1 in 5 British adults say they've had an affair

1 in 5 British adults say they've had an affair

One in five British adults admit to having had an affair, while a third say they have thought about it, according to a YouGov survey for the Sun newspaper.

The survey also reveals that, of those who say they have had an affair, only half have stopped at one. A quarter have had two affairs, while 20 per cent have had three or more. 8 per cent have had five or more affairs.

What qualifies as an "affair"? Respondents were also asked specifically what sort of things they have done with people other than their partner. Though 20 per cent admit to an "affair", 22 per cent have romantically kissed someone else, but only 17 per cent have slept with someone else - so perhaps the definition of "affair" lies somewhere in between, according to YouGov.

And most of the affairs don't appear to have been one-off cases: 82 per cent say their longest affair lasted for more than a week, while 7 per cent say less and 6 per cent don't know or don't say. 5 per cent say their longest affair is still ongoing.

According to the survey, men are slightly more likely than women to be repeat offenders (49 per cent of cheating men have had more than one affair, whereas 41 per cent of women say the same). Men are also more likely to say they have thought about having an affair (37 per cent of men compared to 29 per cent of women). However, the number of men and women who have ever had an affair is essentially the same (20 per cent and 19 per cent respectively).

The survey also investigated who were the most likely partners. 43 per cent have had an affair with someone who qualified as a friend, while 38 per cent have cheated with a work colleague, 18 per cent with a stranger, 12 per cent with an ex and 8 per cent with a neighbour. 3 per cent of affairs involve a partner's relative.

Over half of women who have had an affair have cheated with a friend, compared to just a third of men. Men who cheat, on the other hand, are more likely than women to do it with someone who is a work colleague, a stranger or neighbour.

candicec@sph.com.sg

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