Batten down the hatches: The first Monday in January is “Divorce Monday,” but the second Monday in January could be called “Cheat Monday”: According to cheater’s website Gleeden, Jan. 9 is the most popular date for firing up an affair. At least, that’s when the site gets the most action, the New York Post reported, meaning sometime during the week after everyone settles in from New Year’s, things really break down. Time to hire a PI.
Divorcing in January is a well-established trend: Some 30 percent more couples file that month over any other, according to data from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Google searches for “break up with girlfriend” and “break up with boyfriend” start climbing again around Christmas, too. It’s not that the holidays themselves make you suddenly realize you’re not in love. It’s that nothing puts a giant, motivating magnifying glass on what you already know is missing from your relationship like spending every second with someone over several consecutive days of time off, with no escape, and usually in front of one or both of your families, whose entire purpose is to trigger you to behave like your most pathological selves. Throw kids in the mix, too? Boom.
Plus, we’re subjected to a barrage of nonstop romantic imagery about togetherness over the holidays, and nothing will highlight the shortcomings of your own relationship like holding it up to the one in a DeBeers commercial or anything that happens in Love Actually. It’s no wonder the first visit back to reality, work, and a moment alone involves a stop by an attorney’s office to put the new back in New Year.
But not everyone can gather the courage or financial and emotional autonomy to bite that bullet. So it follows that some people might hedge their bets, vacillate about whether to cut the cord or not, and discover they can’t muster the courage to ditch. Perhaps these are the folks who, come Jan. 9, decide a fling, emotional or otherwise, is the more pragmatic fix to their marital dissatisfaction. Gleeden told the Post that last year, on the second Monday of 2016, registration on the site jumped 320 percent. They also surveyed some 13,000 users who they say admitted being more active on the site that day. Just over half — 52 percent — cited wanting to “regain their freedom” as the reason for stepping out.
Of course, we don’t know for sure whether these folks actually followed through with anything in their quest to feel untethered. Tales of activity on famous cheater site Ashley Madison — at least, the real tales, and not the bots — demonstrate that just because you’re on the site looking for action doesn’t mean you ever meet up with anyone or actually score.
January is also a month notorious for another kind of cheating — on your New Year’s resolutions. Lots of stuff we attempt with the goal of self-betterment in January doesn’t take, like going sober, and cutting back on red meat, smoking and bad vibes. Some statistics figure only 8 percent of people who make resolutions actually keep them, and when people give up, it’s often within the first month of trying. Gyms, for instance, know they won’t see 95 percent of their new January clientele back after the 15th.
But while there is something to January being a solid month for going off the rails, at least when it comes to straying partners, take comfort in the fact that whether or not your partner is cheating is far less about what day of the week it is than it is about the quality of your relationship. But if your partner works in the nightlife industry, is a female teacher, a blonde or at an age ending in 9, or things have been shitty lately, maybe schedule a nice dinner for tonight. Just to be safe.