Beach balls and betrayal. A steamy romance with the tennis instructor. They sound like cheesy romance novel titles and bad late night tv movies. And yet, in a 20-year survey about health, relationships and sex, 21.5% of the participants admitted to cheating. While gender, class, salary and education had no bearing on infidelity, the most influential factor was the time of year. June, July and August are infidelity’s high season, a fact the researchers attribute to more travel in the warmer months. And perhaps rising temperatures and revealing clothing contribute to temptation.
While there is no magic formula to prevent cheating, there are strategies for what experts call, “relationship maintenance” — a mixture of common sense and science:
Talk. Share your feelings and encourage your partner to the same. Communication and honesty are vital.
Let your partner know you’re right there with him or her, committed and engaged. Put down your phone, carve out time for just the two of you and be present.
Cook dinner, find a creative house project, get outside for some yard work, or walk the dog together. This is a partnership, after all.
Being kind, giving compliments, doing something nice — making a cup of coffee, sending a random love note or text, or giving a foot rub — telegraphs emotion powerfully.
Shared social network
A friend of yours is a friend of mine. Being in a relationship means being part of each other’s lives and that includes friends and family.
Treat everyday as an opportunity to show your partner you are still in love. It takes kindness, optimism, generosity and effort. That tennis instructor won’t seem so intriguing anymore.