Flirty Or Just Friendly? Where Do You Draw The Line With Other Men When You’re In A Relationship

January 31, 2013  |  
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Wouldn’t it be great if everyone you encountered respected the fact that you are in a relationship? Better yet, if you could completely write off or be cold to anyone of the opposite sex when you’re taken, without being viewed as a major b-i-you-know-what? Unfortunately, that’s not the way the world works. Men will try to talk to you when you’re out without your guy. And it would be no fun if you had to sit in the corner while your single friends had all the fun. So, you’re forced to walk the fine line between being friendly, and being flirty. But where is that line? Well, if you’re doing any of these things, you’ve crossed it.

Accepting someone’s number

You have no intention of using it, you certainly didn’t ask for it, but you did allow the guy to take your phone and punch in his contact info, right in front of your eyes, knowing very well his intentions towards you are not platonic. Think about this: how would you feel if you snooped through your boyfriend’s phone (which hopefully, you don’t do) and discovered a new contact under the name of “Christy” just added last night? Probably not too great. If there’s really no purpose for the number, then don’t take it.

Sticking around when you’re being hit on

You can’t help it if a man comes up and starts chatting with you. And you can’t help it if he takes the conversation to an inappropriate level, whispering things in your ear, putting his hand on your knee, saying he’d like to take you home etc. etc. But what you can help is whether or not you stay there after it’s clear this man is making a move on you! If you saw your guy sitting around, with another girl’s hand on his knee, whispering things in his ear—even if your guy was sitting perfectly stone cold still—you’d still be wondering, “What the heck is he still doing sitting there??”

“If I were single…”

This is one of the stupidest and yet very common things taken women say to men who are not their boyfriend. “If I were single, I’d date you….” Or “If I were single, I’d come home with you tonight…” Essentially, you’re letting another man have the pleasure of knowing you desire him. Sure, your guy probably desires other women. But the line is crossed when you express that desire to the other person. Why? Because you’re making a fool of your partner.

“If you were single…”

Similarly to the last point, if a man starts saying all the things he’d like to do with you “If you were single…” and you stick around for that, you’re once again letting your partner be made a fool of. Indulging that kind of talk implies you’re enjoying it—you’re partaking in this little theoretical conspiracy. Again, you would be heartbroken if the tables were turned and you overheard a woman saying this to your partner, and your partner sticking around to hear it.


Getting touchy

You of course have male friends who you hug, who give you a big brother type kiss on the forehead, or who you even playfully hold hands with as you skip down the street to go to lunch. But those are your established friends. The type of relationship—platonic—has been established. So none of that touching can be misconstrued. But when you’re out at a bar, appearing to be single, and talking to other men, those men will construe any touching as flirtatious. Give a man an inch and he’ll take a mile. And probably think it’s an invitation to try and make out with you later.

Disclosing personal information

To disclose personal information promotes bonding and intimacy. Now why on earth would you tell some random guy you just met at a bar the same secrets that otherwise only your mother and best friend know? Because you want to feel bonded to this person. Essentially that’s emotional cheating. If it’s information that is otherwise only shared with you and your very close friends, or even worse just you and your partner, you are breaking the sacredness of that private communication between you and your partner.

Talking about your relationship problems

If you tell a man, who clearly finds you attractive, all the problems you’re having with your man, he’ll read this as an open invitation for him to swoop in and replace your man. Or perhaps “ease your pain” for the night. If you truly want men to leave you alone, give the impression your relationship is rock solid and unbreakable, even if it’s a little shaky at the moment.

Trying to get attention

You think it’s just fun to flash people, or dance seductively on a table top at a club, perhaps making out with your gal pal for all the world to see. But if your man were a fly on the wall he would be asking, “For whose benefit is this behavior?” It’s not for your girlfriends…Look: men will be attracted to you and you can’t help that. You can help it if you do provocative things that will make men attracted to you.

Not telling that you’re in a relationship

There’s only one reason you wouldn’t tell a man who is hitting on you that you’re taken: because you don’t want him to adjust his behavior once given that information. You want him to believe you are single. Omitting information is still a lie. It is your responsibility to tell a man you are taken. And if you don’t, it’s because you want that attention.

Networking the wrong way

You know how it can be to be a career woman in a man’s world. Men regularly use the excuse of, “We should talk about working together” or “I have some great connections to introduce you to” as an excuse to get closer to you. But you’re not dumb: you know when that is happening. For example, a man who asks you out for coffee to talk about “career stuff” but in the same breath puts his hand on your lower back and tells you you’re hot—that’s probably a work contact you should pass up on. Sorry but even if the career-advancing prospects looked good, you need to let that one go. You wouldn’t like your partner working with a woman he didn’t have to work with, who was trying to sleep with him.

“I’ll keep you in mind for when I’m single…”

Again, this implies that your relationship is fragile since you’re even considering its expiration date, and it is emotional cheating because you’re letting someone know you desire him. If you’re already lining up your future prospects, you’re not really committed to your current relationship.


Pointless texting

Remember when you first started dating your boyfriend and you would text him every funny/cute/interesting thing that happened during your day? You would send him little pictures of things he’d find interesting and all that cute stuff. Why were you doing that? To intrigue him and to make him feel close to you. So why would you be doing that with a guy you just met at a bar? And how would you like to find twenty pointless but funny/cute texts in your guy’s phone between him and another woman?

Hanging out without telling your man

It’s only those with something to hide who try to skip the investigation. The only reason you wouldn’t tell your partner when you’re hanging out with another guy is because you know if and when he interrogated you about that “friendship”, he’d find answers he didn’t like or even detect that you’re attracted to that other guy. If you’re keeping your hang out sessions with a male “friend” a secret from your boyfriend, it’s because that friendship is not so innocent.

Dressing with a guy in mind

Every woman wants to look hot when she goes out. She wants to get male attention. It’s an ego boost. That’s fine. But if you get dressed with a specific man in mind (who is not your partner), that’s crossing the line. That means you are intentionally trying to make that man attracted to you.

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