Featured August 2008 in The London Paper
A Web of Deception
For most, internet dating sites are a way to try to meet someone we want to spend our lives with. But the latest craze to hit the web is aimed at people who definitely aren’t searching for “The One”. Welcome to the world of the online affair seekers.
Deliberately logging on in search of an affair may seen shocking. But more surprising is the fact typical users tend to be in their 20s and 30s – either seeking someone to play away from home with, or singles searching for a married lover.
More than half of the members of MaritalAffair.co.uk are aged between 18-35 and they also claim that 35 percent of spouses over 20 have had, or are planning an affair.
Paul Graham, who founded MaritialAffair.co.uk in 2007 believes many younger people are choosing to have affairs to satisfy the need for excitement without suffering from the strains of a full-time relationship.
“The common theme is the desire for sex,” says Paul. “A website provides anonymity for married people and we also deliver for those seeking casual, non-complicated intimacy.”
However, relationship psychologist Trudy Hill suggests that the real reasons young people are drawn to these sites may be more complex. She says “A desire to escape from a painful relationship, boredom, desire to fill gaps in an existing relationship or to punish one’s partner could all entice people to log on.”
“It is also common at this age to want to experience something you feel you have missed out on, particularly if you have spent most of your adult life in one relationship.”
Jan, 32 has been having an affair for six months with a married man she met online. “He is purely a bed mate to me”, says Jan. “I don’t want the hassle of a relationship and I don’t want him to leave his wife.”
Despite being married for only two years Alex, 34, started an affair with a woman he found online. “I love my wife and don’t want to leave her, but she started talking about babies. I felt I was getting old before my time,” he says. “I wanted to do something reckless.”
“Human beings are not naturally monogamous,” concludes Graham.
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