21st century social media has made affairs easier and more accessible. Find out if your interactions raise a red flag.
When we think of infidelity, we often picture sexual affairs and double lives. But is flirting on social media cheating? Social media sites and online interactions are pushing the issue of flirting outside a relationship to a new sphere. Are witty, ego-brushing text conversations with others a form of infidelity and a betrayal of your partnership?
Although there are many grey areas to consider when it comes to relationships, flirting is a boundary crossed. When entering into a relationship, you are making a promise to share parts of yourself exclusively with your partner.
When sharing sexual interest and attention with somebody else, you are compromising the sanctity of your relationship. Although different relationships have different boundaries regarding what is and what is not acceptable, these guidelines will help indicate when these grey areas become red flags:
- You delete conversations with the other person
If these conversations were innocent, you wouldn’t feel guilty about them or need to conceal the evidence of such interactions.
- A considerable amount of time is spent on these interactions
As well as taking the content of these messages into consideration, you also need to evaluate how much time is spent engaging with this “friend.” Fifteen texts a day is a bit extreme when it comes to an innocent friendship and you may realise that you are spending more time talking to this person than you are with your partner.
- Are you rationalising the interactions?
If you feel the need to justify a particular friendship with “He’s just a friend”, be honest with yourself and admit that you are overstepping your relationship boundaries.
- Are you talking about your relationship/spouse?
If your partner could overhear the conversation, would you still say what you said about them? It’s disrespectful to your partner to share intimate details of your partner or your relationship with somebody else without talking to them first.
- Keep your intentions in check
Are you flirting with the intention of sexual interaction or a simple ego boost? Are you resorting to online flirting to fulfill needs that are not met within your current relationship, or are you just trying to make your partner jealous?
There are healthier ways to increase your self-esteem and regain the power that you have lost in your own home. Flirting outside the partnership is not the answer.