Does Flirting With Other People While In A Relationship Cross A Line?

January 8, 2019  |  

Afro couple kissing outdoors

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How far is too far when it comes to flirting while in a relationship? The lines between harmless and harmful can quickly become blurry depending on the two people in the partnership and their relational boundaries.

Bustle spoke to intimacy expert Lia Holmgren about how to discern when the chemistry and conversation has gone too far.

“Whether flirting is OK if you’re in a relationship is going to be something that is up to the couple,” Holmgren explained to Bustle.

“Sometimes, flirting without a previous agreement will have no harm to the relationship and can even add an element of role play and fantasy to the relationship, while other times, it can break the partner’s trust,” says Holmgren.

Holmgren goes on to explain that being “charming” is not to be misconstrued with flirting.

“There is a difference between flirting and being charming. Being charming is an elegant way of being kind, polite, sexy, and not being overall sexually suggestive or flirty, while still exercising those flirt muscles. Sometimes, those lines blur without realizing it. Signs of genuine platonic affection, giggling, embracing or speaking at a close distance can often be misconstrued as flirting.”

In order to differentiate, intent plays a big role. Are you talking to this someone to pursue something beyond a business partnership or friendly rapport?

“If you’re taking a stranger’s contact info, why does one who is in a serious monogamous relationship need to take a number from someone he or she is attracted to without any professional reason and plan to meet? The agenda is the key. If there is a sexual agenda, then it’s a cheating. If that’s something the partner can’t know or one needs to hide, it’s a form of cheating.”

If you and your person are both comfortable with some level of flirting, it’s still important to be selective with who you engage in this behavior with.

“I would suggest to casually flirt with random people that aren’t in a closer circle of friends and acquaintances and perhaps when the partner isn’t around, since it might cause jealousy and fights,” says Holmgren.

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