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I decided to break out of the box life had put me in. At least in my personal life, where I was feeling the most letdown, where I was not an equal opportunity player. I had been reading about Gleeden , a dating app for married people. Like everyone else who has been married for long and swapped the sheen of romance for the disquiet of domesticity, I was terribly curious.
I took the plunge. I created a fake account on Gleeden and logged in.
While a lot has been said about modern-day dating apps, where women often accuse men of only wanting to jump into bed with them, one of the first things I realised was that sex was not the only thing on offer. It was just one of the things. They too were looking for amicable companionship. Sex was a byproduct, if things went beyond the confines of the app.
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The protocol was simple. If we connected and felt that the other was not a freak, we moved to another chat interface, outside the app. This is because a dating app, which invariably has more men than women, can be distracting for a woman user. You are bombarded with messages every mini-second.
If a conversation is going well, you want to take it away from all that. Just easy, breezy flirting, on an anonymous chat window. Mind you, not WhatsApp. That is considered the next level. Then I began to look forward to pillow talk.
It is like the exhilarating rush of a first crush. Something that was completely absent in the customary two-minute conversations with my spouse about lunch, what the kid did in school, how we had to finish our pending errands over the weekend and other such exhilarating themes. As I got hooked to the app, over a year, I met a total of eight, whom I call good men, in person, over drinks and dinner. This happened only after our comfort levels with each other had grown. At such meetings at a pub or a restaurant, our conversations veered towards morality, marriage and the mundane.
They told me of other women they had met through the app. Housewives, head honchos of corporate houses, entrepreneurs, marathon runners, et al. They were all using Gleeden. As I listened, the reality began to dawn on me. How a couple in a marriage — through years of love, conflict, comfort, raising children and wanting different things from life — begin to stop seeing each other.
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This, I realised, was normal and happened to everyone. Many refuse to acknowledge it because we are raised to believe in the happily ever after. It was like looking at a mirror of sorts. What the men were complaining of their wives, maybe I was doing the same to my spouse? Maybe he was lonelier in our marriage but had found a different way to cope with it, by drowning himself in work? Eventually, I did get involved with someone, taking it beyond just dinner and drinks. I call him my FILF.
We try to keep it simple. Be an emotional anchor to each other. Offer sex to each other when we can. But after a decade of being married I know that the fundamental problems between my husband and I will never fade.
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Instead of fretting over it, I have chosen to accept the imperfectness of it all. In return, I have decided to keep the count of happiness for myself constant.
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Ashley Madison was among the first affair dating sites and apps. Heated Affairs has a massive user base, a free basic membership, and a mobile-friendly version of the site — just to name a few of its pros.
gleeden: How a dating app is saving my marriage - The Economic Times
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