Call frequency dating
Here, couples endure the challenges of child care, work pressures, mid‑life crisis and dwindling marital sex against a backdrop of repressive Anglo-Saxon hang‑ups about infidelity, seen always in pejorative terms such as “cheating”. Statistics confirm that British and American divorce rates are among the highest in the world.
Around half of American first marriages end in divorce, closely followed by a third of first British marriages, floundering under unrealistic pressures, often celibate marital beds and drastic overreactions to infidelities.
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.
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.
There is also evidence that the more permissive the attitudes of a country, the longer marriages last.
Although they will go on to enjoy all the spoils of a relationship, from intimate phone calls to Christmas shopping trips and, of course, regular sex, this is understood from the outset.
They are in fact launching into a “playfair”, a 21st-century affair in which would-be adulterers meet, via specialist dating websites, to enjoy the excitement of an illicit relationship without any of the domestic fallout.
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.