This week I’ve found myself thinking about a question that’s important to understand your own answer of if you’re dating and after chucking it in the direction of various people I know, I’ll now allow anyone else to answer it for themselves.
Is flirting with other people while you’re in a relationship considered as cheating?
I think the most important thing that needs to be considered here is this – what is the intent behind the flirt, because here’s my theory that I know won’t be received well but I’ll say it anyway. I don’t believe men can flirt without there being sexual intent behind it, whereas I believe women can.
For a man to initiate flirting with a woman, there will be some kind of sexual desire there. So really when a guy flirts, the idea of that flirting to be taken further wouldn’t ever be off the table.
However for women, sometimes we flirt purely because we want to feel desired or wanted by someone and we don’t even have to find that person attractive, but it’s more of an ego boost. We can flirt to get a drink, or to get something done for us. But …. it’s actually quite rare that we do this with a sexual intent.
But does that make it any less worse? That bit I’m not sure about.
So is flirting cheating? I think it depends on the intent behind it. Because if you’re only doing it because there’s some kind of sexual desire for the person you’re flirting with then I would have to say yes, because realistically and if we’re going to be honest, it probably means if you could sleep with them you would (but hopefully your moral compass would kick in first).
All that to one side though, I think even those of us in the most secure relationships probably have our stomachs turn at the thought of our other halves flirting with people who aren’t us. So wether you consider it cheating or not, it probably isn’t morally on track, but it’s definitely a conversation the two of you should have together to make your boundaries clear and to save any feelings getting hurt in the future.
One thing I can be sure of is that flirting with other people is probably quite a big trust violation and why would you risk doing something that could break your partners trust?