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I had been reading about Gleeden, a dating app for married people. Like everyone else who has been married for long and swapped the. I wrote: “Been married since university and beginning to feel I've missed “He used normal dating websites too and didn't say he was married. Dating sites for married individuals are cropping up online, and for some, demographic: people who are already married and looking to date. people interested in affairs were avoiding newspaper classified ads at all costs.
If the internet offers a direct line to affairs, with a proliferation of websites for adults seeking a sexual partner outside of their marriage, it is worth remembering that our richer ancestors practised their own privileged version.
gleeden: How a dating app is saving my marriage - The Economic Times
Emperors cavorted with courtesans, kings chose their wives for political manoeuvres and their mistresses for company, the aristocracy married for money and took lovers for pleasure. Inevitably there is the morality question. Even as religion has lost its influence, Britain has remained coy about openly embracing sex for pleasure, stubbornly conflating sexuality with procreation.
There is also the army of therapists and counsellors who continue to pedal their own secret agenda of enforced exclusive monogamy. This killjoy attitude frames affairs as deviant escapism and fantasies without merit for people who have failed to grow up. Counsellors form a kind of emotional and intellectual police intent on keeping the door to infidelity locked.
Meanwhile, British feminists have already missed the chance to find a new kind of modern sexual morality appropriate to the 21st century. In practice, Anglo-Saxon feminism never liberated itself from the Puritan morality that downplays or rejects all forms of pleasure as sinful.
But sex is no more a moral issue than eating a good meal. The fact that we eat most meals at home with spouses and partners does not preclude eating out in restaurants to sample different cuisines and ambiences, with friends or colleagues.
How a dating app is saving my marriage
Anyone rejecting a fresh approach to marriage and adultery, with a new set of rules to go with it, fails to recognise the benefits of a revitalised sex life outside the home.
Already two American economists, David Blanchflower and Andrew Oswald, have attempted to measure happiness through sexual fulfilment in monetary terms. It is also a handsome sum when you consider how much longer people are living.
In pre-industrial Britain marriages only lasted about 20 years, due to early death. Today, marriages can last 40 to 60 years.
It is no coincidence that the peak ages for affairs in Britain and the United State is 45 for a woman and 55 for a man. Of course, it would be misleading to suggest that married dating does not have a certain morality of its own.
Just as there are rules for dating non-married people, a new set of rules is necessary to navigate the way through the secretive world of married dating on the internet. For many interviewees that I spoke to, whose names have been changed, negotiating the new rules can be a fraught business. Married people have less spare time and are often more specific and cautious in their search. Amy liked a man in his advert, but was put off by his wearing a shabby grey cardigan under his suit jacket; Kate was delighted on meeting Benjamin, elegant, clever and amusing, until it emerged he was into very experimental sex; when Oliver met Scarlett at her house for a first date, a swinging party was already under way, which was not what he had in mind.
This is one of the successes of the websites: Both parties can quickly establish that they want the same thing and that they are equally committed to secrecy and discretion. If anything, married women are at an astonishing advantage in this 21st-century world of modern adultery, not least because of the disparity in sexual desire in modern marriages.
Recent sex surveys all prove that the received wisdom about men wanting more sex than their wives is not an unfair stereotype but a fact. The gap in sexual desire between men and women is observed in every country and culture where such surveys have been carried out.
Unsurprisingly a sexless, or low-sex, marriage, in which couples have sex less than once a month, appears to be the most common root cause for married internet affairs. In Britain, according to the British sex survey of sexual lifestyles, couples aged up to 60 had sex around 10 times a month in the first two years of their relationship, with a sharp decline to an average of twice a month after six years together.
The ratio is around one woman to every 13 men, giving the women the power to dictate terms, from dates at the most expensive restaurants and luxury gifts to financial rewards. Take the case of Peter, a rich year-old judge who lives in a beautiful historical country house with his lively wife. He regularly travelled into central London to sit as a judge in important commercial disputes.
He also stayed in the same hotel, with views over the Thames. After several years of this routine he began to welcome the idea of a sexy girlfriend to entertain him during his weekday stays. He signed on to a dating website. Then I began to look forward to pillow talk. It is like the exhilarating rush of a first crush. Something that was completely absent in the customary two-minute conversations with my spouse about lunch, what the kid did in school, how we had to finish our pending errands over the weekend and other such exhilarating themes.
As I got hooked to the app, over a year, I met a total of eight, whom I call good men, in person, over drinks and dinner. This happened only after our comfort levels with each other had grown.
At such meetings at a pub or a restaurant, our conversations veered towards morality, marriage and the mundane. They told me of other women they had met through the app.
Housewives, head honchos of corporate houses, entrepreneurs, marathon runners, et al. They were all using Gleeden. As I listened, the reality began to dawn on me. How a couple in a marriage — through years of love, conflict, comfort, raising children and wanting different things from life — begin to stop seeing each other.
This, I realised, was normal and happened to everyone. Many refuse to acknowledge it because we are raised to believe in the happily ever after. It was like looking at a mirror of sorts.
Portrait of an adulterer: secret shots of 50 married men I met on dating websites
What the men were complaining of their wives, maybe I was doing the same to my spouse? Maybe he was lonelier in our marriage but had found a different way to cope with it, by drowning himself in work? Eventually, I did get involved with someone, taking it beyond just dinner and drinks. I call him my FILF. We try to keep it simple. Be an emotional anchor to each other. Offer sex to each other when we can.
You could argue that I could put all this effort and energy to mend my marriage. But after a decade of being married I know that the fundamental problems between my husband and I will never fade. Instead of fretting over it, I have chosen to accept the imperfectness of it all. In return, I have decided to keep the count of happiness for myself constant. Because that was making me a better spouse, instead of a grouchy one.
I can now laugh at our fights with someone else. In a society where extramarital affairs are a taboo, I see the generation of Baby Boomers, xennials and millennials like me realising the futility of the forever. For now, I feel like I was saved from drowning in despair. My selfworth and chutzpah are back.