Relationship Scientist REVEALS 3 CLEAR SIGNS He'll CHEAT (Don’t Miss THIS RED FLAG!) | Macken Murphy

Added: Mar 14, 2024

Macken Murphy, a behavior scientist, is an expert in decoding human relationships and attraction. He has studied infidelity and narcissism, particularly how narcissism is associated with infidelity.

Key takeaways


Be cautious of red flags indicating a higher likelihood of infidelity in a partner, such as family history, sociosexuality, and past cheating.


Reevaluate partner selection criteria if experiencing repeated infidelity in relationships; reflect on attracted traits and behaviors.


Foster trust and intimacy in relationships by creating a positive and nurturing atmosphere; be mindful of behaviors and communication style.


Live according to your values rather than being swayed by base emotions; prioritize decisions that align with core beliefs and principles.


Choose a life partner carefully, treating the relationship as a skill that requires continuous effort and improvement for overall happiness and well-being.

Infidelity and Cheating

Murphy discusses the prevalence of infidelity in human behavior, referring to it as extra-pair copulation. He notes that men tend to cheat more than women based on self-reporting data. Men are more likely to admit to cheating, while women report being cheated on more frequently. One possible explanation for this gender difference is the evolutionary benefit that men have from infidelity, as they can increase their offspring by having multiple partners.

Polyamory vs. Monogamy

Murphy discusses the societal implications of polyamory versus monogamy. While some studies may suggest that individuals in polyamorous relationships are happier, he cautions against assuming that polyamory is universally beneficial. Monogamy has been associated with social stability, reduced violence, and economic benefits. Monogamous relationships provide a sense of security and stability for individuals and society as a whole. While polyamory may work for some people, monogamy appears to have more societal advantages in terms of social cohesion and stability.

Infidelity and Red Flags

Murphy explains that there are certain red flags that may indicate a higher likelihood of infidelity in a partner. One such red flag is a family history of infidelity, as there is evidence to suggest that genetics play a role in a person's likelihood of pursuing infidelity. Additionally, a person's sociosexuality, or propensity for uncommitted mating, can also be a red flag for potential infidelity. Murphy notes that body count, or the number of sexual partners a person has had, may also be a factor in predicting infidelity, as it correlates with sociosexuality.

He mentions a longitudinal study, which found that individuals who have cheated in previous relationships are more likely to cheat again in future relationships. While this may not be a definitive predictor, it does suggest a pattern of behavior.

The impact of past experiences on future relationships

Murphy explores the idea of how past experiences, such as being cheated on in previous relationships, can influence future relationships. He mentions a study that indicates individuals who have been cheated on in the past are more likely to experience infidelity in their next relationship. This finding suggests that past traumas and experiences can shape one's relationship patterns.

He emphasizes the importance of understanding and approaching relationships with caution when dealing with individuals who have been cheated on. It is essential to be empathetic and considerate of their past experiences and potential triggers.

Reevaluating Partner Selection Criteria

Murphy suggests that individuals who repeatedly experience infidelity in their relationships may need to reevaluate their partner selection criteria. He advises taking a step back and reflecting on the types of partners one is attracted to and whether certain traits or behaviors may be contributing to the cycle of infidelity.

He also touches on the importance of creating a positive and nurturing atmosphere in relationships to foster trust and intimacy. By being mindful of one's behaviors and communication style, individuals can create a space where their partners feel valued and secure.

Gender Disparities in Stigma

Murphy delves into the societal stigma surrounding promiscuity, particularly in women. He explains that while there is a stigma attached to women who have a high body count, men also face similar judgments. He highlights that both men and women care about their partner's sexual history and that societal norms may play a role in the differing stigmas attached to promiscuity in men and women.

Jealousy in Relationships

Murphy discusses the evolutionary psychology of jealousy, noting that it is a natural human emotion that has evolved to protect paternity and investment in relationships. He acknowledges that jealousy can be seen as a sign of caring in a relationship, but excessive jealousy can lead to controlling behavior and insecurity. Murphy shares his personal experience with jealousy, noting that he has experienced jealousy in the past but has learned to manage it over time.

Signs of Love

According to Murphy, the best indicator of someone being in love is obsessive thinking about their partner. He explains that romantic love is characterized by passionate feelings, special meaning attributed to the partner, and a focus on the relationship. He emphasizes that love can be understood as three brain systems: lust, passionate love, and attachment. He notes that while passionate love may fade over time, attachment and deeper connection can lead to long-lasting relationships.

The Role of Physical Attractiveness

One aspect that Murphy admits to underestimating is the significance of physical attractiveness in romantic relationships. He acknowledges that physical attraction plays a role in romantic love and can impact the dynamics of a relationship. While other factors such as emotional connection and compatibility are crucial, physical attraction should not be overlooked.

He mentions research that suggests physical attractiveness can influence success in romantic relationships. Simple gestures such as flirting, physical touch, and compliments can enhance satisfaction and intimacy between partners. By being romantically generous and attentive to their partner's needs, individuals can strengthen their bond and deepen their connection.

Living According to Values

One piece of advice that Murphy shares is to live in accordance with your values rather than being swayed by base emotions and chance. This approach allows individuals to make decisions that align with their core beliefs and principles, leading to a more fulfilling and purposeful life.

Cultivating Obituary Virtues

Murphy emphasizes the importance of cultivating obituary virtues over resume virtues. This concept encourages individuals to focus on developing qualities and characteristics that will be remembered and valued by others after they are gone. By prioritizing virtues that contribute to a meaningful and impactful legacy, individuals can lead a more meaningful and purposeful life.

Choosing a Life Partner

Murphy highlights the significance of choosing a life partner as one of the most important decisions individuals will make in their lives. He stresses the importance of carefully selecting a romantic partner and treating the relationship as a skill that requires continuous effort and improvement. Maintaining a strong and healthy relationship with a life partner can have a profound impact on overall happiness and well-being.

Defining Greatness

At his current stage in life, Murphy defines greatness as achieving success in the home and family life. He admires individuals who have strong and harmonious relationships within their families, as he believes that true greatness lies in the ability to nurture and maintain meaningful connections with loved ones. While status and material wealth may be appealing, Murphy values the depth and quality of relationships as a true measure of greatness.


Full episode

Episode summary