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Do's and Don'ts When Your Partner is a Flirt
By Susie and Otto Collins

"How can I make my partner stop being such a flirt?"

Flirting can seem harmless or even cute-- except when you are the partner of the person who is doing the flirting!

If you are in a love relationship or marriage and your partner tends to flirt, you might feel jealous, worried, rejected, angry or otherwise upset.

It could be that you've always known that your mate has a tendency to flirt with others.

And it could also be that your partner has assured you time and time again that his or her flirting is
meaningless-- just for fun.

The trouble is, when your partner offers attention that appears to be romantic or even sensual to someone other than you, it probably doesn't feel meaningless.

In fact, you might find yourself questioning the level of commitment your partner has to you and your relationship because of this behavior.

There is no question that flirting-- when it happens between a person who is in a committed relationship and one who is outside that
relationship-- can damage a relationship.

There is also no question that your reaction to your partner's flirting can create even more distance, disconnection and conflict in your relationship.

So what can you do about flirting? Can you make your mate stop this seemingly destructive behavior?

The short (and unfortunate) answer is that you can't force anyone to stop flirting. There is no "off" switch on your partner's back that will enable you to control how he or she interacts with other people.

A more involved answer, however, is that you can take steps that will improve the situation. You are not powerless in this.

In fact, because you are in this relationship too, your response to your mate's flirting plays an important role in what can happen next.

Here are a few Do's and Don'ts to consider about flirting...

DON'T turn the tables on your partner.

Some people advise that the best way to "cure" your flirting mate is to give him or her a taste of the same behavior.

They suggest that if you overtly flirt with others while in the presence of your partner, he or she will understand how hurtful it can be.

The supposition made with this advice is that this understanding will jolt your partner into realizing that the flirting must stop-- for both of you.

Anytime you attempt to manipulate your mate (or anyone else) by turning the tables in a way such as this you are risking a pretty huge backfire.

If trust is weakened in your relationship due, in part, to the flirting that your mate has been doing, imagine what could happen if you join in and flirt with others as well! This is not a risk worth taking.

DON'T offer an ultimatum.
We've all been in positions where we felt frustrated and even helpless in the face of another person's undesirable behavior.

Finally, in desperation, we utter an ultimatum: If you don't stop doing ________ , I will _________.

The trouble with ultimatums is that they are completely meaningless-- unless you are truly willing to follow through with what is essentially a threat.

If you declare something like, "If you don't stop flirting, I will leave this relationship," make sure you ready and wanting to actually make good on what you are saying.

Ultimatums are strong words. If you don't follow through, you are indicating that you don't mean what you say.

DON'T let jealousy and fear take over.
It can be tricky not to be taken over by your jealous fears when your partner flirts-- and continues to flirt even when you make it known you don't appreciate this behavior.

Unfortunately, jealousy and fear will only take you further away from your partner. You will also most likely feel eaten up inside by your upset and difficult emotions.

By all means, acknowledge how you feel and process how you feel.  Don't let your fear-induced guesses and jealousy stories take root, however.

Try to keep yourself focused on what you know to be true and deal with your feelings-- and your partner's behavior-- from a centered place.

DO keep your calm and clarity.
Practice ways to return to a calm, "cool" and clear-headed place.  Learning some breathing or meditation techniques might be helpful.

Being calm doesn't mean that you accept your mate's flirting.  Instead, a sense of calm and clarity allows you to know what you want and to take decisive steps toward your goals.

When you choose a response rather than have a reaction to the flirting, the chances are higher that you will take action and say words that you will feel good about later.

When you act and speak from calm and clarity the likelihood that you and your partner can find ways to move closer together again are also greater.

DO decide what your bottom line is.
What is your bottom line? Go within yourself and make a decision about what you absolutely will not tolerate or negotiate about in your relationship.

Be as specific as you can be. This might pertain to your partner's flirting and it might also relate to other aspects of your relationship.

When you communicate to your partner what your bottom line is, do so in a way that is not threatening or dramatic.

You can simply make it plain that you are not willing to be in a relationship if a particular behavior is going on.

Again, make certain that you are going to follow through.

You can express to your partner what your bottom line is even as you indicate to him or her your love and your desire to build trust and move closer together.








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Relationship Coaches Susie and Otto Collins
PO Box 14544, Columbus, OH 43214
Contact Susie or Otto about Relationship Coaching by calling 614-459-8121.
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