Thursday 5 August 2010

Cycles in everything

Reports MomLogic (HT: He who Tyler says is evil):, the dating website for married people, tells momlogic exclusively that the day after Mother's Day is the second-busiest day of the year for female member signups.

On a typical Monday, between 2,500 and 3,000 women join But on the day after Mother's Day last year, saw close to 24,000 new signups. They anticipate that 30,000 women will join this year on May 10 -- the day after Mother's Day.
And, their prediction held up:
Momlogic has exclusively learned that 31,427 women signed up for yesterday -- which is over ten times the average number of women who typically sign up on any given Monday.

Ashley Madison took a sample survey of the women who signed up yesterday, and found that:

67 percent identified themselves as stay-at-home moms.
The average age was 36.
Over two-thirds had been considering an affair before Mother's Day.
Other holidays too?
This "day after" trend is nothing new to Their biggest day of the year for female signups is the day after Valentine's Day, and their third-biggest day is the day after New Year's.

Why are holidays like these such turning points for women? Noel Biderman, president and founder of, says, "Because they have expectations -- expectations that their partnership will be celebrated and even romanticized -- but that is often not what transpires ...."

Biderman (a married father of two) believes there are several reasons why women turn to after Mother's Day in particular:
  • On Mother's Day, women in general expect to be celebrated by their partners. However, for many already suffering from a lack of appreciation, this day represents a continuation of neglect and disappointment.
  • Women have affairs for different reasons than men. Whereas men are usually looking for sex, women tend to seek attention that they're not getting at home. This lack of attention often makes them feel undesirable -- and feeds their need for validation.
Lessons, says Crampton:
  • If you're married, watch for dates around which expectations may have been built; they may be make-or-break if relationship capital has depreciated
  • If you're unmarried but fancy a married girl, try the day after Valentine's, Mother's Day...(of course, that may make you evil too)
More generally, we could probably model this as relationship capital being built up or depreciated over time. If capital falls below some minimal threshold, then there are a few trigger dates for relationship re-evaluation - think of it perhaps as a firm issuing its annual report or updated revenue forecasts. If the signal sent on the trigger date leads to a strongly positive revised expectation of capital growth, the relationship is maintained; if not, hedging options are sought either to increase utility in the current state or to improve expected outcomes in case of exit.

I'm curious though what the cyclical pattern of male signups with Ashley Madison might look like. If men expected this pattern in female signups, we'd expect a big influx of men just prior to those dates in anticipation of the new arrivals, with those men perhaps then letting their accounts lapse subsequent to those key dates.

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