Flirting..is it cheating?

Edouard Manet

David wrote:

Sean,

Am I the only one that thinks flirting is cheating?  Are there women out there that are just ttoo oblivious to the fact that guys are flirting with them?  I just don’t get it.  My girlfriend and I just got into an argument because one of her guy friends has apparently been flirting with her for months.  He broke up with his girlfriend awhile ago and immediately started pursuing my girlfriend.  It was all innocent at first.  He took notice and congratulated her that she was in a relationship (with me), then started asking about me.  Then, he started commenting on her pictures on Facebook-little things like, “You have a great smile.”  The next thing is what started making me uncomfortable.  He met me, and then was texting her and saying things like, “I know you have a boyfriend but when can I get some time with you?  We’re friends, can’t friends just hang out alone?”

She told me about it and I got upset.  Not with her, but with him.  He was trying to move in and cause drama where it wasn’t needed.  After I relaxed, I told her I was okay with them hanging out once if she told me how things went.  Here’s what she said happened on the date.  They met for drinks and he complimented her outfit, then said she’d “never looked better”.  Throughout the night, he kept on bringing up their past adventures and saying how great they were and what a good person she was.  He finally capped it off with saying that he wished he’d found someone like her before he’d met his ex.  At the end of the night, he gave her a long hug and said, “I’d like to see you again.  See if you can get some time away from your boyfriend soon.  We’ll have fun.”  We’ll have fun? She told me about this and I was furious, again not with her, but with him.  She says he is just being a good friend and that they’ve known each other for 11 years and she’s never really seen him in that way.  She refuses to accept that he was blatantly pursuing her and trying to make me look like an idiot.

Anyway, the discussion led to an argument and she said she felt I was wrong to think that way and that she has lots of guy friends who do the same thing.  I don’t know what to do.  Is my girlfriend putting herself in relationship jeopardy on purpose because she likes the attention from other men, or is she just blind to their advances?

David

David,

First off, let me tell you that a discussion shouldn’t turn into an argument.  Just present the facts, leave emotion out of things, and a discussion will always remain productive.  You also didn’t mention if she flirted back in any of her communications.  I feel flirting is cheating if you’re in a relationship and flirting with someone else.  It’s basically the same as emotional cheating.

Secondly, I am very good at noticing little details in how people interact.  I was just talking about this topic the other day and will say the same thing to you.  Guys are either very obvious or very subtle when flirting and women expect the obvious approach, which makes them blind to the subtle approaches.  Picture it like this.  Let’s say a woman you like is very happy and secure in her relationship and it’s like a nice little box with the two of them inside.  Would you rather rip that box apart and make the person think you’re psycho for trying to get to her or would you rather pick away slowly at the outside of that box until the structure is weak and she feels like it’s falling apart, then swing in like a hero and “save her” from what’s crumbling around her?  That’s exactly what these types of guys do.  They are nice and soft at first..they toss compliments, they get info, they find a hole then start picking away.  They may even play the drama card (“I’m just so broken up about my breakup.  I’d love to see you-you always bring a smile to my face…”).  Women often times don’t see it because it’s either seemingly innocent compliments or it’s coming from someone who she’s known for some time.

Do I think your girlfriend was blind to the fact that she was involved with something like this?  Yes I do.  Many women are.  What can you do about it?  Talk with her.  Relationships should be about compromise and if you explain that this guy (or the others for that matter) are making you feel uncomfortable with the things they are saying and ask her to put her foot down, if she cares for you, she should be able to fulfill that request and tell them to stop, or refuse to meet them without you.  On the other side of that coin, once she does that, you’ll need to make sure you follow the same rules with your female friends.  It’s all about equal treatment.  You’re with her..don’t ruin that.  Remember the box?  You’re in it too.  If the walls crumble, you’ll be the only one left inside as it all falls down.

Sean

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