Cupid's Pulse Article: Flirting While In A Relationship: Is It OK?Cupid's Pulse Article: Flirting While In A Relationship: Is It OK?

By Katie Gray

A common question couples are faced with is, “Is it okay to flirt while I’m in a relationship?” Another is, “If I’m flirting while I’m in a relationship with someone, is it considered cheating?” These are not always simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers, as it truly depends on the individuals in the relationship, the degree of flirting, the context of the relationship and many other factors. Obviously, if one of the partners in the relationship is doing more than flirting – that is a big no, no. Clearly, if one partner is just giving someone else an innocent compliment – that is quite alright. The answers and options aren’t always crystal clear, however. Cupid has some advice:

1. Get on the same page:

It’s often difficult to detect whether flirting in a relationship is harmless or hurtful. Because; the truth is, it can be both. There are a lot of people who believe that flirting is healthy, even if you are in a relationship and indeed committed to that person. Then there are many who adamantly believe that you shouldn’t flirt at all if you’re serious with someone else. Some claim it’s just being friendly, while others say it’s cheating. The real way to determine this; is to communicate with your partner and set boundaries. You two should both be on the same page and come to a mutual agreement.

Related: Duchess Kate and Prince Harry: Is it Flirting?

2. Define “flirting” with your partner:

Everyone has a different definition of what ‘flirting’ actually entails. If the nature of the flirtations are sexual, that is not okay. You should be devoted to the person you’re in the relationship with, otherwise you should get out of it. Maybe there are some exceptions if it’s meant in a joking and/or sarcastic nature, but that’s playing with fire. If you are being secretive and keeping your flirtations a secret from your partner, that is a sign that you shouldn’t be doing it. Another sign it’s wrong, is if you feel the need to make excuses and rationalize. If your partner is jealous, that doesn’t constitute a good reason to hide something. You should respect how they feel and address it with them.. Bravo reality star and relationship coach, Dr. Heavenly says, “I believe it all depends on the relationship.” She explains, “I have seen couples that think it is fun to flirt with the opposite sex as long as they don’t go too far. Some people find it exciting and they bring that excitement back home to their bedroom. However; I think flirting can be harmful if the person on the receiving end takes it too seriously.” It’s best for couples to set their own guidelines.

Related: Katy Perry Is Caught Flirting with a New Man

3. Don’t set yourself up for failure:

Tiffany Mason, author and owner of Mason Coaching and Consulting, says, “Whether you are in a committed long-term relationship or you recently started dating someone, flirting should not even be in your vocabulary. There are no exceptions when it comes to flirting with someone else other than your partner. You are only setting yourself up for failure if you are even thinking about flirting with someone else.”

4. Make sure to measure personalities:

You must take your partner’s personality into consideration. Christina Pesoli, relationship expert and breakup coach, blogger for Huffington Post, and author of Break Free from the Divortex, says, “The best way to evaluate whether flirting is okay or not is to view in context with a person’s overall personality. Some people are more flirtatious by nature. If you get into a relationship with someone who is flirtatious by nature, that side of the personality is not a secret to you.” She added, “I don’t think it’s fair or healthy (or fun) to expect them to stop being flirtatious. There’s a difference of course, between flirting and having an emotional affair – and it’s true that every affair (emotional or physical) likely began with some flirting.”

The real conclusion is that people will always have a different opinion on this, so it’s best to discuss it with your partner and find out how they truly feel. That’s the only person who should matter on this subject.