What could be more wonderful than to meet the person of your dreams and fall in love? Perhaps yours may have been love at first sight. But what if someone else experiences that same attraction and flirts with your partner?
There’s no denying that humans are sexually driven beings. If not, the human race would have died out in the beginning. However, it’s the mature people who know how to control their sexuality and be faithful to their partners.
WERE HUMANS ALWAYS FAITHFUL TO ONE MATE?
Anthropologists and psychologists aren’t positive that human beings were always monogamous. Studies indicate that our earliest ancestors probably practiced serial polygamy. However, the experts note that humans still gravitate to an exclusive relationship between only two partners.
This doesn’t include sexual encounters that are outside of long-term relationships. Nor does it provide for instances where people have another partner after one has died. In general, you are normal to want to have your significant other to yourself.
Remember, in junior high school, when everyone was honing their flirting skills? According to studies on human relationships, flirting is hardwired into our brains. Science classifies this as a primordial function that tells potential mates that we are interested, much like a mating ritual.
When you think about it, how did you get your significant other’s attention? You probably saw each other from across the room, smiled, and started to flirt mildly. Just because your significant other is taken doesn’t stop others from looking and flirting.
It’s a fact of life that you will encounter at least one person who flirts with your mate. Although it’s inevitable, how you deal with it is the key. If the flirting is happening a lot and your mate is playing along, your relationship may be in trouble.
HOW TO REACT WHEN SOMEONE FLIRTS WITH YOUR PARTNER
Some people don’t care to flirt with people who are obviously with somebody else shamelessly. How can you deal with these situations without looking like the green-eyed monster? Here are some helpful ways to react when someone flirts with your partner.
Psychologists point out that online flirtations are also on the rise. So keep that in mind as you read these points.
•APPRAISE THE SITUATION
Picture this scenario: You are having a night on the town with your significant other, and you notice someone obviously flirting with them. It happens to everyone at some time in a romantic relationship. Before you lose your cool and do something foolish, take a breath and appraise what’s happening.
First, was it a stranger who was making eyes at your person? On a crowded dance floor or in a busy restaurant, it may be impossible to know if people are a “couple.” This stranger saw what you saw the first time you met your mate and did what comes naturally.
If it’s someone you don’t even know, it’s probably a harmless faux pas that you can ignore. Was it a simple, flirty smile or a little wink? Try not to make a big fuss over something when the person meant no harm. As long as your partner doesn’t return the flirtation in kind, you’ve no worries.
If it makes you feel a little better, stand close to your partner, hold their hand, and smile. Then, you can give a quick, polite smile toward the person who flirts with your partner. Most people with any scruples will back off and flirt with someone else.
• HOW DOES YOUR PARTNER RESPOND?
Here’s where a little innocent wink or flirty smile gets complicated. Did your mate even see the person who was flirting from across the room? It would be harder not to notice if the flirtation were face to face, and it’s in front of you.
Try to maintain calm and watch how your partner reacts. If you are in a loving and faithful relationship, your partner will ignore it. When it’s up close and personal, expect them to speak up and say, “Sorry, I’m taken.”
Since your partner didn’t reciprocate, you don’t want to shift the blame to them. Place the blame on the flirter. A person who loves you won’t entertain flirty suggestions from others.
Look for any decent person who unknowingly flirts with your partner to make a quick exit. Chalk it up to you being with a darling, attractive person. Let it go and enjoy the rest of your romantic time together.
• WHEN THE FLIRTATION CONTINUES
Say you have noticed somebody flirts with your partner, and they haven’t taken your apparent hints. What do you do if the shameless flirt keeps trying and it’s making you and your partner uncomfortable? It gets even stickier when you see that the person has cornered your significant other while you were across the room.
These are the cases when it’s time for you to step in to diffuse the situation. You can intervene without raising your voice or risking your dignity. Step over to your partner, hug them, and introduce yourself as their partner to the flirter.
Make good eye contact with the person and give a determined smile. You may also ask, “Have we ever met?” Stay by your partner and wait until the offender has gone their way. Unless this person has no decency, this should be all the intervention you need.
• BE THE BIGGER PERSON WHEN SOMEONE FLIRTS WITH YOUR PARTNER
When you are in love with someone, it’s difficult to watch someone flirt with your partner. If you keep your cool and rationalize the situation, you are taking the high road. It shows that you are secure in yourself and your relationship.
The last thing you want to do is make a big scene. Not only will it make you look bad, but it will be a great embarrassment to your significant other. Be the bigger person and keep your dignity.
• WHEN IT’S TIME FOR A CONFRONTATION
It’s one thing when a total stranger flirts with your partner, but it’s quite another when it’s someone you know. Realize that some people are naturally flirty and mean no harm. Even then, you have a right to say what you will and won’t tolerate.
Are you tired of being in a group setting, and that same person who flirts with your partner starts? After you’ve tried everything to show that their advances are unwelcome, it’s time you speak your mind. The French call it “en tete a tete,” meaning a face-to-face confrontation.
Be assured that things don’t usually get to this point with reasonable people. However, some people are so flirty by nature that they don’t even realize what they are doing. For those who are being intentional, a confrontation.
The way you handle this conversation is crucial. You want to do it in a way that doesn’t seem hostile. Still, you need to get your message across to the person who flirts with your partner. Choose your words wisely, calmly, and unapologetically. Set firm boundaries!
Most strangers will be gone once you introduce yourself as your partner’s significant other. The situation is more complicated if the flirtatious offender is a friend or family member. If a friend or a family member has the gall to flirt with your partner, they must lack any respect for you.
• WHAT TO SAY
If you need to confront someone for their offensive flirtation with your mate, do it when you are calm. A conversation in the heat of the moment will probably go south quickly. When you’ve had time to access the situation and talk to your partner, you can ask the flirter for a little talk.
It’s not a good idea to discuss in front of people. If need be, you can bring your partner for support. Be firm, polite, but direct about how you feel about the situation.
Tell the person that you wanted to bring something to their attention that’s been bothering you. Then, be direct: “I know that you enjoy flirting and may not mean anything by it. However, you know that my partner is with me and isn’t looking for anybody else.
“When you’re flirting, it makes both of us feel uncomfortable and disrespected. I do value our relationship, but this behavior needs to stop. If not, we are going to have to part ways until you can respect our wishes.”
You can’t be any more honest and direct than that. You’ve given the offender enough room to apologize and make the necessary changes. If it’s a friend or relative, you’ve acknowledged that you value their relationship, and they’ll be fine when they stop the offensive behavior.
• THE DEAD END
Should you deal with a narcissist or a sociopathic person, your conversation may fall on deaf ears. If the behavior continues, be true to your word and cut ties with the flirter. If they are that dense and disrespectful, you don’t need a relationship with them anyway.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON DEALING WITH A PERSON WHO FLIRTS WITH YOUR PARTNER
Flirtation is a natural part of human attraction. Although most flirtations may be harmless, it may come to a point when you must speak up. Do so while maintaining your dignity and the respect of the partner you love.