Flirting with Danger: 3 Ways to Tear Down
Relationship Walls and Move
Closer Toward Your Love
By Susie and Otto Collins
Are you a flirt? Most of us would vehemently deny that we
flirt. After all, that's a behavior that is usually
associated with teenagers or perhaps those annual office
parties involving too much celebrating. But many sober
adults actually engage in flirting.
This can be a fun and exciting way to communicate to another
person that you are interested in getting to know him or her
better. The danger comes in, however, when the flirt is
already in a love relationship.
Some may say that flirting is harmless and can spice up a
relationship with a dose of healthy competitiveness and even
We affirm that flirting and jealousy only lead to mistrust
and distance. And, taken to another level, flirting can also
be a step toward cheating and breaking agreements that a
person has made to his or her partner.
If you want to maintain a strong level of trust and
connection, flirt only with the one you love. Don't use
flirting with others as a manipulative means to get
attention or otherwise make changes in your relationship.
It truly will not work or bring you closer to your mate.
Jess has always been a social butterfly. She absolutely
loves getting to know people and she also enjoys knowing
that-- even in her 40s-- she can still make a roomful of men
take a second look at her.
Kyle, her husband, was initially
one of those men at a party who couldn't take his eyes off
of Jess. He dearly loves her but now he dreads
social outings together.
From Kyle's perspective, it seems that Jess wants him to
think that she would hook up with another man among these
admirers. As Jess laughs and seems to flit from man to man
at a party, Kyle becomes more and more irritated with her
By the end of the evening, there seems to be a
wall between Jess and Kyle as he feels insecure and angry
and Jess is high on the attention but sad that it's not
coming from the one man she's truly interested in-- Kyle.
Admit to yourself that you flirt.
Perhaps, to your surprise, you have been accused of
flirting. Or maybe you are already aware that you tend to be
a flirt. Start by admitting to yourself that you have this
proclivity. We don't want you to feel bad about yourself or
launch into self-criticism. Instead, simply acknowledge your
It might be that, like Jess, you like the external
validation that you are attractive and it's fun to fully
experience that. It could be that your partner has
misinterpreted your innocent ways of socializing and he or
she is merely jealous.
These are both possibilities. And the truth of the matter
might include a little of both.
When you are in a social situation, you could make it a
point to observe your usual actions from a place of
curiosity. Just watch what you choose to do and how you
interact with others. If you seem to seek out others who you
think might find you attractive or interesting, then it is
likely you are flirting.
You might not even be aware that you are flirting. This is
why observing yourself can be helpful.
Again, there is nothing inherently wrong with flirting--
especially if you are not in a committed relationship. But
if you have made fidelity agreements with a person and you
still flirt with others, it's probable that walls of
mistrust are forming between the two of you.
Look at your intentions.
With the acknowledgment that you do tend to flirt with
others, take a deeper look behind this habit. What do you
really want when you flirt? This may require you to take a
step back and really look at the feelings and desires that
contribute to your need to flirt.
Jess realizes that she flirts for various reasons. She has
always felt proud of her ability to "turn heads." This
external validation of her attractiveness feels good to Jess
and helps her continue to feel young and alive.
Jess also discovers that she really wants to share more
passion with Kyle. Sometimes he seems so caught up with his
career, she feels taken for granted and even invisible to
him. As much as Jess doesn't want to admit this, she now can
see that getting his attention and driving home the point
that she could have another man if she wanted to also
contribute to her flirting.
You may be uncomfortable when you discover your intentions
behind flirting. However, it is very important that you
understand your needs that are not being met in your
relationship so that you can find other ways to satisfy
Consciously choose your actions.
After gaining a clearer understanding of what motivates her
to flirt, Jess sits down with Kyle. She first apologizes for
the way she tends to act at parties or other social
gatherings. She listens to Kyle as he shares with her how
angry and upset he feels when she flirts.
Then, without blaming Kyle for how she feels, Jess asks him
if he'd be willing to join her in an effort to increase the
passion and connection in their relationship. She even found
some websites that suggest concrete ideas they can explore
Now that you know your relationship needs, you can make
requests of your partner. Together, the two of you can
discover ways that you can both feel fulfilled, excited and
alive in your relationship.
It might also be that you realize some needs you can meet
internally. For example, if you tend to rely primarily on
external signs that you are attractive or interesting, you
might start by affirming this for yourself. And from this
strong base of self-love and self-care, you'll likely find
it easier to connect and deepen your relationship with your
When you are in a committed love relationship and you flirt
with others, you are undoubtedly flirting with danger. And
danger is only sexy in the movies! If you crave the
excitement and giddiness that comes from flirting, then try
flirting with your partner. You could give a subtle kiss on
the neck when he or she doesn't expect it, or you could turn
on your full charm and romance your mate.
Remove the risks of walls and disconnection that come from
flirting by making sure your needs are met. Then direct your
energy toward the one you love and enjoy!