Flirting and Jealousy: Don't Get Tripped
Up By Relationship Tricks
By Susie and Otto Collins
Making your partner jealous by flirting with others is not a
good idea if you want a closer relationship! No matter how
many times we read advice such as this in dating or
relationship guides, we literally never agree with it.
Sometimes it's recommended that a little flirting can cause
just enough jealousy in your partner that he or she will
feel more excited to be with you. We believe that instead of
excitement, flirting with the intention to make your mate
jealous will only bring you disconnection and foster
If it's an alive, connected and close relationship that you
want, jealous tricks such as flirting will only trip you up.
Some proponents of flirting and jealousy as a way to spice
up love relationships point to the seduction factor. They
often argue that if your partner feels like he or she has to
"win" your affections and sees that you are "in demand,"
an increase in intensity and passion will result.
You might end up causing your mate to feel insecure and
realize that he or she can't take you for granted, but is
this really what you want motivating your partner? Do you
really think that a fear-laden or competitive situation is
conducive to the kind of relationship you want?
We think that you risk ending up with mistrust, distance and
even more emptiness and negativity when you try to influence
your partner by flirting with others.
Tonya desperately wants to get Ric's attention. They've
dated for 4 years now and Tonya is anxious and feels taken
for granted. It seems like Ric is never willing to talk
about getting married or moving in together yet he has no
problem assuming that she'll always be available to go out
with him each weekend.
Tonya feels frustrated, hurt and confused. She knows that
she is ready to commit on a deeper level to Ric, but doesn't
know how to get him to
join her there.
Ready to take a risk, Tonya decides that the next time she
and Ric go out, she will visibly flirt with a male
acquaintance of theirs who also frequents the same club.
She plans to even invite this other man to slow dance. Her
hope is that Ric will be so jealous and fearful of losing
her, he'll be ready to talk marriage.
Look at what's motivating you.
If you think a jealous trick such as flirting will spice up,
save or resurrect your relationship, stop right there.
Step back from the situation and, before taking another step
forward in your plans, examine your motivations. What are
the needs that you are trying to fulfill by flirting?
Maybe you want more attention from your partner or perhaps
you are lonely and just want to know that you are still
attractive. It could be that you are afraid that you've lost
the spark with your mate and you just don't know how to get
it back any other way. Try to get a clearer idea of the
unmet needs that are driving you to flirt and attempt to
make your mate jealous.
After intentionally turning her back to Ric and talking
animatedly with this other man, Tonya begins to have doubts
about her plan. She realizes that this really isn't fair to
Ric or this other man who is a nice guy and has no idea of
Tonya's real motives in offering him her attentions.
Tonya also realizes that her jealous trick could backfire.
Ric may not react in the way she'd like him to. In fact, he
may back away even more from making a bigger commitment to
her as a result of this flirting.
Tonya understands that all she really wants is to move
closer to Ric. She wonders if there is another way to get
what she wants.
Make a decision and open up to other ways to meet your
If you open up, you can begin to see that there are many
other options for meeting your needs out there besides
flirting or other jealous tricks. Get creative and
adventurous within your current relationship if you want a
spicier, more passionate connection.
Perhaps your partner is also wanting to liven up your
relationship and would welcome exploring new ways to be
intimate with you.
If, like Tonya, you feel ignored or taken for granted, talk
with your partner about how you feel. Focus on your emotions
rather than blaming him or her. Stay open and listen when
your mate shares with you what he or she would like from
your relationship. Focus in on the places where what you
each desire overlaps and go from there.
Before asking this other man to dance with her, Tonya stops
the flirting and plan to make Ric jealous. She can already
sense Ric's confusion because she's been directing her
attention to another man.
Tonya politely ends her conversation with this acquaintance
and turns to Ric. She asks him if he'd be willing to go
somewhere quiet where they can talk.
Tonya knows that Ric may still not be ready to get
married, but she'd like to know more clearly what his vision
for the future of their relationship looks like. She plans
to also share her vision with him and see if they can
She feels nervous and a little uncertain, but she knows that
this is the path that will take her closer to the
relationship she is truly wanting.
You might be surprised when you look beneath the surface of
your urge to flirt or make your partner jealous.
Discovering your needs and deeper feelings can help you know
the next step you could take.
Trust the knowledge that comes to you from this inner
listening and trust in its wisdom. There are always multiple
paths to choose from-- your opportunity is to open up and