There are all kinds of relationships out there, and with the wide range of dating apps that now exist, it’s becoming ever easier to find the kind of connection that works for you. But is this instant, quickly accessible style of matchmaking making it easier and more commonplace to cheat too?
According to a report by University of Tennessee Knoxville psychologists Kristina Coop Gordon and Erica A. Mitchell, the pandemic may have led to an increase in online cheating, as more people were placed under stress, which is associated with decreases in both sexual and relationship satfisaction - a chief predictor of infidelity. At the same time, they add, social distancing rules meant it was more difficult for people to physically meet, so it was more likely that affairs were conducted online than before. This theory was supported by data from Ashley Madison, a dating site for married individuals, which saw 1,500 new users each day in 2020, compared to 2019.
As data from the latest edition of Statista’s Global Consumer Survey shows, nearly half of U.S. adults (46 percent) that have used an online dating provider in the last 12 months are either married or in a relationship. Of course, since these figures don’t provide us with further context, a certain degree of caution should be exercised when interpreting these results, especially considering the relatively small sample size of dating app users and the fairly common tendency to be dishonest when answering such a question - even for an anonymous survey. While it’s nice to think that the bulk of these relationships could be open and transparent, it’s likely not the case.