December 29, 2016—I was on my way to JFK excited AF to go back home for the holidays! But the never-ending traffic in Manhattan and the treacherously long wait was really raining down on my thunder. Bored out of my wits in my Uber, I did what any normal millennial would do – whipped out my phone and got on Tinder to see the pool of dapper young men I was leaving behind in Manhattan.
I’m swiping and I’m swiping, almost on the verge of getting a carpal tunnel when BOOM! Appears this olive skinned, hedge-fundy looking guy on my screen. You know that unsettling feeling when you see someone and you feel like you have seen them before but cannot really place them? Picture 1….cant remember you but I feel like I know you…..Picture 2…..ugh, where have I seen you before….Picture…..OMFG! This is Raj! Simran’s husband! (If you are a 90s kid, I don’t have to put out a disclaimer to inform you that those names are made up).
I know what you are thinking “That rat bastard! I hope you told your friend about him and she divorced the fucktard.”
My knee jerk reaction was EXACTLY that. My blood started to boil thinking about this sacrilegious act of infidelity. Wait till I screenshot this and send it to your wife, you double timing assface!
But…I did not do that. Yes, the most OBVIOUS attribution I can make of Raj being on Tinder is that he is cheating on Simran. But could Raj have other reasons? I humored the devil’s advocate in me and came out with five alternate reasons for Raj’s Tinder transgression.
1. Avoid FOMO. Trying it out for S’n’Gs!
Maybe Raj got hitched to Simran in the pre-Tinder days. And now Raj is going through some serious FOMO amidst his other single male friends who keep raving about this new app that gives them an endless supply of (mostly) desirable young women. Maybe Raj wanted to check out Tinder the same way I wanted to check out Pokemon Go. You know, get in there – catch some Pikachus – and then get out (okay, that came out real sexist for equating women to Pikachus, but you get the drift, right?).
2. Right swiping = checking out a hot Mamacitaa on the streets
Would you really call it cheating if you caught Raj staring at a girl with huge knockers or oogling at a curvaceous badonkadonk on the subway just for a second? I mean for God’s sake even Chandler from Friends did it and he was a pretty darn good husband to Monica. Just because he is swiping left and right does not mean he is going to act on it, right? It’s what us desis call NSP (nayan sukh praapti, aka, elixir for the eyes).
3. Getting right swiped makes Raj feel good about himself
When you are in a stable relationship like Raj, you have moved into something called companionate love and slowly moved away from passionate love. What it means is that your partner shows her love for you in a “Babe, I made dinner and took the trash out” responsibility type-o way rather than “Babe, you rock my world, you’re the best thing that ever happened to me” mad-love type-o way.
In this seemingly banal relationship, a right swipe from a complete stranger can give you the same feeling as that guy in the Axe commercial who has girls drooling and fainting all over him as he walks down the road. You straight-up feel like a BADASS HOMBRE, son!
4. This is Raj and Simran’s version of a digital threesome
I was reading Aziz Ansari’s book titled Modern Romance where he discusses this idea of “Monogamy, Monogamish,” that according to some eminent evolutionary psychologists and biological anthropologists men and women are not wired to be monogamous. We are genetically wired to have multiple partners but societally conditioned to have just one.
People have figured out innovative ways, such as having ménage e trois and open marriages, to balance this dialectic tension. Maybe Raj’s presence on Tinder is his attempt to get in on this gray area of monogamish-ness. Maybe it’s a consensual decision between him and Simran where she has allowed him to be digitally promiscuous while being organically exclusive to her.
5. Or he could just be a lying low-life scumbag who is ACTUALLY cheating on his wife.
In that case, you best believe imma tattle-tail the fuck out of his cheating ass.
Aditi Paul is an assistant professor of Communication Studies at Pace University. She tries to find out how strangers become friends and lovers with people they meet online, all in the name of academic research. When she is not professing, you will find her pretending to be a singer and a guitar player on SoundCloud.