With several people under home quarantine, the internet is full of funny videos, memes and posts detailing how everyone is coping with the Covid-19 lockdown. As a consequence, everything is online — work, entertainment and believe it or not even adultery.
No one ever really pays regard to the commandment ‘thou shalt not commit adultery’, but one has to admire (read: disgust) at the commitment that virtual cheating entails. According to Gleeden, an extramarital dating app (yes, those exist), subscriptions to their app have increased over 70 per cent recently.
Cheating during crises
Everyone knows that relationships are not perfect. We all have read the innumerable pieces on ‘relationship during corona’, ‘love in the times of corona’ etc. — even Gabriel Garcia Marquez must be sick of the many renditions of his famous novel title.
The bottom line is that monogamous relationships are hard even without a pandemic looming over your head.
Those who can’t even attempt to be faithful to their partners in the face of a deadly disease need to introspect and also evaluate the nature of their relationship.
Cheating in the times of a crisis is not as simple as ‘oops I made a mistake, I’m sorry’, it’s more in terms of ‘I know we’re probably going to die but even then I don’t have the decency of remaining faithful to this relationship’.
Blurred lines in cheating
We all have had partners who have given excuses for such proclivities — ‘oh it’s a part of my job’, ‘oh, she’s just a colleague’ and my personal favourite — ‘don’t you trust me’. But when it comes to this sort of virtual cheating, many don’t even engage in these justifications. They just refuse to term it as cheating.
A cursory look at sites offering relationship and dating advice throws up this one question, which is asked multiple times — “is it really cheating if I’m not having sex with the person?” While sex is an important part of any relationship, and sex with someone else is the traditional definition of cheating, internet has opened up so many more avenues of adultery.
From porn to dating sites meant exclusively for extra-marital affairs, the lines of what entails cheating have been blurry for a while now. Additionally, if one is signing up to an app, which particularly offers extra-marital dating, there is not much room for an argument.
Infidelity over deadly virus
It’s also not fair to reduce this just to boredom, or the vast retinue of wife jokes floating around the internet. This is not to say that only men cheat, but in most countries men have access to most of the resources required to cheat on their partners, even during a lockdown.
While discussing partners who cheat, one of my friends said something that fits this situation perfectly — “Cheating waits for no one”, clearly not even a possible end-of-world virus.
Just a word of advice for those rushing to these apps during the lockdown — have the dignity to step out of the relationship —because if you’re kicked to the curb, there is nowhere to go.
Views are personal.