There’s a fine line between physical cheating and simply flirting with someone. But is flirting cheating if you’re in a relationship and how do you know when you’ve crossed the line?
Cheating is a big deal. It might just be one of the main concerns couples have in their relationship.
It’s not necessarily a lack of trust, but rather a deep-rooted fear that your partner may want someone who isn’t you.
This is really difficult to come to terms with but if you’re not careful, any amount of interaction with someone who’s not you will stir your envy – and even your rage.
We all know what physical cheating is and that it’s a definite deal breaker but what about flirting?
Is flirting cheating when you’re in a relationship or is it fair game so long as you keep your hands – and lips – to yourself?
In a word, no. Simply flirting isn’t necessarily the same as full-on cheating. However, you do have to understand the intricacies of emotional betrayal versus physical cheating.
We have some tips to help you draw and maintain realistic boundaries when it comes to respecting your relationship.
1. Determine What Cheating Is To Both Of You
Some people only consider sex true cheating while others are completely convinced flirting with someone else is 100% cheating.
You have to sit down and talk to your man about what cheating is to both of you. Being on the same page with something this sensitive makes a huge difference.
You can completely avoid arguments and fights when you have your expectations set so you both know exactly how the other would feel.
This helps save you a ton of time and energy because you eliminate the issue of not knowing if your partner would be mad.
Just ask your man what he considers to be cheating so you can both get on the same level.
2. Decide What Isn’t Okay To Do Or Say To Someone Else
After you talk to your significant other about what is and isn’t acceptable, decide some actual ground rules to follow.
I’m not saying your relationship has to have strict “rules” but it does help when you share examples of what would make you upset or uncomfortable.
This is just a deeper level of understanding between both of you.
How are you supposed to know if hugging someone you don’t know well will make your man upset unless he tells you so?
It’s an innocent act and you probably would have no ill intent when hugging that person, but if your partner thinks it’s too far, you can avoid this problem altogether.
Give him examples of what you’d consider being too much and have him do the same.
3. Respect One Another’s Wishes
Look: you might not think flirting with someone else should be considered cheating but if your man does, you have to respect his views.
And that means not flirting with others out of respect for him.
Flirting is fun and you can have a great, innocent time doing so. But even if it feels innocent to you, it might not to your significant other and it’s important you respect him and vice versa.
If you ignore him with something as sensitive as this, you’re setting your relationship up for failure.
4. Check Yourself
Your significant other won’t always be around. But that doesn’t mean you can just forget everything you talked about when it comes to cheating.
Be aware of how you act around others.
Make sure you’re never stepping too far and crossing a line you can’t come back from. It’s easy to get caught up in flirting with someone and take it a bit too far before evaluating your behavior.
When you go out, just make sure you’re checking yourself mentally to ensure you’re not doing anything that will cause harm to your relationship.
5. Be Aware Of Your Emotional Investment
Harmless flirting is just that: harmless. It becomes an issue of cheating when you emotional invest yourself with that person.
You might say you’re just flirting and it’s not a big deal but deep down, you’re developing feelings that aren’t innocent.
This has a lot to do with checking yourself, but it goes even deeper because you have to be honest with yourself too. A lot of us hate to admit when we feel something more for someone than is what would be considered innocent.
Make sure you never further a relationship with someone you’re becoming emotionally invested in after just flirting.
Emotional cheating is real and just as harmful as physical cheating.
6. Don’t Base Your Rules On Other Relationships
Each relationship is as unique as each person in it.
You can’t compare how your relationship works to how others do because you’ll never be happy this way.
Other couples might think flirting is horrible and absolutely cheating but your relationship might be different and flirting is next to nothing to you and your man.
Play by your own rules that you develop with your partner and ignore people who may think differently than you.
7. Be Honest When You’re Upset
You don’t have to set the rules together and never revisit them.
Communication is the most powerful tool you have in a relationship and that holds true in this instance too.
Maybe you thought flirting wasn’t a huge deal and agreed it was okay to do. Then you witnessed your man flirting with someone and got really uncomfortable and even upset by it.
It’s your job to tell him this. It’s your job to continuously talk about what’s okay and what isn’t in your relationship.
Only then can you determine if flirting is cheating in a relationship.
So is flirting cheating? The truth is that it depends on what you and your man decide. You both have to sit down together and talk about what makes you uncomfortable and what your expectations are.
A general rule of thumb is that if it upsets you or you feel they’ve gone too far, it’s a form of cheating.