Is flirting cheating?
DEIDRE SAYS: If you’re in a relationship and witness – or hear that – your partner has been flirting with someone else, it can be very painful and make you feel jealous or insecure.
It’s tricky to define exactly what flirting is.
Individual people flirt in different ways – and what some people call flirting, others see as normal friendliness or interest.
In general, it’s behaving as though you’re sexually attracted to someone, in a playful way.
Flirting can include:
- Making prolonged eye contact
- Throwing brief glances in someone’s direction, then looking away
- Fiddling with your hair, clothes or glasses
- Being tactile e.g. brushing against you, touching your arm while talking, or playing footsie under the table
- Smiling a lot
- Giving you lots of compliments, teasing you or making suggestive remarks
- Sending texts or messages that are over-familiar
WHEN IS FLIRTING A PROBLEM?
Flirting can be a benign behaviour that isn’t intended to lead anywhere. Or it could be a form of seduction that is intended to lead to an affair.
Some people are naturally flirtatious, flirting with everybody, without meaning anything.
Curiously, not everyone notices that they’re being flirted with. They may mistake flirting for friendliness – or vice versa.
It becomes a problem when it upsets you, generally because you believe your partner has intentions to be unfaithful.
Maybe they’ve cheated before. Or maybe you’re having problems in your relationship and you’re worried they’re looking for a way out.
If your partner flirts in front of you, it can feel like they’re being disrespectful, or that they’re more interested in another person than in you.
HOW TO DEAL WITH A FLIRTATIOUS PARTNER:
Talk to your partner and tell them how you feel. You can ask them to tone down their behaviour.
If things don’t improve you might need to get some professional relationship counselling from an organisation such as Relate.
My support packs on Cheating – can you get over it? and Looking after your relationship could help.
Whatever your worry, you’re not alone. The Dear Deidre team will be able to recommend your best next steps to help get your life back on track.
For a support pack and personalised advice, email us at email@example.com or for a prompt response, message us on Facebook.
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