Turns out you might have an understudy. There’s a 50-50 chance your wife or girlfriend has a “backup” boyfriend in mind in case things with you don’t work out, finds new research from the U.K.
Her Plan-B guy is most likely an old friend who has always had a thing for her, according to the survey of 1,000 British women.
But before you find the guy and clock him in the face, take this revelation with a grain of salt. The survey, which was conducted by the market research firmfor the Daily Mail, was probably not scientifically rigorous, says Christie Hartman, Ph.D., author of Changing Your Game: A Man’s Guide to Success with Women.
Still, there’s some truth to the finding, Hartman says.
It’s not uncommon for a woman to have a hypothetical idea of what she would do if she broke up with her partner, Hartman says. She doesn’t necessarily have a concrete plan to run away with her backup the second you two get into a fight. But she might take comfort in thinking she could always dial up that guy who used to worship her in high school.
“It’s simple risk management,” says Hartman. “No matter how great a partner you have, a commitment is a risk. Things could blow up. Imagining there’s a backup plan makes you feel like you have a safety net.”
It’s not too different from your sexual fantasies, she says. You may imagine what it would be like to have sex with the barista making your morning coffee, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to act on it.
Her fallback option is an abstract concept—not a real threat. So don’t lose sleep over it.
“All you need to do is ensure you’re doing what you can to make Plan A work,” Hartman says. “In other words, don’t give her an excuse to pursue Plan B.”