How To Deal With Cheating In Modern Day Dating

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Rekha and Praveen are the new “IT” couple in college. They have been going strong for some weeks now. Disaster strikes when Praveen was caught cheating on Rekha with her best friend. After a lot of drama, Rekha took Praveen back. A few weeks later, Rekha confessed to Praveen that she had also cheated on him after they had gotten back together. They break up again. A few days later, they are back again. Like nothing happened.

Welcome to the millennial world, where relationships have been reduced to a status symbol and cheating seems to be the new high that people are getting. The sanctity of emotions in a relationship seems to have been lost somewhere while shifting from Beyoncé to Bieber.

Cheating in a relationship has become so frequent and normal in today's world, it feels as though we have grown to become desensitized from our emotions.

Have We Normalized Cheating In Modern Relationships© Thinkstock/Getty Images

The Blame Game

What is to be blamed for cheating? Is the hookup culture? The normalization of cheating tends to be related to the casual relationships people have. I believe it does not entirely depend on the type of relationship; casual or serious, but more on the type of person you are.

When someone cheats on you, what is your reaction?

It has always been taught, or so we have observed and assumed that one needs to get angry. Basically, like a habit we have seen and adopted, like brushing our teeth or wearing clothes. But what if we are not really angry and are just mimicking the reactions we have seen other people portray when we go through something similar?

Of course, one grieves; but is it for being cheated on or is it because of our own guilt; the guilt of choosing a wrong person? 

To be clear, I do not mean by this that cheating should be given a leeway, but what if the real person we are angry with is ourselves; for believing in someone with all our heart and giving them all our trust? And can we not forgive someone who once meant the whole world to us? Is one person enough to have you never to believe in the sanctity of love again?

I would say it is a personal choice. If one can forgive a person, it shows compassion. And the decision is only of the person who is hurt. Whether you let one person demean your awesome self or do you walk with a person who is penitent for the mistake they have committed, is a choice that only the person who has been cheated on can make.

Others can show sympathy, empathy and what not but one should never consider the decisions of others because life is too short for regrets.

So, is it a wakeup call? Definitely.

Are there underlying issues in your relationship which has led to one partner seeking solace in someone outside the relationship? 

Cheating opens a discussion about the things which you do not wish to talk about. Sometimes, it is the best thing that can happen to you.

We Were On A Break!

Going back to an episode of 'Friends', it sure was brutal yet hilarious when Ross slept with the Xerox Place Girl after they were 'on a break', and then Rachel wouldn't take him back. The events that followed have become an important part of pop culture.

If we get anything from it, it is that humans tend to be self-righteous.

If it isn't happening to us, we treat things as trivial and are extremely sanctimonious when treating the other person. So, if someone else gets cheated, we judge both the cheater and the one who got cheated. Yet, when something similar happens to ourselves, we want the sympathy that should come along with it.

We seem to have become stuck somewhere between being nonchalant and craving attention.

As millennials, are we trying to ape the West? Or something we watch on TV?

The human tendency to imitate is inborn. Charles Colton said, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” and we seem to have taken that to heart.

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And as result, are we trying to portray cheating as a normal phenomenon, which is something which we normally don't feel?

“If Rachel is okay with Ross cheating on her, so am I? Or if Robert Pattinson can live with Kristen Stewart cheating on him, it doesn't matter to me” (though they are no longer together). However funny these instances may seem like, there are people out there who think like this. The truth, however, is sad and grim.

Have We Normalized Cheating In Modern Relationships

We forget that the Western society is a lot different than ours, a bit more broad-minded in the sense of what holds true for cheating.

Talking about what we see in movies, it is imperative to remember that what we see is just fiction; an approximation of human relationships. It isn't real.

In times of need and worry, we look up to anything for help.

In case you decide to follow a real-life example of someone who got cheated and is still with the person who cheated on them, remember that those people are different than you. What works for them won't necessarily work for you. You need to make a decision of your own.

That does not mean that the story closer to home is any different. Infidelity is blatant in the numerous shows that the Indian television industry churns out daily. Somehow, it makes one wonder whether it is okay to cheat or is it normal to be cheated on and remain silent.

Have We Normalized Cheating In Modern Relationships© Thinkstock/Getty Images

It's Not Right… But It's Okay?

Yet, others will say that they need to sleep with someone else, to get even.

If you are thinking, of getting even, or trying to justify getting cheated on by cheating, how are you any different than the cheater? It isn't time for rash decisions. Instead, focus on what is important. Think rationally.

At times, we tend to show that we aren't affected by a thing just to save face in society. To show that we are not bogged down by the circumstances we are facing. We give in to the idea of being okay with getting cheated on, just so we do not have to deal with the aftermath of cheating and the public humiliation.

Though it is a good thing to show up with a brave face, it is not the right thing to do if you are not okay with it; if you are at peace, then kudos to you.

In present times, it is a trend to take everything with a pinch of salt. Though it is a fairly good idea to not blindly trust someone, it is not how relationships work. Trust is essential in maintaining a relationship

Have We Normalized Cheating In Modern Relationships© Thinkstock/Getty Images

Often, cheating shows the lacunae in a relationship.

Wake up and smell the coffee; not talking about it will get you nowhere, nor will getting angry.

Instead, talk about it. Ignoring the cheating or the person will only add to your misery.

Beautiful Liar

Some people argue that they gave in to the moment. While it is natural for humans to err, it is completely wrong to blame the lack of strength on circumstances. People do fall prey to temptations, but how strong is your love if you can't handle a little pressure? If you are feeling something for a different person than your partner, it is time you take a hard look at yourself and your relationship.

People fall out of love. Somewhere down the line, you might want to go in a different direction than your partner. Cheating might seem like the easy way out. 

Face yourself, and do well to the person you will end up hurting, someone whom you love or loved. Cheating on a partner, for a few moments of pleasure, will serve no purpose.

Cheating is not only sleeping with someone else and there are various ways in which you can cheat and you wouldn't even be aware of it. Emotional cheating is as damning as its physical counterpart. Communication is the key to solve this.

So, is cheating an indicator that there is something terribly wrong in your relationship? Maybe.

Some move on, some stay in the relationship just for the sake of it and to show the world that all is okay. Thus, cheating gets to be trivialized like any other part of a relationship.

If you can find it in yourself to forgive a person who has broken your trust, it's a good thing. Forgiveness is a virtue only some people possess but make sure that this cheating is not a behavioral pattern in them You don't need to demonize cheating but it also can't be normalized like taking a stroll through the park, because at the end of the day, it is wrong, no matter how hard you try to look the other way or make yourself believe that.

If you believe that because you can't see it, it isn't happening, you are making a fool out of yourself.

People are willing to condone cheating just because the relationship feels good. The truth is not so great. Feeling good doesn't mean it is good. Do not take the easy way out.

If you forgive a person, it means completely forgiving them. You can't keep the instance as a weapon in your arsenal, ready to fling it every time some problem comes up. You are not to bring it up ever again if you have truly forgiven the person. A passive aggressive attitude won't work: like if you have to buy groceries and your partner is not up to it, you shouldn't blackmail them, “Remember the time you cheated on me?  Yeah, so go get the groceries.” (Sounds fun though, doesn't it? :P )

If you want to be petty after forgiving someone, you are not being true to yourself.

Let it go.

Forgiving a person who cheated and giving a cheater a second chance are completely different things.

Though these events may seem interdependent, they are not. Know the difference: it may seem like a minor thing, but it is more complicated than you can imagine.

Nearly everyone I know or have asked about their opinion on cheating has the same answer: Cheating is NOT normal.

Think carefully, because in the end, it is only you who will decide what is best for you.

Photo: © Thinkstock/Getty Images (Main Image)

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