January is generally the time for miserable couples to start divorce proceedings and autumn is the season when spouses seek affairs according to Illicit Encounters. The dating website for married couples has seen a rise for the last five years in sign- ups during the autumn, which is now known as "Seasonal Amore Disorder."

Christian Grant, spokesperson for IllicitEncounters.com, seeks to explain this seasonal trend: "For the past five years we have noticed an average 7% increase in new memberships towards the end of September.Keen to capitalise on whatever is driving this increase, we conducted some research. The reasons we found are threefold: the comedown after the summer party season with all its highs and lows, science and the way autumn uniquely lends itself to new romance.

"Autumn is traditionally a tricky time for established couples, as the recent, steady roll-call of celebrity break-ups will attest. Summer time, with its busy social calendar comprising festivals, weddings and parties, makes it easier to prop up an ailing relationship in the 'diluted' company of friends. Long-term plans like booked summer holidays are best seen through given the stress of cancelling. But once the summer hiatus is behind you and you have nothing left in the diary until Christmas, combined with the gloomy prospect of being cooped up with one another over these long, dark nights, couples experience a lull. This lull can cause many relationships to fizzle out or for a partner to seek something new to fill the excitement void.

"This trend also stacks up biologically. Studies suggest our libidos are naturally higher in summer. Sunshine increases our levels of serotonin and dopamine, both of which influence our mood and arousal levels. Testosterone is boosted by light and we tend to dress in skimpier clothes. As autumn approaches, our bodies, so used to being 'on alert' are craving our next 'feel-good dopamine fix.' This unwanted comedown, for some, manifests itself in seeking new excitement, and what is more exhilarating than new romance?"

For the last 5 years there has been a surge in sign ups at this time

For the last 5 years there has been a surge in sign ups at this time

The new members were also asked if they believe themselves to be nature lovers and a whopping 79% said yes. Autumn may seem like the least romantic of all the seasons but if you wrap up warm, you can always go for a stroll in the park or snuggle up by a fire in a country pub and many cheaters are taking advantage of the privacy both of these activities offer. Concluding, Grant surmised: "If you are in a stale relationship, have a mildly addictive personality and love nature, it's highly likely you'll experience Seasonal Amore Disorder. That's Amore."

by for relationships.femalefirst.co.uk
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