Not being each other’s priority
I’m in an open relationship so the boundaries are a little different. I think different couples set different boundaries. While one couple won't be okay with their significant other even being friends with someone of the opposite sex, the other might not even care if they sleep around. I see every single couple around me cheat.
I have seen my relationship crumbling because one of us decided to act on our basic instincts and have sex with someone else. Lying to each other is the worst thing I can do to us. In our case having sex with someone else is permissible. It’s an issue if we are not each other’s priority. We have to come first for each other, no matter what. We are each other’s rock and home. The day that ceases to be the case, it’s cheating.
Mandira Tanwar, 27, lawyer, Mumbai
It’s worse than rejection
I went to the USA three years ago to study. I was in a two-year relationship then, but I soon learned my girlfriend was sleeping with her team manager. I just felt very dumb that I got cheated on, that I wasn’t able to see it. I consider physical cheating much more hurtful than being rejected because it can bring down a person’s morale. It’s a huge blow to your self-esteem. I was lucky enough to get out of the phase but, I have a couple of friends who got so depressed, they couldn’t get out of it.
Mark D’Souza, 32, DJ, committed, Goa
Flirting or texting on the sly
Cheating, like everything else, has evolved. No longer does just ‘physically sleeping with someone else’ constitute cheating. Unfortunately, these days there are so many other ways someone can be unfaithful. For me, even things like flirting on texting can raise red flags. It’s how my ex-boyfriend began cheating on me. Random messages from this girl he claimed to be his cousin. Weeks later, he grew more possessive about his phone, removed my fingerprint from his phone lock and began seeming unusually busy at work. The worst part is that he kept saying it was ‘all in my head’. It was his sister who finally broke the news to me.
Deborah Menezes, 25, doctor, single, Mumbai
It’s a generational problem
Cheating has become a generational thing. I am often propositioned by committed or married women. Most male friends (here and abroad), married for several years now, go in for paid sex. Some have office affairs, although this is considered risky. Paid sex could be happy ending massage joints, or escort services. These are regular family people with loving wives and kids. I have mostly had casual relationships but have met women who were engaged or married and yet had no qualms about having sex with me. I don’t get how they do it. I consider myself pretty short on emotions, and yet then this girl I was in love with cheated on me, it felt like someone tore my insides apart.
Lester Coutinho, 40, ads exec, single, Mumbai
Denying being in a relationship
I dated this girl for two years. At least, I thought we were dating but things were always hidden. I never met or hung out with her friends, never went to her place or met her family, or indulged in PDA. Initially, it felt like fun and games – this was our little secret. Gradually though, I realised that this gorgeous woman I was crazy about, was keeping me hidden from others because she was ashamed. Or so I thought. We started fighting about it and soon, I realised I had enough. I left her. It felt like cheating because she wasn’t being true to her emotions and true to me, and it hurt. I’m not even sure if she had someone on the side or was sleeping around because she didn’t let me into any other part of her life.
Jimmy Singh, 26, bar owner, engaged, Delhi
*All names changed.
Persons in the picture are models