Study: Back-burner relationships affect digital communications and sexual activity

Back burners are people with whom one communicates with the hope of establishing a future romantic or sexual relationship. Having a prior romantic relationship with a back burner affects digital communications and sexual activity, as well as a person's negative mood, according to a new study published in a special issue of the peer-reviewed journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. The special issue is titled "Digital Romance and Dating, Including COVID-19 Pandemic-Related Impacts."

John Banas, PhD, from the University of Oklahoma, and coauthors conclude that, "If having ex-partner back burners cascades into increased communication, increased sexual activity, and bad feelings for the admirer, then those in committed relationships might wish to exercise greater caution before forming a back-burner relationship with an ex-partner."

Also in this special issue of the Journal is the article titled "Exploring Links Between Online Infidelity, Mate Poaching Intentions, and the Likelihood of Meeting Offline," coauthored by Liesel Sharabi, PhD, from Arizona State University, and colleagues.

The study examines digitally enabled mate poaching on the online dating platform Ashley Madison. The authors conclude that their results "underscore the importance of mate poaching for understanding relationship initiation on infidelity websites and the reasons why online encounters may lead to offline affairs."

This special issue showcases the great research being done in the United States, Europe and Asia and how COVID has influenced typical patterns of use for dating apps. As we see society re-opening, there appears to continue to be a surge in use during what is dubbed "The Summer of Love," making it ever more important to study new trends in connecting for friendship and romance."

Editor-in-Chief Brenda K. Wiederhold, PhD, MBA, BCB, BCN, Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, California and Virtual Reality Medical Institute, Brussels, Belgium

Source:
Journal reference:

Wiederhold, B.K., et al. (2021) How COVID Has Changed Online Dating—And What Lies Ahead. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. doi.org/10.1089/cyber.2021.29219.editorial.

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