More Australians are cheating on their partners right now than at any other point throughout the year.
According to cheating website Ashley Madison, the period between December 21 and March 20, marks their highest number of signups. Last year, the site says more than 130,000 affairs began over the three month period.
This, of course, begs the question: Why?
Interestingly, on the other side of the planet, cheating also sees a surge during summer.
Dr Tammy Nelson, a sex and relationship therapist, says “Increased levels of serotonin are associated with more exposure to sunshine, ultimately allowing people to feel happier.
“With more sun exposure in the summer people will feel more confident, and this could help kick start someone’s decision to start and extra-marital affair, allowing them to feel better about the decision.”
According to evolutionary psychologist Daniel Kruger, the rise in affairs is also due to the simple fact that during the warmer months, people tend to socialise more.
There are, in his words, “increased chances to be unfaithful.”
A survey published by Ashley Madison also found the reasons why adulterers say they sought a new relationship.
Sophie Monk speaks to Mamamia about cheating.
The number one reason was somewhat unsurprising: Sex.
But many said they weren’t driven by a desire to replace what they already had. Rather, 24 per cent said an affair was an attempt to keep their marriage in tact, while five per cent desperately wanted to experience butterflies.
Dr Nelson says this isn’t unusual. “Many people cheat to stay in their marriage,” she explains, “they do it because they want to keep their family together.”