Emotional vs. sexual cheating: What’s worse?

emotionalcheating-sexulaSurvey into relationship loyalty reveals gender disagreement 

Which would be worse: if your partner had sex with – or fell in love with – someone else? In its latest member survey of 667 singles, Australian dating site ELITESINGLES has examined relationship faithfulness, finding some major differences in how men and women view cheating. While men think sexual infidelity is worse, women can’t bear the thought of their partner falling in love with someone else.

65% of the men polled said that sexual unfaithfulness is worse, compared to 55% of women who think such emotional unfaithfulness would be harder to handle. But despite their opinions on what constitutes the worst in infidelity, men are more likely to cheat sexually (43% had in the past compared with just 30% of women) while women were more likely to engage in emotional infidelity (27% said that they’d fallen in love with someone outside a partnership, compared with just 12% men). Hypocritical?

Why are people unfaithful?

The poll also questioned participants’ motivation for past infidelity, finding men and women to differ here, too. While most men (55%) struggled to identify exactly why they cheated, 28% admitted to wanting sex with someone else, and a further 25% said it was due to relationship boredom. A small minority (7%) noted it was born out of revenge, while 12% revealed it was another love which made them act. As for the women, a somewhat larger number admitted to taking revenge (11%), while 35% said they were bored in their relationship and 27% in love with someone else. “I wanted to have sex with someone else” was agreed with by just 16% of women.

Infidelity victims: some decide to forgive and forget, others turn to online dating.

While they disagree on what’s worse, 20% of both men and women are prepared to forgive infidelity within a relationship – despite unanimously citing faithfulness, honesty and happiness as the most important characteristics to look for in a partner. Meanwhile, the survey into relationship loyalty touched on a sensitive issue for a large number of singles; 30% of participants conceded that they had turned to online dating after refusing to forgive cheating in their previous relationship.

Infographic_WhyWereYouUnfaithfulToYourPartner__EliteSingles

Photo Credit: Larissa Coe

Iona

Iona is a Wellness Coach specialising in relationships and dating. She works with single women to write their own love stories.

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