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> an affair that comes about due to genuine mutual interest and is the seed for a strong, lasting relationship is pretty much non-existent outside of fiction

What are you basing this on?

Gut, mostly. I haven't seen an effective study on the matter, so there isn't much else to go on. The terms I'm using are also badly operationalized.

Substantially, all I'm saying is that affairs don't work like your standard relationship: they're always contextualized by the existing relationships.

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