Are you a cat person or a dog person?
Answer carefully, because what you say could reveal a whole lot more than just your favorite animal: it could say EVERYTHING about how you behave in your relationship.
In a study released by the dating website for married people IllicitEncounters.com (I know, I know) people who own cats are the MOST likely to be cheaters, while dog owners are the least likely to cheat.
25% of the site's members are cat owners, while just 10% of the site's members admit to owning a pet dog.
It doesn't stop there, either. People who own FISH make up 16% of their clientele. Uh. Okay?
I think I should be given a giant glass of icy white wine as a reward for not making some sort of "how fishy" type of pun here, don't you?
So what does this new "research" teach us, if it teaches us anything at all? The cynic in me says that all we learn from this sort of survey about cheating is that even the worst people have pets and need that animal companionship in their lives.
But what if it goes deeper?
I've never cheated on anyone, and I own two cats (and a moss ball that I keep in a jar, but as it is not sentient I will not count it here). Not only that, but I'm a HUGE cat person! I've got tattoos of them (that's right, more than one). I love how cats are insolent and indifferent and lazy and annoying. I have absolutely laughed at cat memes. But I don't think any of this behavior means I'm more likely to cheat on anyone.
In fact, of the two men I dated who cheated on me, neither of them owned ANY type of pet at all. One was in the thick of a quarter life crisis, and instead of a pet, he had a live-in girlfriend of ten years and a deep case of denial tht he was losing his hair.
The other was a blackout drunk who would vanish for days at a time. In fact, we never spent a night together in my apartment because of his "cat allergies". I put that in quotes because I am sure at least 85% of everything he ever told me was a lie.
If he'd had any pets, surely they would have died of neglect.
There's no way of knowing whether or not the people who answered this survey question really even have the pets they claim to. Normally I'd add "but why would they lie"? But I mean we are talking about married people who are seeking to cheat on their partners on the internet, so there's that. Maybe married cheaters think that naming an animal that requires less "active" care (like a cat or a fish) makes them seem like they themselves require less from their partner, that's they're more available, that's an idea, sure.
If you feel compelled to seek romantic or sexual contact outside of your relationship agreement it's not because you prefer feline companionship. It's because you aren't getting something you need from the relationship you're in, or because you want to get out of your relationship but lack the ability to actually cut things off yourself so you do it passively, hoping you'll be caught. Maybe you cheat because you aren't getting you sexual needs met and you're afraid to talk about that.
It's easy to villify cheaters. As easy as it is to roll your eyes at women who love their pet cats.
But neither party can be reduced to that simple of a stereotype.
Instead of taking surveys about pets, I wish that sites like this would take surveys of the real questions we all want to know from the people who cheat on us:
"Do you still love me?"
"What's wrong with me?"
"What's wrong with you?"
"When did it all fall apart?"
"How did it come to this?"
If you want to know why someone is cheating, the answer does not lie in what type of pet curls up at the foot of their bed: It's what's going on INSIDE the bed and the person in it.