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I’m a single dad and can admit that I have relationship goals.

I dream of a day in which my significant other and I are out somewhere enjoying ourselves, it’s one of those nights in which everything goes right for us.  All of a sudden she sees a man she finds attractive and can’t help but to keep looking at him.  Then I break her focus by saying in a playful tone reminiscent of middle school “OOOOOHH YOU THINK HE’S CUUUUUUUTE!” #relationshipgoals

I actually mean this, too.  I want my woman flirting with other men as well.  For starters, I think it’s healthy. Because no one person is perfect, it’s also normal for us to be drawn to something that someone else has, whether it’s a physical or personality attribute. Sometimes they’re the same attributes that played a part in us establishing our relationship.

Other times, they are qualities that make for a brief mental vacation.  To suppress this will eventually create a tea-kettle effect and will surface in an unhealthy manner like passive aggressive behavior or infidelity.

A girlfriend or wife of mine flirting or getting flirted with does something for my ego.  If my woman is out with her friends, I kind of expect that to happen. If no one offered to buy her a drink or make some kind of pass, then shame on her.

This would all reinforce the idea that the person I am considering spending the rest of my life with has options and she chose me.  It underpins the concept that nothing is guaranteed and I have to continuously court her to keep her.  Maybe it’s arrogance or a distorted sense of self based on motivated reasoning, but I truly believe that if someone I am in a relationship with has a regular wandering eye, then I’m slacking on my job.

I have been reminded by girlfriends in the past that when they entertained the idea of other men, it was a little more than just flirting.  Sure, in a perfect relationship they would articulate their needs before some cheating happens, but that’s also why communication is important.

The lesson learned was to be proactive.

It’s beyond fair for both parties to flirt and look at others in a relationship.  I don’t believe this to let myself off the hook or justify my actions, either.  I am the first to admit I am a huge flirt.  I do it with everyone and don’t even realize it.  It has gotten me into so much trouble in relationships. When I’m single, one of my  favorite pastimes is to playfully talk sh*t.  More than likely, an exchange of witty banter is one of the second or third things that attracts me to a woman.

I can’t think of any relationship where this doesn’t occur in some capacity or another.  Courtship starts with some form of physical attraction.  You see something you like and you’re drawn to it.  As social creatures, one of the first places that people test whether or not someone is an equal as well as show interest is to be impressive.  Flirting is a gauge of interest.  No matter how old we are, playfully teasing and one-upmanship means “I like you.”

Sometimes in order for one to be their best self they need outside stimuli.  You can’t become the best basketball player in the world playing one-on-one with the same person all the time.  You know all their moves and bring nothing new to the game.  This constantly provides a new challenge: a perpetual chase and chance to continuously pursue and seduce someone you love.  In the end, you appreciate them more.

I have insecurities that may flare up from time to time.  I may not be the richest, most handsome, smartest, funniest guy on the planet.  I may play a little too much and be a little too flirtatious, and a myriad of other things.  But I still come back to the thought, she chose me over anyone else.

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