The Lure of Vicarious Dating for Committed Couples

Love and Sex

The Lure of Vicarious Dating for Committed Couples

Illustration: Akshita Monga


ive years ago, I stumbled headfirst into the longest relationship I’ve ever had. It was an eye-opening experience. On the cusp of my twenties, after going through the usual teenage grind of school crushes and college girlfriends, I ended up with a person that I could actually see a future with. But this isn’t a sappy love story about how I found “The One”. In fact, it’s the opposite. It’s about how finding “The One” made me a stranger to the love lives of my friends.

Here’s the thing: healthy, long-term, committed relationships come with many benefits like backrubs and care packages, but the one area in which they’re sorely lacking is novelty. As the heady rush of your first few weeks together settles into a stable holding pattern, the uneventfulness of it all adds up. You realise that you’re out of the dating pool for the foreseeable future, and that’s when you begin what I now like to call “vicarious dating.”