Flirting Whilst in a Relationship: Harmless, or a Blatant Act of Cheating?

I’m plagued with the topic of cheating. Conflicted with the thoughts of why people cheat. Is it animal? Is it unhappiness? With their partner? With themselves? Is it expected from men? Do we overly judge women when we discover that they are in fact the guilty party? As you can see, a lot of questions come up. But what about the little act of flirting? Is it harmless, or is it cheating?

I am a serial flirter. I love it. I enjoy being overly friendly, cheeky, and at times a little sassy. It gets me what I want at a particular time, and there is no real harm done, because it stops there. And by saying ‘it gets me what I want’ that usually means a drink, work being done on time, someone to help with my bag, or sliding weights onto an Olympic bar at the gym, I mean the possibilities are endless. I however, am also single.

And this is where the argument begins, and is one which is entirely divided. So on my Instagram page @thoughts_for_a_Thursday (yes that was a plug, please go and follow – I’ve even linked it for you #begfollow) I put out an opinion poll to see what the general consensus was with flirting and whether it was considered cheating. What came of this was a pretty clear divide. A 70% / 30% split, agreeing that flirting is a form of cheating.

From my current stand point I don’t see flirting as cheating. I don’t think that behaving in a particular way to be social or friendly because you find someone attractive or you think it may be fun, an act of cheating. I see flirting as harmless. If this flirtatiousness is acted upon, then hell, I’d be pissed, and probably cut the dude’s clothes up, slash his tyres, break in to his place of work and unscrew all the screws in his chair, so that when he sits on said chair, it falls apart… I’m not crazy – I promise…

Where was I? oh yeah, verbal flirting and light touching I don’t see as cheating. If this were to be taken further – as a lot of decisions are made by both parties when you decide to kiss, then go back to theirs and then put the P in V, or whatever your preference may be – then it’d most definitely be cheating. However, as I said before I’m single. But I can also see the alternative argument.

If I were in a relationship, I would be a jealous party. Not with every little thing you do, but when I know that another person is attracted to you, and that they are flirting with you, and you are flirting back, I’d feel something. That I think is natural. You can tell when someone likes another person, it’s clear in the way they hold themselves, how they react when the person they fancy is around – those subtle changes are literally the most obvious thing in the world. I think if I’m with you, I’d be trusting of you – I mean I wouldn’t have decided to get into anything with you if you gave me a reason otherwise – but I’d totally be jealous. I’d feel like you weren’t telling the world that the only person you wanted was me – Jesus hypothetical boyfriend, do I really need to come and piss on my territory? You know in the wild, I’d just go for the jugular and win right?! Again, not crazy, I swear…

So, I can understand where the ‘yes’ argument stems from. However, isn’t flirting an intrinsically human action? Is it not just an extension of being friendly? Sometimes people can’t help it, or don’t even realise they are flirting. Again, this is sometimes me. I am… flamboyant. I talk with my hands and exaggerate everythinggg. I flick my hair and I move with a little bounce in my shoulders, most of the time without even knowing that I do, until friend after friend picks up on it and tells me that I may have a slight problem and may need to visit flirtaholics anonymous…

I had a conversation with Thor (for more information on who Thor is, please see the post ‘The Four-Date Rule’) the other day, who was having a little girl trouble. He got called a dog for talking to another woman. Her not realising that he was just being friendly, and that it is in his nature for him to behave in a way we would typically describe as flirtatious. He even behaves that way with me, and he’s doesn’t want to sleep with me. It’s simply just in his nature. I can see that perhaps the act of flirting and past history and even modern expectations can lead to jealously, insecurity and even a question of trustworthiness. A topic to be delved into at another time.

For those of you who didn’t vote, and who have an opinion, what are your thoughts? I’d love to know. Does flirting cause a rift in your relationship? Has it done? Do you and your partner trust each other and don’t mind it at all? Do you even find it sexy to see your partner flirt with someone else? Does it keep the fire in the relationship burning? It’s an intriguing topic, and one in which I welcome the discussion and debate.

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