In relationships, we should be woke to the fact that a certain ship has already sailed before we even know it. Living in 2020 when the world is fighting a deadly virus. We all know of a deadlier virus called infidelity. COVID-19 has multiple names, and so does infidelity; some people call it cheating, fraud, treachery, while others call it a ‘mistake’, and to top it all, some even deny it.
Like a wise woman once said, “It doesn’t matter if you’re smart, you can still get hurt” even the smartest people out there have experienced heartbreak or worse, infidelity. While many self-acclaimed relationship counsellors or simply people in our social circle warn us about so-called red flags, the ‘rose-tinted’ glasses hardly ever catch the flea in the pudding!
While many hopeless romantics argue that all the rosy romance kept aside, one should be able to spot the red flags in a relationship, there is more to it. Ever heard of the famous quote, “If life gives you lemons, make lemonade” ?
Love, Lust and Lemons- The book
Relationship writer and coach Shahzeen Shivdasani has penned down a go-to guide for relationships, dating, and everything in between, her book: Love, Lust, and Lemons. In the fifty-two chapter book, there are numerous relationship related issues that the author has touched upon. The book is certainly not an account of an angry, heartbroken ex-girlfriend, but a very mature and suave guide that assures the reader, “You are not alone”.
The book conveys that in life, the universe will give you lemons, but it is for you to make sure that you don’t lose yourself amidst the rollercoaster. She writes, “The only thing that you ever needed was… yourself.” Self love all the way, readers!
Here’s where you can find the book Love, Lust and Lemons by Shahzeen Shivdasani click here
Research on infidelity
The Institute of Family Studies explains: If someone cheats on their partner in one relationship, what are the odds they will do so in another relationship? That’s the question addressed in a new study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior,1 titled “Once a Cheater, Always a Cheater? Serial Infidelity Across Subsequent Relationships.” The researchers found that those who were unfaithful in one relationship had three times the odds of being unfaithful in the next relationship, compared to those who had not been unfaithful in the first one.
How do you define ‘Cheating’ ?
For many people, cheating or infidelity is synonymous to having ilicit physical relations with someone outside the relationship. Speaking to The Wonk, Kyra, from New Delhi, asks what it is “when someone keeps you in the loop and assures you that you’re the only person in their life? That you are the first person whom s/he speaks to in the morning and the last person before falling asleep” called?
Cheating begins when a person keeps you in the dark and spins you around a false narrative, where the storyteller often uses techniques and words that will assure the listener. The filthier part is when mind games are played and make-believe proofs are used.
Shahzeen Shivdasani defines “The Casanova Blindfold”
Coming back to the red flags, Shahzeen Shivdasani has coined a term called “The Casanova blindfold.” In the chapter titled “Is the guy you are seeing already taken?” Shahzeen writes, “It isn’t your fault, and you won’t see it coming.” She defines the Casanova blindfold as: “He will charm you and make you think he is available for dating; yet, he will have ample reasons as to why he can’t date you right now. You are blindfolded by the mystery and attention without realising that you are simply falling prey to the average Casanova.”
Speaking to The Wonk, Shahzeen Shivdasani said, ” Some of the red flags that one can steer clear of are restricted timing, house visits, and if he’s out of touch for a while, doesn’t spend the night with unanswered phone calls. There are some other signs that indicate that your partner might be seeing someone else which are already mentioned in the book. The book explains what the casanova blindfold is and some points which should ring alarms in your head.”
Recognising the signs
Another point which Shahzeen pointed out was, “If s/he is getting continuous phone calls and he doesn’t answer them in front of you or has to go outside to answer and has to immediately leave all of a sudden, that is the tell-all that s/he is answerable to somebody else. Although we’ve seen this in movies, the alarm doesn’t go off in our head because we are so enamoured by the fact that we’re with someone and getting all the attention.”
“It is important to pay attention to these signs and also the ones I have mentioned in my book in order to avoid getting blindfolded, generally by anyone. Especially as women, we get so carried away with the butterflies that we don’t pay attention to a) How much this person is delivering to us and b) how much do we really know this person to be trusting them with our heart,” she added.
My end note
Of course, at a time when you are in a relationship, you wouldn’t doubt your partner. You might have ticked off the doubts in your mental checklist and certified her/him as a faithful partner. One should know the difference between being Sherlock and simply being cautious in a relationship. You have the right to protect yourself.
Remember when Samatha Jones said:
Yes, your first relationship is with yourself, don’t trade or compromise on that one for anybody or anything. Making adjustments in life is crucial but you should set a limit to that.
When you finally wake up to the reality of a cheating partner or the truckloads of deceit where you were rummaging for a true bond and love, you will go through phases and then finally realise that ‘Karma’ takes its own course and you should rest assured that what goes around, definitely comes around stronger!
By Kunjan Ahluwalia