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Is Cheating Cool? Unpacking Infidelity in Indian Relationships

India, land of spices, saris, and...secret affairs? Contrary to the country's traditional "til death do us part" vibe, cheating is on the rise, especially among the young and restless. It seems the old adage "variety is the spice of life" is taking on a whole new meaning! But is cheating really the new cool?

Recent surveys have revealed a surprising trend: infidelity is on the rise in India, particularly among younger generations. This shift has sparked intense debate and scrutiny, with many questioning whether the traditional emphasis on monogamy and marital fidelity is still relevant.

Flowers in Relationships Decaying
Flowers in Relationships Decaying

Some point to women's increasing independence and empowerment, while others cite the growing influence of Western cultural values and the rise of dating apps and social media. Or are we just swiping left on commitment? As India continues to navigate this cultural shift, one thing's for sure - the conversation around infidelity is about to get a whole lot more interesting!"

Some Surprising Statistics:

A recent survey by Gleeden, an extramarital dating app in India, sheds light on the startling prevalence of infidelity among married Indians.

The survey polled 1,525 married individuals between 25 and 50 years old, spanning eight major cities - Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata, and Ahmedabad. According to their findings, around 55% of married Indians have been unfaithful to their partners at least once, with women accounting for 56% of these cases. This statistic challenges the traditional narrative that men are more likely to cheat, highlighting a shift in the dynamics of infidelity.

Interestingly, the survey also reveals that 48% of Indians believe it is possible to be in love with two people simultaneously, and 46% think one can cheat on a person while still being in love with them. This belief might explain why a significant portion of Indians are willing to forgive their partners for infidelity. While 7% would forgive without a second thought, 40% would do so if the circumstances were extenuating. Moreover, 69% of individuals expect to be forgiven by their partners for their own infidelities.

The Emotional Impact of Cheating:

Cheating is not just a breach of trust; it carries profound emotional repercussions. For the person who strays, feelings of guilt, shame, and anxiety about the affair being discovered are common. On the other hand, the betrayed partner often endures a rollercoaster of emotions, including anger, sadness, and depression. The emotional toll can be long-lasting, sometimes requiring professional intervention to heal.

The aftermath? A long-lasting emotional hangover can make it tough to trust others, form new connections, and even find joy in life's experiences. It's like trying to put together a puzzle with missing pieces - except the puzzle is your heart, and the pieces are your dignity and sense of self-worth.

The psychological impact on the betrayed partner is significant, often resulting in a severe blow to self-esteem and self-worth. They may question their desirability and why their partner sought intimacy elsewhere. This emotional scarring can affect future relationships and overall well-being.

Cultural Attitudes Towards Infidelity in India

In India, adultery has historically been seen through the lens of cultural and personal laws, categorizing it as a moral transgression rather than a legal offence. This perspective has ingrained societal norms that harshly condemn infidelity, viewing it as a violation of marital vows and a personal shortcoming. However, contemporary legal reforms and shifting societal values are challenging these traditional views.

Today, the private dynamics of relationships are evolving with changing notions of love, fidelity, and monogamy. The concept of "emotional monogamy" is being re-examined, with some individuals exploring the idea of loving multiple people simultaneously. This evolving mindset reflects a complex interplay between enduring traditional values and emerging modern relationship paradigms.

Despite strong societal disapproval of infidelity, there is a growing acceptance of non-traditional relationships and new forms of intimacy. This contrast underscores the tension between long-held cultural norms and modern aspirations for relationships.

As India navigates this cultural transition, it raises significant questions about the future of relationships, love, and fidelity. Will traditional values continue to shape contemporary attitudes towards infidelity, or will modern relationship dynamics redefine love and monogamy? Only time will reveal the outcome.


Infidelity, the ultimate relationship buzzkill, is a complex issue in India shaped by evolving societal norms and personal beliefs. Despite being more prevalent than traditionally acknowledged, its emotional and psychological impacts are profound and far-reaching.

This relationship bombshell leaves a trail of emotional devastation in its wake. The betrayed partner experiences a rollercoaster of emotions - anger, sadness, and a significant blow to their self-esteem. They may wonder if they're worthy of love and why their partner sought intimacy elsewhere, leading to deep emotional scars.

The cheating spouse struggles with guilt, shame, and anxiety, adding layers of complexity to the emotional fallout. Understanding and addressing these dynamics are crucial for fostering healthier and more respectful relationships. Open communication, mutual respect, and trust can help couples navigate the challenges of modern relationships.

Therapy and counseling can also be pivotal in healing and rebuilding trust. Cheating is not "cool", as the excitement or thrill is often overshadowed by the emotional devastation it causes. While societal norms may shift towards accepting non-traditional relationships, it doesn't mitigate the potential harm caused by deceit and betrayal. By promoting open communication and trust, we can navigate the complexities of modern relationships with greater integrity and empathy.

Honest dialogues about desires, boundaries, and expectations can prevent misunderstandings and foster a deeper connection between partners. Transparency and mutual respect are even more essential in a society where love and fidelity evolve. Infidelity might be common, but it brings significant emotional and psychological consequences that challenge the notion of it being "cool." By striving for honesty and understanding in our relationships, we can create a more respectful and empathetic environment, leading to healthier and more fulfilling connections.


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