Flirting While in a Committed Relationship: What You Need to Know

Part of being human is the need for attention, but is flirting while in a committed relationship a breach of trust, or simply a bit of fun?

No matter how you look at it, flirting while in a committed relationship is always a touchy subject – is it acceptable, or frowned upon? Can you actually define it? Or gasp, can you honestly completely avoid it or walk through life with your horse blinders on, in a world where there are a million ways to reach out and bat your eye at someone?

Picture the scene, you’re sat at a cafe with your friends, chatting and drinking coffee and suddenly someone tells you that they saw your partner flirting with someone else whilst out around town a few nights ago.

How would you feel?

Shocked, upset, betrayed?

All of those emotions would be completely right on the money, but if nothing actually happened, and it was simple flirtation, would it be wrong?

Welcome to a huge grey area!

Flirting while in a committed relationship – Wading through the grey area

Flirting while in a committed relationship is fine in some people’s eyes and totally off limits in others. Personally, I wouldn’t like it if my partner was flirting up a storm with someone else, whether they meant to do it or not. The problem is, what you might consider to be flirting, they might simply consider friendly joking. There are so many fine lines here and so many of them are different shades of red.

A story of not being right, and not being wrong

This happened to a friend of mine a short while ago and I actually witnessed the apparent flirtation. ‘Apparent’ isn’t actually the right word to use, because there was nothing apparent about it, it was as clear as day. I had a friend with me at the time and we agonized over what to do – should we tell our friend that her boyfriend had been flirting up a storm, or should we just let it go?

This actually caused a heated debate between the two of us, because I felt it was wrong to flirt the way he did, but she felt it was nothing to become that upset about, because it clearly had no intention behind it.

My argument was this – how can you tell if flirting has an intention behind it or not? You’re not in that person’s head, you can only judge the situation based on what you see and hear.

In the end, we told her. I just couldn’t not tell my friend, and do you know what her reaction was? She wasn’t bothered. She said that she knew her boyfriend was quite the flirt and she’d actually been sat with him in the past when he’d done it; apparently he doesn’t even realize he’s being flirty, he thinks he’s being friendly.

That wouldn’t have done for me, but then again, we’re all different.

What’s your take on this?

You see, the way I always look at things is to ask how I would feel if it happened to me. Before I do anything, most of the time, I think ‘if this was the other way around, how would I feel?’ That normally tells me whether what I’m doing is okay in my eyes or not.

You could argue that flirting is healthy, because it is fun, and we’re told to have as much fun in life as possible. My argument is if that’s the case, why can’t you flirt with your partner? That would still be fun!

As you can probably tell by my stand on this, I think flirting while in a committed relationship is a huge no. Am I right? I’m right in my eyes, but I don’t pretend to be the world’s last decision on rights and wrongs!

A personal choice of flirting

The best way to approach this is to figure out where you stand on it yourself. You have to live your life by your own ideas and values. Take my friend for example, she flirts whilst she’s at work, in a predominantly male environment, and she doesn’t think she’s doing anything wrong, because she loves her partner. Clearly her partner does the same, and they’re both okay with it. It works for them.

That’s great for them. Would it work for you?

Why do we need to flirt with other people?

I did a straw poll of my friends on this subject, both male and female, and they came up with these suggestions.

– Flirting while in a committed relationship can stop things getting stale and boosts excitement.

– It can stop one partner *or both* from feeling trapped in a long-term relationship.

– It gives an ego boost and makes them feel good about themselves.

– When you do it, it can keep your partner on his or her toes.

Do you agree with those reasons? I have to admit that I’m a little on the fence, if I’m honest.

Do you need a third person to excite you?

Firstly, I totally understand that in a long-term relationship things can get a little same old, same old on occasion, but surely you should be boosting excitement together, and not apart? There are plenty of ways to stop things from getting a little stale – have you not seen Fifty Shades of Grey?!

Secondly, are you supposed to feel trapped in a relationship? I personally think if you feel trapped there’s something a little wrong going on. I get that you might need an ego boost on occasion, I do, but I tend to do that by buying a new dress, rather than heading off to flirt with the nearest single male. Finally, you want to flirt with someone else to keep your partner on their toes? Seriously?! I can think of far better ways.

There are many who think that flirting is part of a healthy life and that it bears no reflection on the state of their long-term relationship. Maybe that is true, but would the flirting partner feel the same if their boyfriend or girlfriend was doing it too?

I’m inclined to think not.

The jury is out – Here’s what I think

Whether or not you deem flirting while in a committed relationship to be totally fine or a big red cross, that’s really a personal deal. I think that is the best way to address the issue. What we do need to talk about however is whether your partner feels the same about your standpoint.

For instance, maybe you see no issue with it, but maybe your partner is deeply hurt by it. In that case, it doesn’t make it right, does it? The best way to address this now is to make sure that you’re both on the same page. If you both feel the same about a little harmless flirting every now and again, well, who am I to judge? That’s fine, because you’re not hurting anyone and you’re both aware that it means nothing.

The big problem hits when one partner thinks it’s fine and the other doesn’t. If they continue to do it knowing that it hurts their partner, that’s a major, major red line. If they do it because they don’t know that their partner doesn’t like it, that’s a communication issue that needs to be fixed.

Maybe the answer to all of this is a need to sit down and actually talk to each other.

What’s the intention behind the flirting?

The other issue is how you can judge an intention. I totally get that innocent flirting without an intention to take it further and with no attached feelings whatsoever, no attraction or anything, is just that, pretty innocent flirting.

But, how do you know that is the case? Does the other person *the flirtee, if you will* know that’s the case? Or, more likely, do they think this guy or girl likes them and perhaps they’re onto something? In that case, surely another person is going to get dragged into the whole mess and will end up getting hurt too. All because you needed an ego boost.

Can you see how messy this might become?

Maybe it all comes down to what you deem flirting to be. A flirty wink, a brush of the arm *accidental, of course*, or a quick suggestive remark as a one off, is probably fine. But, repeated flirting with the same person? For me, that’s more than flirting and that has an intention of some kind behind it.

Flirting while in a committed relationship is certainly an area for debate which is likely to run and run. The only way to really answer the question is to focus on how it feels to you. Only then can you really the answer the question of whether it is a yes or a no.

 

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Church – 2013 to Present -Seizure Salad

I’m sitting in my go to bar with Church. It’s our spot and it’s what we do. He’s sipping a Sailor Jerry and Coke, and I’m having my usual Chardonnay with a side of ice. He orders a salad and I go with the sliders. There is a couple a few seats down from me to my right. I know the guy, his name is Brian, but I don’t know the lady he’s with so I wave but don’t approach. He could be working.

On the left of Church, is a brunette in her thirties and an older gentleman. Looks like a lawyer. We don’t really pay any attention. We’re chatting and doing our thing.

Daphne rolls behind the bar and says hello. She tells me it’s a slow night. Not much happening. She goes back to her hostess stand and it’s just another night in paradise.

Suddenly, the woman who was sitting to Church’s left, goes off the bar stool and hits the floor. Normally, I’d call that Thursday night.  We see so many banged up people around the city losing their shit. But this woman was having a seizure. People within visual range are shocked and the bar goes quiet.

I point to the phone on the wall, because the bartender on duty didn’t see one of her patrons suddenly vanish from the bar. “Liz, call 911.”

She starts dialing. Church, with his cat-like reflexes, springs into action and goes from sitting next to me sipping a drink to all the way around the other side of her on the floor holding her head to keep her steady. I get down there and untangle her leg from the lower rail of his bar stool. I have the legs. Church is focuses on the poor woman’s head. She’s thrashing about, and Church is barking commands to those around him. He’s literally single-handedly coordinating the effort to help save this poor woman, and keeping her from injuring herself further.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but Church was formerly a Corpsmen in the United States Navy.

A Corpsman works in a wide variety of capacities and locations, including shore establishments such as naval hospitals and clinics, aboard ships, and as the primary medical caregivers for sailors while underway. Hospital corpsmen are frequently the only medical caregiver available in many fleet or Marine units on extended deployment. In addition, hospital corpsmen perform duties as assistants in the prevention and treatment of disease and injury and assist health care professionals in providing medical care to sailors and their families.

They may function as clinical or specialty technicians, medical administrative personnel and health care providers at medical treatment facilities. They also serve as battlefield corpsmen with the Marine Corps, rendering emergency medical treatment to include initial treatment in a combat environment. Qualified hospital corpsmen may be assigned the responsibility of independent duty aboard ships and submarines; Fleet Marine Service, SEAL and Seabee units, and at isolated duty stations where no medical officer is available.

Yea, pretty bad ass. That’s the guy you want next to you when somebody takes a header at your favorite bar.

She’s making what almost sounds like barking sounds, and staring wildly about. He’s got a good hold on her. He’s talking to her. But mostly he’s trying to keep her from bashing her face into the wooden wall of the bar. The bartender comes around, and some others have gathered. I grab a cloth napkin and ask if we need to put it in her mouth. I always heard that epileptics could bite or swallow their own tongues. Church says, no. He knows what he’s doing and has the situation well under control.

She seems to be calming down. I look over at the guy who was with her. He’s just standing there staring, and looking uncomfortable. The paramedics come and stabilize her. I feel so bad for her. It’s the holidays, and she’s out for a drinks and this horror befalls her. They get her onto the gurney and roll her out. The police are there and also ask some questions. Church is on point, he gives law enforcement the full report.

They also speak to the guy she came in with. He says he doesn’t know her very well. He met her over at DelFrisco’s steakhouse, and then brought her over here for a drink. That’s a big lawyer hang out. Not my scene. This guy didn’t do anything to help or comfort her when she had the seizure, and he didn’t go to the hospital with her. I don’t care if you just picked up the chick in a bar. Lady falls down, you go to the damn hospital with her. I’m thinking that weasel was married and didn’t want any problems. How would he explain to his wife that he was at the hospital with some other woman? I may be wrong, but I got the vibe something was definitely shady about that guy.

We go back to our seats at the bar and have another drink. Church is pissed because somebody was telling him to turn her head when she was foaming at the mouth and that’s not what you’re supposed to do. Me, I was just glad the lady was okay.

Daphne came over to chat and get a recap. I tell her what I know, and tease her.”You had to say it was a slow night and that nothing was happening, and look what you did, Daph…”

“I know, right? Me and my big mouth.”

Indeed…

 

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Sun Stories: Olivia – Flirt – Part II

Another tale of one man’s journey navigating his way through the dating scene in Philadelphia.

From time to time over the summer, Olivia would come in and chat a little bit before her sessions and it was a small slice of paradise for me. Don’t get me wrong, there are dozens of women that come in the spa every day that are really good talent. But there is just something about a small percentage of them that just light me up. I think what it comes down to is, they are obviously attractive but there is something else. They have to be a little engaging. We have hundreds of active clients right now, and I would say under 20 really do it for us. Olivia would talk about her life a little and how she is dating some guy but it’s not working out. (Me, so happy when I hear that!)

One day a former colleague of mine was in town to meet me for lunch. After lunch he wanted to go to the spa. Yes, the same one where I work part-time. We get there and the waiting room is packed. The Temple girls are all going back to school, so they are all back for their treatments. He grabs the last seat and I’m just standing there surrounded by all of these women sitting around waiting. Who walks in but Olivia. She walks right up to me and hugs me. “Where have you been all of my life.” I swear she said that. We’re chatting and to me everyone in the room disappeared. I saw only her. The loveseat opened up when a few of the girls were being waited on, and Achilles from behind the counter says “Will you two sit down!” We laugh and she says “Yes Dad!” And I say, “Dad, you’re embarrassing me!” We takes a seat and she’s telling me about school, and work and stuff, and I’m loving it. This is the high point of the day. She tells me she is working this Friday, and says I should come up and visit her. She says she’s hostessing so she’ll be able to chat all night. I tell her I’ll see. She goes tanning, then off to work.

Of course I don’t go. After working at the spa until 8pm and then cleaning up, I’m ready to just go home and have a drink, and watch Netflix. I’m not getting on the train and going all the way up to Fishtown at 9pm. Not happening.

A week passes and it’s the next Friday, and who comes strolling in at 7:30. Olivia. She looks amazing as always. The great thing is, it’s dead on Friday nights and we can chat. The first thing she says is, “Somebody was supposed to come visit me last week and never did.” I apologized and explained why and she was fine with it. Her phone died and I told her I had a charger. She comes around the counter to plug-in and starts showing me all of these pictures of her family. Of course they are all Aryan greatness, and she tells me everyone has blue eyes. It’s a big family. I think like 5 kids! All good-looking. I’m looking at her beautiful face right next to me and her lashes are so long, and I simply adore her. I’m mesmerized by her beauty.

She glances past me at the other computer and asks what that is on the screen. I was working on phicklephilly on the other unit. I admit that I write this blog about people I meet in Philadelphia. She inquires deeper, and I admit that it’s about all of the women I have met in the last 10 years. She says she wants to read it and I should send her the link. I’m completely under her power at this point, but see a wonderful opportunity. I tell her I can’t do that because I don’t have any of her contact info. I give her my phone and she writes her name with some emojis next to it. A smiling sun, cherries, and a bomb. I don’t know what any of this means, but I don’t care because I am so happy. I now have her contact info. I tell her that if we meet up outside of here, I will have to write about it. I think she likes the idea of the attention. I tell her I change all of the names and use stock photos for the pics on each post. She says I should use her real picture, and I tell her I’ll think about it. She actually uses the words “Text me and we’ll go out on a date.” At that moment I was so excited, I wish I could have tied my belt around my head so that it didn’t explode like that dude in the movie, Scanners.

Ha ha ha! Yeah!!!!

Of course I say: “Are you sure? Like brunch or meet for a drink?” She says, yes. This is all very surreal, but I am overcome with euphoria. I tell her I’ll keep and eye on her phone and she goes back for her session. When she comes out she hugs me and says to reach out to her. I give her the phone, which she nearly forgot. Then off she goes into the night.

I’m super happy at this point. So as I’m closing up and settling the register, I put on some triumphant music.

The next night around 1:30am, my phone rings and it’s her. But I’m asleep! The next morning I see that she called, and there is a voicemail! I can’t imagine my luck. I wonder what she will say? I play the message and it is two and a half minutes of muffled static.

Later, I get this text: “OMGOSH I butt dialed you by accident!! I did it to like a bunch of people bc my phone was in my back pocket at work haha oops!”

I waited a few hours (because that’s the cool thing to do so it looks like you have a life)

Then I responded: “Blame your butt all you want. You know you wanted to call me! ha ha”

Crickets.

Sigh…

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every Monday at 9am EST.

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I publish new Dating content every Monday at 9am EST. I publish Updates and bios and stories about Non-Dating related characters, such as male and female friends, on TuesdaysWednesdays at 9am EST.