While knowing your partner’s Facebook/e-mail passwords has become quite an acceptable trend — almost a symbolic and significant process of the dating game, did you ever think that this sort-of-online-spying on your partner could translate to being qualified as a wedding vow too? Well, according to the study of 1,200 Australians by InsuranceLine, couples also believe a vow to avoid flirting online should be a matrimonial promise alongside the more traditional ‘to love, honour and cherish.’ The spokesman John Hoyle said that the results provided a good insight into the types of vows relevant to couples today.
And while online flirting is sneakily passed on as a ‘healthy bargain’ most of the times, psychiatrist Hemant Mittal insists that it is not as harmless as it is assumed to be. “Online flirting has evolved as a very important psychological way of connecting with a person these days. And hence making it a wedding vow to not flirt online only makes sense,” emphasises Hemant as he gives us an insight into the phenomenon. “The very fact that ‘it’ comes with a harmless tag is what makes online flirting so dangerous for a relationship. And it doesn’t just restrict to Facebooking or emailing... it even includes the mobiles and messenger services.”
Preeti Mann, 27, an advertising professional, says that she made her boyfriend (now husband) swear to not flirt online, before they tied the knot. “It’s one of the most pertinent rules for me. I see people around in office flirting and cheating on their partners...it’s scary,” she says. However, Aarti Chand, 33, who has been married for seven years now, shuns the idea saying, “You cannot make someone swear to not flirt. It all percolates to mental cheating.”
Most people are using the idea of online flirting for emotional cheating. “And while you are physically and emotionally involved with your partner, you are nurturing a mental relationship with someone else,” adds Hemant, warning that this emotional cheating is what spirals into physical cheating and is highly detrimental for your relationship. And while it is dismissed as healthy and necessary, the brain begins to create ideas and fantasies about this person and compare him/her with your partner — slowly creating a rift in the relationship. Therefore, before you indulge in any ‘harmles flirting’ online, do count the risks it beholds.