As it turns out, the side piece won’t be sitting on the sidelines this Valentine’s Day.
Nope. Apparently, times have changed. Surprising new finding’s from the cheater’s longtime tool, Ashley Madison, found that nearly one-third of cheaters will celebrate the Hallmark holiday of love with their affair partner.
The forever-controversial Ashley Madison – the world’s leading married dating website – used its insider access to the cheating set, surveying 1638 of its users, to determine how members juggle the romantic responsibility (or burden) of celebrating both their marriage and their extramarital relationship on Valentine’s Day. As it turns out, cheaters spend Valentine’s Day very differently between their two partners – and the spouse is no longer the priority. In fact, 28 per cent of survey respondents are opting to spend Valentine’s Day with their affair partner.
So, What’s behind the divide in time? When it comes to the cheaters, the majority report that they aren’t in the market to replace their spouse but looking to fulfill unmet needs. So, they’ll definitely clock in a few hours with the one they exchanged vows with. But there’s a shift happening when it comes to the treatment of an affair partner: The side piece is now rising up the ranks when it comes to partner priority. Historically, the predominant romantic holiday of the year has been reserved for the primary partner (the main dish).
“Typically, holidays and special occasions are reserved for the spouse and the affair partner is sidelined,” says Isabella Mise, Director of Communications at Ashley Madison. “But for Valentine’s Day this year, we’re seeing that affairs of the heart can lead to new traditions with a greater importance being placed on the extramarital relationship.” The only problem (well, aside from the obvious), of course, is that these new “traditions” come with a strategic balancing act (meaning, the cheater could be having dinner with their spouse and dessert with their affair partner, and likely having to “work late.”).
Another interesting finding of the Ashley Madison survey was that respondents said they spend approximately the same amount of money on their primary partner as the do their affair partner. According to the survey, more than a third of respondents say they spend between $100-$250 on their affair partner, while 36 per cent said they drop $100 to $250 when asked how much they spend on their spouse. When it comes to Valentine’s Day gift-giving, the difference between the spouse and the sidepiece is in the way cheaters spend their money – i.e. on a dinner vs. a hotel.
When asked, 71 per cent of cheating respondents say they celebrate Valentine’s Day with their affair partner by having sex (no shock there), whereas 73 per cent spend Valentine’s Day with their spouse by having dinner, meaning that cheaters are likely spending their money on their spouse during dinner, while spending the same amount on things like a hotel room for the affair partner (assuming they are the ones paying, of course).
Aside from the activities of choice, the findings, in general, imply that – according to the modern cheater – there is no longer a real distinction between how they view the importance of each relationship.“Between how they spend their money and how they spend their time, the members surveyed are demonstrating that there is an increased investment being made with affair partners,” says Mise. “It will be interesting to see if this shift continues.”
Who knows, maybe by next year all three can celebrate together (***rolls eyes***).