Many men and women in happy relationships choose to have parallel friendships on the social media. They find it exciting and fairly harmless to have virtual friends along with feeling secure and faithful in their relationships. But are they really committed to their relationship? Are the chats harmless banter that would not hurt and dent their relationship?
Bored housewives, happily partnered men, addicted to this side-line activity vociferously disagree and protest that chats lack eye to eye contact, physical chemistry and one on one interaction, so are only idle flirtations that invigorate them and keep them excited.
How does a partnership address this? If the relationship is long distance and conducted on chats, can one accept that not being physically present negates the aspect of infidelity? A relationship is also about the mind and intellect. Living together, or a physical relationship may not be as all-encompassing as when it is a relationship preoccupying the emotional space.
My take is that if you say you are in love with a person, all these so called harmless involvements are deceit and infidelity. They often end up hurting the other person and a painful breakdown of trust which is the bedrock of a committed partnership.
A long distance relationship, since it is faraway and intangible, can lull you into denial that this could ever fructify into anything. You placate your partner who may find out by saying it is ‘harmless’ and means nothing. Because in your mind you really believe that the lack of any physical interaction is a kind of a disclaimer. And then sometimes there is such a synchronisation of ideas that it can even surpass the need to be physically present.
Another interesting aspect that comes up is in this kind of flirtation, women are going much the way as men. The relative anonymity, secretive nature, and equal leaning for a stimulating thrill to perk a relationship and the safety of distance make it feel less wrong. But these can break a partner’s trust and cause upheavals in happy families, leaving the culprit with a life long regret. Thus, chats and internet romances are things one needs to get into after much forethought and some foresight of the impending consequences.
Some partners do ride the tidal waves with understanding and love. While some can forgive or forget, some have the tenacity to let the phase go its way with a laugh, for others it can be a deal breaker.
When you declare love for a partner, it has to be exclusive in thought, word and deed. And most often, in matters of love and romance the heart and mind do not even incline to another. Keeping it that way requires maturity and a value for the good thing you have going. Best is to nip the curiosity or inclination towards even a harmless first step. Think gratitude and weigh all the pros of what you have. Furtive activities are already a breach!
Breach of trust, even if it is not in act, so to say, is a breach of trust in mind.
The writer is a columnist, designer and brand consultant. Mail her at email@example.com