Examining the grey areas between an affair and married dating
The term married dating has arisen in recent years as an often synonymous term for an affair. A lot of the use of the term comes online where dating sites try to steer clear of openly calling and marketing affairs (though of course many sites still do). In this sense married dating is very similar to an affair but in others it is technically not. Married dating can also mean a marriage with an open relationship where both or one partner engages in extra marital relations with consent of the other partner. This might seem abhorrent to many people but it is more common than you might think with many marriages remaining loving, caring and sexually active despite the awareness and practice of extra-marital relations. However, in this article we’re going to examine the grey areas between an affair and married dating as these often become very blurred – both intentionally and unintentionally.
The first thing to consider as a key difference is awareness. As we have already mentioned married dating can exist consensually between married couples or non-consensually. If there is openness about married dating then it falls out of the grey areas and into the white. If there is no consent then we are nowhere near the white. However, the grey area lies in fact in the problem of lying. Many married individuals both on dating sites and in real life will claim that they are either not married or that their partner consents to them having extra marital relations. When you are thinking of starting a relationship with a married individual you need to be aware that they may be lying if they claim to have their spouses consent. This doesn’t necessarily have to affect your own choices of action but it is worth considering as you are very unlikely to have any way of assessing the veracity of what they say.
The second grey area that comes up frequently is trust. Dating someone who is married generally means that you already know they are prepared and able to lie in a relationship. Even if their reasons are justifiable you need to be aware that trust can be a serious issue. If they are not being honest with their spouse then you cannot be sure they are going to be honest with you. If this isn’t a problem for you then that’s ok you just need to be aware.
The final grey area that often occurs comes in the actual differentiation between an affair and married dating. Most affairs usually last less than six months and this implies they are more of a casual fling than a serious attempt to leave a spouse. However, dating usually implies that a more long term relationship is looking to be formed. This creates a serious grey area as if a more long term relationship is sought then you need to examine why the person remains married. Whilst there is nothing provisionally wrong with “testing the waters” you may be putting yourself in a position where you will be hurting someone else in the long or short term. That is not to say that this should stop you but it should give you pause for thought before you take things too far.
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