Mate Poaching: A Field Guide

mate poaching + hunger games

It may be winter, but this year’s hunting season has already begun.

“Mate poaching,” or stealing someone away from their current partner to claim as your own, is not the answer to your happiness. It doesn’t matter how dreamy you think they are or that you “know” you are meant to spend the rest of your lives together. It doesn’t even matter that their current partner is horrible, doesn’t understand them, or have the time of day for them. None of those things matter. They are taken. Even if you were to poach them from their mate, they are not going to make you happy anymore than you’d be able to make them happy. The reality is that a person poached is more likely to cheat in the future, not susceptible to outside-initiated change, and is currently undeserving of your trust.


We all know the saying: “Once a cheater, always a cheater.” Is it always true? Maybe not. I, like most people, would like to believe that a cheater will realize they have been in the wrong and change their ways. But that’s not how it tends to go. More often than not, “once a cheater, always a cheater” is true. Sad, but true.

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Can You Prevent Cheating?


Living in a world where everything (and everyone) is easily accessible via technology has its ups and downs. Sure, it’s nice to be able to keep in touch with your significant other without waiting weeks for their telegram or their horseback arrival, but you will have to come to terms with the fact that they are just as accessible to everyone else as well. Mutual trust in a relationship is seriously what keeps people from going crazy. When you don’t have trust, or the trust has been broken, it can be hard to repair the damage. Even if you end the relationship over the infidelity, you can find yourself bringing trust issues into your next relationship in fear of being hurt again.

So what can you do to stop this heartbreaking cycle before it starts? Nothing. I’m only sort of joking. The fact is that you will never be certain that your significant other isn’t cheating and going into your relationship with the goal of keeping your SO from cheating won’t work. The best thing that either of you can do is to trust each other and focus on building a relationship that both of you want more than any other hypothetical relationship (or other person).

That being said, here are some things that can lessen the likelihood of your SO straying (although ultimately whether or not they cheat is a result of their own choices and actions):

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Signs Your Significant Other is Cheating on You


They often spend late nights at the office or large chunks of time that they cannot easily account for (or don’t want to account for).


They are looking good. Real good. Dare you say, better than before? If your significant other is suddenly stepping up their physical appearance, you might have cause for concern –especially if they seem rather indifferent to you appreciating/ complimenting their appearance.


Going along with that, if your significant other adds tons of new steps to their hygiene routine out of the blue, they are at least flirting with the idea of cheating on you. They shower more frequently, wear more perfume/cologne, put more care into their makeup, etc. because they are trying to impress someone…and that someone may not be you.


You find their online dating profile. They are definitely cheating on you, regardless of whether or not their page says they are just “seeking friendship.” Their dating profile says single, actively seeking a relationship, and they logged in recently? Did I mention they are definitely cheating on you?

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