Back-up lovers: Rise of infidelity in digital era

Mobile phones and computers make it so much easier to communicate.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

What you need to know:

  • But nowadays infidelity is just a couple of clicks away, and you haven’t even left home.
  • You might tell yourself and your partner that they’re ‘just a friend.

We’re living through very strange times. And one of the consequences of that is that more and more of our lives seem to be moving online.

That has definitely got a lot of benefits, of course, like more flexibility in our working lives. But it’s also making it more likely than ever that you or your spouse will be unfaithful.

Partly because mobile phones and computers make it so much easier to communicate. But the real reason is that moving online changes the way we behave.

For example, our ideas about friendship are changing. Back then, you knew all the people in both your lives. But these days, some of them only exist on Facebook.

And you know how easy it is to chat online for hours with someone who’s really a total stranger. You might tell yourself and your partner that they’re ‘just a friend.’ But it’s surprisingly easy to start telling secrets to someone you’ve never actually met.

So the barriers that used to protect us from infidelity are lower. Cheating used to involve secret meetings and lots of risk from the very first step. And you always knew exactly what you were doing.

Infidelity

But nowadays infidelity is just a couple of clicks away, and you haven’t even left home. So the steps down the slippery slope are smaller than ever online.

And there’s no clear boundary any more, between totally harmless conversations and unfaithful flirting. So it’s easier to convince yourself that finally meeting them in real life is just networking, when actually you already know that they fancy you.

And yet, despite all that, 21st century couples are actually having less sex than their grandparents.

How can that be possible, with all these new temptations?

The problem is that modern life has undermined our desire. The relentless pace leaves you with no time or energy. And all those beautiful people on the billboards and in films, books and magazines, leave couples with an unrealistic expectation of what their intimate lives should be like.

Loving stops

So since you feel you can’t compete, maybe you opt out altogether. Or it feels like you’ll lose your partner if you’re not always available, so loving stops being a pleasure and becomes a chore.

It’s a weird situation because natural human desire is nothing like the lust that modern society urges on us. And the answer isn’t sideline sex. It’s greater intimacy with the partner you already have. Especially more affection and emotional closeness.

Because making love should be a priority for every couple. So find a style that’s right for you both of you. Sometimes restful and affectionate. Sometimes raunchy and exciting.

Make intimacy part of the way you build your emotional security. Reach for each other when you’re happy, when you’re sad, when you need reassurance, when you’re celebrating.

And never ever think of sex as a chore. Think of it as fun, or you’ll lose the passion and romance you yearn for. [email protected]

Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.