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Thursday, June 10, 2010

It's Not Cheating If...

... it's for practice.

Probably one of the funnier responses to a trending hashtag on twitter recently, followed by "it's your mother" and "we're on a 'break'... ".

Of late I have had several discussions and conversations about infidelity. It seems that it is the latest trend that is doing the rounds in all circles, both the friends and the famous. I am hardly the person to come to for juicy gossip; everyone knows I have little or no interest in other people's dramas, at least not enough to spread the word. However, this tight-lipped-ness is also a magnet for all those people that have stumbled onto a secret and are not allowed to tell another living soul. Apparently, I am either not living, or without a soul.

While filtering through all the 'goss' that comes to me (which I dutifully keep to myself, of course) I notice that I don't have to look to Hollywood or the tabloids for scandal. I hear of bizarre hook-ups, between best friends and ex's of siblings; I hear of cheating on spouses and lovers; I hear of drunken one-night stands and year long secret relationships. In short, life has become the set of "The Bold and The Beautiful".

I have often been called judgemental, so I try to be as open-minded to these things as possible. Having never been in such a situation, perhaps I do not get the thinking and the reasoning behind it. 'Angel' wrote a few interesting posts on the topic, but I'm not really trying to 'define' what cheating is, but rather the thinking behind it.

Take for example, dating an ex of your best friend or sibling. While men stick to the unwritten rule of "bro's before ho's" whenever possible, clearly someone forgot to create a witty saying regarding the bro's leftovers. I think there are some lines that just shouldn't be crossed, and if they are then you're either in the most understanding of relationships or in an episode of One Tree Hill. Same goes for best friends; I mean, how do you go out with someone knowing that your best friend has already - err - gone out with her? That's just not something you can male-bond over. As for women, well, you're going to have the "who's the ugly sister?" looping in your head throughout the relationship.

Infidelity in marriage is nothing new these days, infact it's almost yawn-inducing. It's come to the point where I am sure people get married just so that they can get involved in some steamy scandal ala the silver screen. "Marriage? You want me to get married Ammi? YES! FINALLY! No more conservative living, time to get my freak on...!"

In this strange world of infidelity, the one-night stand is probably one of the more forgivable, especially if there is alcohol involved.

"I wasn't in my senses baby", he says, tears streaming down his face, "I just had too much to drink at the strip club, and I thought I was in a Snoop video."

Why anyone would want to let that slide is beyond me; in my opinion you're just encouraging it in the future then. However, I'm not quite sure about that one though, so please, don't go experimenting based on anythin I say here!

Bottom line: I'm just a bit saddened that it's so hard to find completely faithful couples these days. There was a time when perhaps holding another girl a bit too closely would be equivalent to 'cheating', but nowadays people don't just cross the line, they run all the way to the end zone.


Scrumps said...

You know, I think that infidelity is more rife in countries where it is more likely to be frowned upon (I have no statistics to prove this - just my thoughts!) so the more conservative countries in the Eastern part of the world.

I agree with you on the scenarios you've placed - you just don't date someone who your brother/sister/friend/mum has dated - it's wrong (IMO) but I don't see that trend in my generation of people I know.

PseudoRandom said...

You have "little or no interest in other people's dramas"?! Riiiiight. :P

I don't really believe in the 'bros before hos' code. Most of the time it appears to be just an excuse to get out of a potentially embarrassing situation ("oh I didn't ask her out 'cos I know you like her, not 'cos I knew she'd reject me, no sir") or as a way to hide disappointment ("I'm angry with you 'cos you broke the bro code, not 'cos I'm jealous that she likes you more than me"). All these unwritten rules are a way of pacifying the male ego. And if the fact that she went out with your best friend is too much to handle, then you're obviously not as into her as you think.

As for infidelity, I don't know if it's any worse than it has been in the past - I think we just hear about it more often now.

T said...

I think every situation is relative and subjective and you can't really talk about it unless you're in it. People have their reasons, some weak, some extremely valid, so who's to say really.

I'm not a proponent of infidelity but humans aren't a monogamous species; religious and social construct just insisted we be that way :)

PP said...

have to agree with PR. i'm not sure it happens more now. i think we just hear of it more.

Gehan said...

@scrumps - interesting theory.. :)

@PR - very interesting theory! :P however, since ur not a 'bro' i dont think u would know about the bro code :P i have seen it in place many times, and i think its sad that women dont recognise the few times men actually dont act like jerks! the male ego, while in need of constant pacification, can be over-ruled once in a while when it comes to messing up the dynamic with another friend. i am sure women do it too; would u date someone that broke ur best friends heart?

@T - i agree, every situation is relative and subjective, which is why i said in the beginning that my main idea was to understand the thinking behind it. however, that argument pretty much makes any action excusable, and where do we draw the line? yes, social and religious construct play a major part towards monogamous relationships, but perhaps they were put there for a reason. thats another discussion though, lets have that one over coffee :P

@PP - again, i agree, perhaps we do hear about it more before, but i also feel by hearing it so often we have come to think it is 'acceptable', which in turn leads to it being more of an option than it was before.

PP said...

i don't know about this bro code thing. i've heard it among girls also, and i would think about dating a friend's ex, but that's my blanket statement of the day.

i think if two people broke up mutually, without either party being the "bad guy" so to speak, then it doesn't really matter if the ex is a friend no?

i don't know about this cheating business. if you leave the moral/ethical issues aside, i would find it simply exhausting emotionally.

PseudoRandom said...

"since ur not a 'bro' i dont think u would know about the bro code :P"

SERIOUSLY?! Ever heard of the word 'observation'? I suppose me not being a 'bro' is only an issue because I disagree with your precious code? *rolls eyes*

I don't doubt that there are some guys who sincerely abide by the code, but I've never seen it with my own eyes. I have, however, witnessed the cover-ups I described in my previous comment.

As for whether I'd go out with a guy who broke my best friend's heart...no I wouldn't. But that's 'cos a guy who breaks my best friend's heart is an asshole. If the break up was a mutual decision because they realised they were incompatible, that's a different story (and I just noticed PP's said something similar). Each situation must be taken on its own merits, and yeah in some cases, the guy would be 'off-limits'...but I think it's daft to set boundaries at the outset; it's difficult enough to find partners as it is (and that's something I do know a thing or two about :P ).

Gehan said...

@PP - theres nothing wrong with thinking about it, i spose its just the circumstances and how we go about it that matters. yes, in a mutual breakup where there is no 'bad guy', then it could happen, but the friend would expect u to at least mention it to her before acting on it, don't u think?

yes, agreed, even without the moral and ethical issues, cheating must unbearably stressful.

@PR - err..

i have no issue with u not being a 'bro', i was jus kind of stating the obvious :)

i think its a bit presumptuous to assume ur outside observations into men and their thinking are so accurate. how for example do u distinguish between a guy that is acting on the 'bro code' and a guy who is 'too scared of rejection and hence covering his ass'? because both would pretty much look the same on the outside wouldn't it? both would result in non-action. unless they came and told u that, which would make him a rather weird boy.

a guy that breaks ur friends heart is not necessarily an asshole, just like how a girl that breaks a guys heart is not a heartless bitch. again, u with ur assumptions :) best friends can be wrong.

there is no blanket no-fly-zone in place about dating a friends ex, but like i told PP, i think its understood that u have to in some fashion clear it with the friend first before acting on it. this doesnt mean asking for permission, it just means a courteous 'heads-up'.

oh i forgot..
*rolls eyes* :P

PseudoRandom said...

I suppose it's as presumptuous for me to assume that my observations are right because they're objective as it is for you to assume that my observations are wrong because they're not subjective.

As for how I distinguish between the two...it's by relating their behaviour to their personality, and putting their 'non-action' in context.

I think a guy that intentionally breaks a girl's heart is an asshole, same way a girl that intentionally breaks a guy's heart is a heartless bitch. They might be lovely people, but in terms of relationship-material, I would stay away. Without the intention, I wouldn't call it 'breaking a heart'. Matter of definition perhaps, but that's how I see it.

So wait, you've gone from saying that there are "some lines that just shouldn't be crossed" to saying that it might be ok as long as your friend is aware of the situation? Hmm. But yeah I agree that there should be a courteous heads-up.

Gehan said...

@PR - yes, i did say 'some lines', and i mean some lines. i was talking about dating a best friend's or sibling's ex as if they were any other girl/guy, which clearly they are not. the courteous 'heads-up' only comes into play when for watever reason, you feel that this person may actually be a fantastic gf/bf for you, rather than 'just' dating her/him a few times.

it's by relating their behaviour to their personality, and putting their 'non-action' in context - that's just a scientific way of saying 'you assume'. i think if you asked anyone thats been in a serious relationship, they'll agree with me when i say logic from a third person's view does not count for much when it comes to other people's decision making abilities in a relationship. :)

T said...

I think u guys are giving men far too much credit. I hate to enforce a stereotype, but in my experience, men do call upon the bros before hos rule a lot, if only just to eliminate drama. Most men I know have a very low tolerance for drama. I wish women were the same. Maybe I have no moral/ethical ground to stand on, but personally I think it's just good to courtesy to fish outside the communal pond. Not only does it make everyone's life a lot easier, but, at the danger of sounding like a bleeding heart, it really does preserve the sanctity of a friendship.

Angel said...

Hmmm... thanks for the mensh... I think.

I do agree with your sentiments, in a round about way, but yes it is sad. On the other hand, I find it hard to believe that people are waiting to dive into the - um - can of worms.

Sometimes the can just explodes and you're stuck trying to explain how you have worms all over you.

Gehan said...

@angel - ur welcome, n why so tentative? :)

and yes, its definitely not an all-encompassing rule.. sometimes things just 'happen'..

Angel said...

I have no idea why, Gehan... put it down to the worms :)

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