• Men who believe in love at first sight are three times more likely to cheat
• One in five people admitted to an infidelity in a previous relationship
• Men who cheat once are more likely to cheat twice
• Baby Boomers more likely to be unfaithful than their children
• Monogamy is still expected, but more than half are willing to forgive an infidelity
Men who believe in ‘love at first sight’ and ‘instant chemistry' are three times more prone to infidelity in their next relationship than men who take at least two weeks to fall in love, according to a new report by PARSHIP – Europe’s largest scientifically-based online dating service.
In a survey of 5,000 single men and women currently looking for a serious relationship, one in five people admitted to infidelity in a previous relationship, even though nine out of ten singles expect sexual fidelity from their next relationship. Men with a tendency to stray are also much more prone to multiple affairs than women, clocking up an average of 3.4 infidelities compared to women’s average of 1.2 affairs.
ADDICTED TO ROMANCE: men who believe in love at first sight are three times more likely to cheat. For the majority of single people – 75% of men and 80% of women – it takes at least five dates over several weeks to decide if they want to start a relationship. The remaining 25% of men and 20% women believe in the chemistry of instant attraction; these people – particularly men – are also three times more likely to be unfaithful: 42% of men who believe in love at first sight had been unfaithful in a previous relationship, compared to just 14% of men who preferred to wait.
Furthermore, men who value regular sex are more than twice as likely to cheat: 34% of them have strayed in a relationship, compared to just 13% of the men who put little priority on regular sex.
Dr Nafsika Thalassis, PARSHIP’s singles coach: commented:
“This survey indicates that there is a close relationship between infidelity and impulsiveness. Men who consider themselves ’in love' within minutes of meeting someone are likely to fall in love rather frequently -- even when they are already in a relationship. It is also likely that such men interpret attraction and love as more or less the same thing. This means that, when they meet an attractive stranger, they are prone to telling themselves: 'I have fallen in love … I haven't felt that way about my partner in years … I have to try this out', rather than the more cautious: 'I find this person exceptionally attractive, but I love my partner, therefore I won’t pursue things'. Of course, after a while, the new relationship may lose its lustre and these men may rediscover their feelings for their wife … until the next time."
MULTIPLE INFIDELITIES: men who cheat once more likely to cheat twice. It appears that men are twice as likely as women to commit multiple infidelities whilst in a relationship. Of the 22% of men who admitted to infidelity, 67% confessed to two or more affairs, while 14% had been unfaithful on at least ten different occasions. Of the 20% of women who admitted to a previous indiscretion in a relationship, the majority (60%) said they had been unfaithful just once, with 22% admitting to twice and 16% to three times or more. Just 5% admitted to being unfaithful on at least ten separate occasions.
GENERATION Y VS. THE BABY BOOMERS: people in their 20s more monogamous than their parents. It seems that baby boomers (people now aged 50+) are much more likely to have been unfaithful in a previous relationship than Generation Y, the under 30s. On average, one in five (27%) of men and women over 50 have committed at least one infidelity in a previous relationship, whereas just 16% of twentysomethings admitted to being unfaithful -- even though they’ve already stacked up a higher number of serious relationships than their seniors: an average of 2.74 by their 30th birthday, compared to the over-50s’ lower average of 2.27 relationships over their much longer adulthood.
MONOGAMY IN A NEW RELATIONSHIP IS STILL EXPECTED: While over half of men (56%) and 71% of women say absolute sexual fidelity is a must, one in five people (an equal number of men and women) believe it’s more important to make an effort to be faithful. However, 12% of men believe that, as long as you love someone, physical fidelity isn’t that important; try telling that to the girls – just 5% of women are of a similar opinion. 6% of the people polled said that flings should be expected in long-term relationships and that demanding absolute fidelity is a possessive way of thinking.
DEALING WITH THE AFTERMATH OF AN INFIDELITY: Although many people claim their relationship would not survive an affair, in reality people are more willing to try and resolve relationship problems rather than simply walk away. While one third of people say an affair can never be forgiven or overcome, regardless of the situation, 22% of men and just 6% of women said they might be able to forgive a one-off fling with no deeper feelings involved. Nearly half (45%) of men and women thought that, if, following a long separation, both people realised they still really wanted to be together, and if they were able to forgive and forget, then it might work.
PARSHIP was the first online dating service in Europe to use a unique scientific compatibility test to match men and women in search of a serious relationship. Created by Hamburg University and based on 40 years of scientific research, the PARSHIP compatibility test matches people who share similar and complementary personality and character traits – the requirements for a harmonious relationship.
Research suggests that people are twice as likely to establish a lasting relationship with PARSHIP's help than with any other method; 38% of its members say they have met someone special through the service.
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About the survey
To establish men and women’s behaviour in previous relationships, PARSHIP surveyed a random sample of 5,000 of its members in March 2010 The respondents were aged between 18 and 70, split equally between male and female, and based in the UK & Ireland and mainland Western Europe.
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