Flirting Signs: When is it Jealousy and
When Should I be Concerned?
By Susie and Otto Collins
Laughing, hugging, joking or even a certain smile. These are
all possible signs that someone is flirting. This is all
well and good if the person flirting and the one he or she
is flirting with are both single.
But what if the person doing the flirting is your partner?
How can you tell if your partner is flirting or if you
are just being jealous?
It can be confusing and difficult to tell the difference.
You certainly don't want your mate to feel like he or she
can't even talk or have fun socializing with other people.
At the same time, flirting can erode trust and drive a wedge
between you and your partner.
Greg is tired of feeling jealous. His girlfriend Candace is
a flirt. It seems like every time they go out she directs
more of her attention at other guys and not him. Greg
wonders if he's just being an overbearing jealous boyfriend.
And he also worries that Candace's flirting means she is
interested in other men-- that she might cheat one day.
Flirting Warning Signs
*When your partner's flirting is consistently toward one
particular person, you are being called to pay closer
attention to the situation.
*If the person your mate is flirting with seems to be
misunderstanding his or her signals, a line has possibly
*How much regular contact does your partner have with the
person he or she flirts with? That can make a difference.
*Do you perceive manipulative intentions behind your mate's
flirting? Does it seem like he or she is trying to make you
feel jealous or insecure?
*Does the flirting involve explicit sexual references or
inappropriate physical contact? Be aware if this is the
We don't believe that flirting between a person already in a
committed relationship and another outside that relationship
We simply don't agree with those that contend that flirting
outside a relationship enhances passion or excitement.
Flirting almost always creates distance and damages trust
between two people in a committed monogamous relationship.
But jealousy also contributes to disconnection and harms
trust, so it is important to learn to tell the difference
between your partner's possible flirting and your possible
Get clear about what you are seeing.
Greg sometimes discounts his feelings when out with Candace
as merely his jealousy. But when he begins to look closely
at the what's going on, he notices that Candace's behavior
fits several of the flirting danger signs.
She tends to flirt with many men but she mainly focuses her
attentions on an acquaintance of theirs named Jeff. Jeff is
a regular at the bar that Candace and Greg go to.
It seems like the hugging and physical contact between Jeff
and Candace has become more intimate lately and this makes
Greg very uncomfortable.
Greg knows that Candace has also recently become online
"friends" with Jeff through a social networking site she
Greg doesn't think that Candace has cheated on him with Jeff
but he also wonders if that will be the next step in their
Try to take a step back from your situation and become
clearer about what you are seeing and observing.
Use the list of flirting signs to help guide you in your
observations and tune in to how you feel about not only your
relationship but also your partner's behavior.
Come up with agreements.
From this clearer place, you might choose to sit down and
talk with your mate. You can share how you feel about the
flirting, but we don't recommend that you blame or judge
Greg, for example, says to Candace, "When I
see you hug and stand so closely to Jeff, I feel concerned
and worried that you're developing romantic feelings for
Greg might ask Candace to tell him more about how she does
feel about Jeff. They might also talk about their
relationship and come up with ways they can increase
closeness between the two of them.
Candace and Greg can create agreements about how they will
each act while out in social settings.
If Candace does admit to having deeper feelings for Jeff,
she and Greg might talk about what they want to do within
their relationship. There could be needs that Candace has
that are not being met with Greg.
As they get this gap in their relationship out in the open,
they can begin to make changes and start to move closer
Not many people enjoy being called a "flirt" and not many
others enjoy being called "jealous."
It is important to get beneath the surface of these labels
and look as clearly as possible at what's really going on.
Identify the needs that you both have that are not being met
right now. Create agreements and act on ideas that will help
you two become more connected.
From there trust and closeness can build and grow.