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Is healthy flirting the same as cheating? Should a wife be worried when her husband flirts with his secretary? Should a boyfriend dismiss his girlfriend's flirty text message to another guy as a non-issue? Is flirting outside a couple's relationship or marriage considered cheating?
Is it flirting when a wife keeps her naughty chats on Facebook a secret from her husband? All these questions can be answered only when they are put into perspective in a real life scenario. This article discusses situations and signs when flirting crosses the line and becomes cheating and infidelity.
Signs When Flirting Can Become Cheating
- When all the flirting happens with just one person
- When the flirting is kept a secret
- When flirting continues, despite causing problems in the relationship
- When flirting involves sharing intimate details about one's own relationship
- When flirting becomes a compulsive need
- When the time spent flirting increases significantly
- When flirty conversations become naughty and sexual
- When flirting contradicts a person's normal personality type
- When flirting gets touchy feely
- When flirting is openly noticed by others
1. When All the Flirting Happens With Just One Person
Flirting can easily lead to cheating when it is focused on just one person. Behavioral traits may be blamed when a guy or a girl who has a flirty personality flirts with other people outside the relationship. But when only one girl or guy is at the receiving end of a partner's flirting habit, it needs to stop. Below are a few examples.
- Boyfriend does not flirt with anyone except his childhood female friend who he claims to share a great bond with.
- Wife flirts only with one of her husband's successful friend and no one else.
- Girlfriend flirts over text messages with one of her classmates and does not pay any other guy much attention except her boyfriend.
- Husband flirts with only one of his colleagues at work despite having many beautiful co-workers.
2. When the Flirting Is Kept a Secret
Flirting no longer remains playful and jolly when it is kept a secret. The concept of healthy flirting remains healthy only when both partners in a relationship or marriage are well aware of each other's flirting habit.
Couples in a happy relationship share everything with each other, including flirty conversations they had with other people. Here are some real life examples of how flirting becomes cheating when it is kept a secret.
- Boyfriend clears all browsing data and internet history so that his girlfriend does not find out about his flirty messages sent to another girl on Facebook.
- Wife never talks to her male colleague in front of her husband because she thinks he may spot the flirty tone in her voice.
3. When Flirting Continues, Despite Causing Problems in the Relationship
Flirting outside relationships is fine as long as both partners are completely okay with it. If either of the partners have an objection to this kind of behavior, it should stop immediately.
A boyfriend, girlfriend, wife, or husband should instantly stop flirting if the other partner in his or her relationship is unhappy about it. For the sake of love and for the sake of the sanity of the relationship or marriage, the flirting must stop. If the flirting still continues, there could be a malicious and betraying side to it. Below are a few examples.
- Girlfriend continues to flirt with her male friend despite her long term boyfriend clearly objecting to their close bond.
- Husband flirts with other women at the gym despite his wife spiraling into a depression over his flirting habit.
4. When Flirting Involves Sharing Intimate Details About One's Own Relationship
Talking about the flaws, joys, and intimate details about one's own relationship is a sign that flirting is on the way to becoming cheating. Sharing details about one's own partner, relationship or marriage shows complete disrespect.
All partners expect that their boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife keeps all aspects of their relationship private. Whether it is about complicated issues like marital problems and sex life or simple issues of jealousy over an ex, all these details are expected to be kept private. If a man or a woman starts a talking about such things while flirting with other people, the line between flirting and cheating can be said to have been crossed.
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5. When Flirting Becomes a Compulsive Need
Flirting outside a relationship or marriage is supposed to be a casual habit. It is not supposed to become a compulsive need without which a person cannot pass a single day.
Flirting can turn into cheating when a man or a woman feels the urge to flirt with other people during all interactions whether it is a quick phone call or a lunch meeting. Here are a few situational examples when compulsive flirting can lead to cheating.
- Wife's compulsive flirting habit leads to her colleague making a move on her while they are both travelling on a business trip together. One thing can lead to another and the woman may cheat on her man because things got just too steamy to control.
- A boyfriend's obsessive flirting habit is misinterpreted by another woman as a sign that he is coming on to her in a romantic way. A flirty chat at a bar can easily make the woman falsely believe that he is interested in her, making her lean in to kiss him.
6. When the Time Spent Flirting Increases Significantly
Short and subtle flirty dialogues may be common in a typical office environment. Men and women working together day after day may find themselves engaging in a short five-second flirty banter to liven up a boring day.
But this flirty banter can easily cross the line and send mixed signals if the time spent in flirting increases dramatically. This is elaborated with a situational example.
- A girl who is in a committed long distance relationship may find herself flirting with a guy in her class. Initially she could be dismissing this off as a random chat. But if her flirty exchanges with this guy keep getting longer and longer, their relationship may bloom into something more complicated than just a plain friendship. An intimate moment and a slight slip of judgment will be all it takes to give an ugly twist to flirting, leading to cheating.
7. When Flirty Conversations Become Naughty and Sexual
Friendly flirty banter is one thing but flirty conversations that have a sexual tone are definitely considered as a sign of cheating. Partners in a committed relationship or marriage are not expected to behave naughtily or have sexually inclined conversations with other men or women.
Any kind of chat which is sexually suggestive may be seen as a direct sign of physical attraction. One line can lead to another and in no time, a partner could find himself or herself having naughty chats with another man or woman.
8. When Flirting Contradicts a Person's Normal Personality Type
Flirting can be considered as cheating when it is done by people who are generally not the ones to flirt in the first place.
Putting this into real life perspective with an example, suppose a woman has a very introvert personality. She doesn't even know how to flirt with her husband and remains shy when he flirts with her. Her husband will never expect her to flirt with any other man. But if she does, he will directly interpret it as cheating.
9. When Flirting Gets Touchy Feely
Partners in a committed relationship or a marriage are supposed to keep their hands to themselves. There is no justification for getting touchy feely while talking to people of the opposite sex outside their own relationship.
The definition of healthy flirting in the form of playful banter or jokes may vary from couple to couple. But a hands-on approach to flirting is frowned upon and is considered as the first step towards cheating.
10. When Flirting Is Openly Noticed by Others
Friendly and healthy flirting may have crossed the line if it is evidently noticed by other people. For example, a married man should immediately stop his flirty behavior in the office if he hears gossip about sparks flying between him and his secretary. A girl who is in a committed relationship should stop being overly friendly with her ex if all her friends think that she is caught in-between the love of two guys.
Healthy flirting outside marriage or a committed relationship must stay minimalistic, subtle and rare. You know there is something odd when other people single out flirting behavior.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.