I had a girlfriend of mine come up to me in a slightly panicked state one day saying she needed to talk. She has been in a long-term committed relationship for quite some time but she was feeling confused. I asked her what was going on and she said she bumped into someone at work who she found really attractive and their brief interaction made her feel a bit giddy. By the time we were talking she was feeling really insecure about the interaction. Does this mean she doesn’t love her partner as much? Does her attraction to him mean she isn’t happy in her relationship? Does this brief, innocent flirt with someone else mean they should break up?
My answer: Absolutely Not!
While not everyone may agree or support my explanation, I want to give you my professional opinion. You can be in the most amazing, loving, happy relationship and still find other people attractive. As human beings we are going to find ourselves occasionally drawn to other people, and other people will excite us. Expecting that once we find our partner we won’t be attracted to any one else is unrealistic and unlikely. Expecting this is setting yourself up to fail, as well as feeling guilty and confused.
So what should you do if you find yourself in the same position as my friend? Don’t sweat it, but also don’t feed it. If you find yourself attracted to someone try to limit the number of “bump ins” you will have. Don’t outwardly flirt or try to continue the conversation. The very last thing I am saying with this newsletter is that it is okay to develop a flirty relationship with someone other than your partner. It’s not. And working to develop more of a relationship with this person while convincing yourself it’s innocent, could be putting yourself in a position to cheat.
My rule of thumb? Allow yourself to be flattered if someone flirts with you, enjoy the moment and then let it pass. Remember, the grass is always greener where you water it. Invest in your relationship, while allowing yourself to be human.