Valentine's Day is the day to share your love with the one you love most. When you're married or in a relationship, that typically means spending today with your significant other. But according to a new survey by the dating site for extramarital affairs, Ashley Madison, nearly a third of cheaters are choosing to spend Valentine's Day with their affair partners.
"People are placing greater importance on the physical and emotional benefits they’re receiving from their extramarital affairs in an effort to create balance in their world," Isabella Mise, Director of Communications at Ashley Madison tells Bustle. "We think this is contributing to the shift we’re seeing in the data (i.e. spending equal amounts of money and time with affair partners) and the behavior suggests that people’s motivations for cheating are not purely sexual. Their affair partners are playing an equally meaningful, though different, role in their lives.
As you probably know, people cheat for a number of reasons. But according to Ashley Madison, it all comes down to unmet needs. A lack in the sex department seems to be a major reason here since 71 percent say they celebrate Valentine's Day with their affair partners by having sex.
The interesting thing here is that cheaters will spend around the same amount of money ($100 to $250) on both their spouses and their affair partners on Valentine's Day. While they'll typically splurge on hotel rooms for their affair partners, they'll treat their spouses to a nice Valentine's Day dinner.
As Mise says, these numbers show that members of the site are starting to view their relationships with their spouse and their affair partners as equal. "There could be many reasons for this phenomenon," she says. "But I think that cheaters are finding qualities in their affair partners that they’ve craved from spouses for quite some time and are taking the opportunity — in this case, during Valentine’s Day — to show their appreciation for those partners in kind."
Outside sex of physical desires, Mise says some people turn to cheating when intimacy in their current relationships fade. Some start missing the emotional satisfaction they get from being close with their significant other. Because of this, "it's no surprise that if people’s affair partners are fulfilling those needs that the data shows an equal investment of emotional currency and attention towards their extracurricular relationships," she says.
So the big takeaway here is, someone wants to cheat, they will cheat. If they're super invested in their extra-marital relationship, it really doesn't matter if it's Valentine's Day or not.