How many people do you know who’ve had an affair? More than you might think is the answer.
One in five married women, having or contemplating an affair say they’re intending to ask their spouse for an open relationship after lockdown, according to recent research.
The study, carried out by married dating website Ashley Madison, reveals almost two-thirds of their female members have pursued affairs during lockdown – compared to only 44% of men – as a way to ease the stress of being cooped up at home.
Such was their need to get away from their partner, women proved themselves 68% more likely than men to break social distancing restrictions with an affair partner. Nearly half of them went to meet them despite the fact this was breaking the law, compared to a quarter of men.
When it comes to having some 'me' time, lockdown has proved a catalyst that could change the affairs landscape moving forward. Pre-pandemic research suggests the most important aspect of an affair, for men and women, was sex. Since COVID-19 however, the importance of an emotional connection has also increased for both.
So much so that 35 percent of people on the Ashley Madison site say the person they’re most looking forward to meeting with is their affair partner once lockdown restrictions are eased, more than they want to see family or close friends.
Until there is an available vaccine, two thirds of people say they’re going to be more selective about who they’re going on dates with women are more cautious than men.
Christoph Kraemer, Ashley Madison spokesperson for Europe, comments, 'Clearly, the experience of being together 24/7 with your partner has had an impact on many relationships. Many people have realised that it is illusory to expect that one person can satisfy you 100% both emotionally and physically. In the coming months we will certainly see more people looking for an affair or trying out new relationship models, such as an open marriage, in order to satisfy their emotional and sexual needs.'
Psychotherapist and relationship expert Lucy Beresford further elaborates: 'Lockdown forced us all to look inwards, and gave us the opportunity to examine closely our intimate relationships.
'This survey from Ashley Madison clearly shows that in the intensity of lockdown, relationship dissatisfaction has led many people to take concrete action, such as meeting up with an affair partner, or planning for a different future by asking an existing partner for an open relationship. And with all that time spent cooped up with a partner, it seems that in wanting to get their intimate needs met, people are now increasingly prioritising an emotional connection.”
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