Cheating is more common than you think. If you’ve been cheated on before, don’t put all the blame on yourself. It’s not a one-in-a-million occurrence, and many people have been in the same shoes as yours. But how common is it? And is it predisposed to our genetics? Does your gender reveal whether you’ll cheat in your relationship?
In this article, we will discuss adultery and infidelity statistics that you should know about and how they may affect your future relationship. Ready to find out who cheats more in relationships? Let’s get started.
As private investigators operating in Canada’s most populated cities (Toronto, Mississauga, Oakville, Brampton and beyond) we regularly speak to (and frequently take on cases) related to infidelity investigations. However, don’t take our word for it, see what the experts and data say:
2023 Infidelity Statistics: What You Should Know
Important reminder: Before discussing infidelity and adultery, let’s be clear that everyone has their definition of both terms. According to a 2010 research article, finding reliable and accurate infidelity statistics between males and females can be problematic as only a limited number of people are surveyed. At the same time, further studies and reports are needed for the LGBTQIA+ communities.
Who Cheats More: Men or Women?
The Institute for Family Studies (IFS) surveyed men and women from 2010 to 2016 who were either married or had been married before. According to the General Social Survey, men are more likely to cheat than women, with 20% of men and 13% of women reporting having sex with someone other than their partner while still married.
However, the gender gap varies per age. From the same survey, data from married adults ages 18 to 29 says that more women are guilty of infidelity, with 11% of the women from the surveyed group admitting to having an affair. In comparison, only 10% of men from the age group are guilty. But the gap reverses as it jumps into the next age group.
Among those ages 30 to 39 years old, infidelity in men increases, with 14% of the surveyed group saying that they cheated on their partner, and only 11% of women admitted to having an affair. With age, cheating has become more prevalent. Men in their 60s report having a higher rate of infidelity (24%), with the number still increasing until ages 70-79, with 26% of men cheating on their partners. Women, on the other hand, have the highest rate of infidelity in their 60s (16%), but the number goes down as they approach their 70s (13%) and 80s (6%).
Supporting data from the IFS 1990s survey also says that men have always been more inclined to cheat than women. But during this period, older men have the same tendency to cheat as their younger peers. The survey says that infidelity among men peaked at the age of 50 to 59 (31%). The number decreases as the men age during this period. For women, the highest infidelity rate is from ages 40 to 49 (18%), which declines as they age.
However, between 2000 and 2009, the highest rate of infidelity among men shifted to ages 60 to 69 (29%) and women ages 50 to 59 (17%). Compared to the 1990s data, more men ages 80+ have admitted to cheating during this period (from 5% to 12%).
In 2020, IFS released an updated report stating that 20% of men have admitted to cheating, and only 10% of women reported having an affair. With no further breakdown of each age group, the report showed that ages 18-34 and 65+ of both men and women have the same infidelity rate of 16%.
How Long Do Men and Women Wait Before They Tell Their Partner They Cheated?
In 2021, the Health Testing Centers asked 441 people who admitted infidelity to their partners and asked how long it took for them to tell their partners about it.
According to the poll, 47.7% of the respondents told their partner within a week that they’d cheated. 26.6% of those have waited for a month, and 25.7% took 6 months or longer to tell their partner about the infidelity.
Among those who waited for a week, 48% were women, and 46.9% were men. Of those who waited for a month, 26% were women, and 27.4 were men. Lastly, respondents who waited for 6 months or longer were 26% women and 25.7% men. There’s really not much difference between the two genders when it comes to telling the truth to their partners.
Cheating on Tinder
In this age of technology, many people have found innovative ways to cheat on their partners. One of the most common ways of doing so is through dating apps, particularly Tinder. According to a study published in Computers in Human Behavior, 18% to 25% of Tinder users are in a committed relationship while using the app. The study explored why people in relationships are still on the dating app despite their commitment.
From the report, 42% of surveyed Tinder users in the US admitted to being married or in a relationship. In the Netherlands, 17,000 Tinder users were polled, and 4% of male participants and 2% of female participants said they were using online dating apps or websites while in a committed relationship.
Additionally, the study noted a survey of U.S undergraduate Tinder users where 73.1% of the participants reported that one of their male friends is active on the app while in a relationship, and 56.1% of those stated that their female friends had used Tinder while being in a relationship.
How Likely Is It for Men and Women to Cheat?
The tendency for someone to cheat varies from person to person, and the reasons are often personal. While studies have shown that men are more guilty of infidelity, it doesn’t dictate any future behaviors and should not be used to predict cheating in relationships.
However, a 2020 research article published in Family Process states that a dating site exclusively made for married couples has seen an increase of 1,500 new members per day compared to 2019. According to the researchers, the increased internet usage and marital tensions during the COVID-19 lockdown might have affected the growing number. But further study is needed to prove this claim.
What Counts as an Affair?
Infidelity and affair can be subjective and often vary from case to case. But in general, infidelity is any sexual or emotional activity that happens outside the agreed-upon relationship boundaries. While an affair can be a sexual activity, it doesn’t necessarily have to be. In some relationships, an affair could be in the form of hugging and kissing another person. In others, it’s not even that.
According to an interview with LuAnn Oliver, a couples therapist licensed in Virginia, affairs can be any of the following:
- Emotional infidelity
- Desiring your current partner and another person
- Online flirtation such as texting, video calling, and sexting
- Strongly designing another person apart from your partner
- Compulsive sexual behavior
- One night stand/s
Will Relationships Work After Infidelity?
The decision to continue the relationship after cheating depends on the couple. In some relationships, couples can work through an affair and look past the infidelity. However, others may find it difficult to trust their partners again and decide to move on from the relationship. You need to ask yourself what you feel and see if you can heal and trust your partner again.
It is difficult and painful to be cheated on, but relationships can still work after infidelity if both partners are willing to work through it. If you are in this situation, it’s best to consult with a counselor and see if you can manage to move past the betrayal and rebuild the trust. However, don’t feel obligated to repair a broken relationship, especially if your partner doesn’t want to do any of the work.
Healing After Infidelity: Can You Move Past the Cheating?
If your partner has cheated on you, the most important thing you need to remember is not to blame yourself. Most of the time, people who have been cheated on have blamed themselves for the infidelity of their partners. This is not healthy behavior and can be problematic. Instead, find a way to heal yourself and check whether or not you still want to commit to the relationship.
You also need to remember to separate yourself from the situation and jealousy. Many ways can help you get past the cheating and move on. Getting professional help such as therapy, talking with a family member or trusted friend, focusing on yourself, and keeping busy with things that make you happy can help you get back on track.
In addition, here are other tips on you can heal after infidelity in a committed relationship:
- Don’t judge and criticize yourself. Be kind and let yourself grieve and heal. If you need space, take time off from work and focus on healing.
- Focus on what you need. Don’t let other people tell you how you should heal—your needs matter.
- Once you’ve established what you need, work on meeting them. It’s best to start a new routine rather than focus on the same things you used to do. This will help you break free from old patterns.
- Don’t be shy to get professional help. Often, we feel like we can heal by ourselves and are scared to admit that we need help. Consider some form of counseling or support group to rebuild your life after infidelity.
So who cheats more: men or women? While infidelity statistics show that men cheat more than women, it shouldn’t be the basis for who cheats more. The surveyed group should not determine the whole population, so don’t generalize that every man will cheat because of these numbers.
If you have had an affair before or have been cheated on, you’re not alone. Many people are guilty of infidelity, and it’s not the end of the world–healing is possible. If you feel like you’ve lost all your hope in love, don’t give up so soon. The right partner will come.
Learn About Our Cheating Spouse Investigation Services.