levine was dating a VS MODEL BRO. AND HE CHEATED ON HER. And THEN. tried to name his baby after the girl he cheated with. This is why we agree that men are trash. End of story” #AdamLevine pic.twitter.com/db6uFbjZeQ
— manicpixielol (@manicpixielol) September 20, 2022
BEHATI WAS DOING CHARITY WORK MARRING ADAM LEVINE pic.twitter.com/VKkWgAh3x2
— yuli (@_yuli5) September 19, 2022
Really, the reason people cheat often has less to do with the other partner and a lot more to do with the cheater’s unresolved emotional issues, relationship expert Nicole Moore tells POPSUGAR. For example, someone may fear that if they make themselves “fully vulnerable” to their partner by truly committing and handing their heart over, their partner will use that control to hurt them in some way, Moore explains. “Without the space to properly face and handle these deep intimacy fears, many men often resort to protection mechanisms to distance themselves from the relationship, such as cheating.”
In other cases, someone may cheat because they simply don’t know how to communicate what their needs are and which of those aren’t being met, Moore says, and “instead of going deeper in intimacy with [their] partner and finding a way to come closer via communication, [they attempt] to feel better through someone else.”
And if you really want to dig into the way perceived attractiveness affects the situation? Well, if someone is dating someone they feel is “out of their league,” it could be because they “don’t feel good enough about themselves [and] will sabotage a good relationship because they don’t feel that they’re worth it,” licensed counselor Jason Fierstein explains to POPSUGAR. In other words, they’re likely insecure.
In the end, Moore says cheating is never about the attractiveness of either person involved. “If a partner has cheating tendencies, their behavior has nothing to do with the attractiveness of their partner and everything to do with their own wounding within,” she says. (Thanks to toxic masculinity and the way gender norms play out in our culture, many men don’t feel comfortable or have the ability to express vulnerability or their emotions in the first place.)
That said, it’s problematic to assume someone would or wouldn’t get cheated on based on their appearance alone, Moore says. (Yes, this even includes Victoria’s Secret models.) While “attractiveness does attract people initially, it’s not enough to stave off someone else’s desire to cheat.” It also plays into the idea that a more attractive person is less deserving of being cheated on and vice versa. Thinking this way perpetuates a harmful narrative that you are only capable of finding real, genuine love if you look the way societal norms want you to — and that’s just not the truth.
So when this kind of thing happens to a celebrity or to someone “hot” we know IRL, there’s a reason we’re so surprised: “Since we’re bombarded with advertising, cultural, and media messages that tell us the secret to landing a mate is to be more attractive, we’re collectively shocked when an attractive woman gets cheated on,” Moore says. “We feel like attractiveness should be enough to keep a mate because we’ve been told that it is [enough] practically since birth.”
This is why a lot of people may be confused that someone like Levine was able to (allegedly) cheat on someone like Prinsloo.
It’s impossible to know what’s going on in a relationship from the outside, so we really can’t judge the situation from attractiveness alone (or anything else for that matter). But as far as Prinsloo goes, she will be loved — with or without Levine.
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