‘Oh I’m just going to walk the dog… for four hours’ (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

If you were cheating on your partner, what would be your go-to alibi to explain your sneaky trips to see a lover?

It would have to be something believable. You can’t say you’re working late if the other day you said work was super easy recently.

And ‘I’m going to the gym’ won’t work if you don’t even own a pair of trainers.

It turns out that a lot of cheaters rely on the same old classics to justify their whereabouts, with the gym excuse the top choice for women, while men get away with claiming they’re watching the football.

Illicit Encounters – yes, that’s the website specifically aimed at people having affairs – surveyed 2,000 of its users to find out the most popular alibis used by cheaters, and found that unfaithful types aren’t getting too creative with their go-to lines.

Seriously – where’s the intrigue? Where are the creative backstories about your sister having an ill parrot you have to keep taking to the vet?

The most popular alibis among cheaters:

Women’s top ten cheating alibis:

  1. Going to the gym
  2. Night out with the girls
  3. Working late in the office
  4. Socialising after work
  5. Walking the dog
  6. Shopping
  7. Seeing relatives
  8. Meeting best friend
  9. Gone for a beauty treatment
  10. Playing sport

Men’s top ten cheating alibis:

  1. Watching football
  2. Playing golf
  3. Working late in the office
  4. Socialising after work
  5. Boys night out
  6. Walking the dog
  7. Going to the gym
  8. Playing sport
  9. Meeting best friend
  10. Seeing relatives

Instead of fun ones, the survey found that female cheaters tend to pretend they’re at the gym, with friends, or working late, while men rely on sports to cover up their naughtiness.

IllicitEncounters.com sex and relationship expert Jessica Leoni said: ‘It’s no surprise that men and women use different excuses for covering up their affairs.

‘Going to the gym is by far the most popular excuse with women but only seventh on the male list.

‘If your partner significantly increases their gym activity you have every right to be suspicious.

‘Gyms are hotbeds for affairs and people cheating on their partners are much more body conscious and could well be exercising more to lose weight.

‘Work is a popular affair cover for both sexes and cheats will also use friends to cover their tracks. Many cheats’ friends are aware of their affairs and are prepared to lie for their mates to help disguise their betrayal.’

If you do suspect your partner is cheating – or you’ve noticed they’re taking hours to walk the dog – your best bet, as always, is to talk to them about what’s really going on.

Don’t go jumping to conclusions just because perfectly reasonable activities have been used as coverups by people having affairs. Maybe your other half really is playing golf every Thursday evening.

Give them the chance to explain, but remember that if you can’t trust a thing that comes out of your other half’s mouth, that’s a problem in itself.

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