When Flirting Becomes Cheating
Couples have varying degrees of comfort with flirting. The playful bantering among friends that one couple finds amusing is uncomfortable and threatening to another couple. That’s why it’s important to talk to your partner and agree upon boundaries acceptable to you both. And if either partner violates a promise or commitment you’ve made to the other, then you have a problem regardless.
It’s obvious that flirting motivated by romantic or sexual desires crosses the line into infidelity. But that’s not usually the way it begins. Often, flirting begins innocently and progresses, blurring the line between harmless fun and inappropriate behavior. That said, here are four ‘not so obvious’ signs that flirting has gone too far.
When You Think About Flirting With the Same Person
Let’s face it, flirting is fun and can make us feel good. But daydreaming, reminiscing, and looking forward to playful flirtations with one person is a sign that more is developing. Ask yourself this question, “Do you often catch yourself thinking about your flirtatious friend when they’re not near you?” If you answer, “Yes”, it’s time to reevaluate your friendship.
When You Keep Your Flirtatious Behaviors Secret
If the flirting is kept a secret from your partner, family, friends, and co-workers, ask yourself why? Not telling your sensitive partner about the hunky UPS person you flirt with is one thing. But when you’re uncomfortable telling your best friend about your flirting, you’ve probably crossed the line.
When You Feel Guilt-Ridden
Would your partner feel betrayed if they could read your mind and experience your feelings when you are flirting with your friend? Are you guilt-ridden after flirting because you enjoyed it so much? If so, perhaps your friendship is bordering on inappropriate and it’s time to stop now.
When You Share Emotional Intimacy
We all need the love, acceptance and appreciation of another person. And when these intimacy needs are not met, we are lonely, regardless of our relationship status. Loneliness is your heart craving for intimacy and connection but having not having anyone willing to connect. This can certainly occur when we are single and alone, but it also occurs in relationships where one or both partners are emotionally unavailable.
Friendly bantering and flirting can get us to open up and share more of our thoughts and emotions. What starts as a playful friendship then becomes the foundation of an emotionally intimate relationship. If you find that you share more of your emotions with your flirtatious friend because they understand you better, you’ve already moved into dangerous territory.