Flirting is a great way for couples to keep the chemistry alive, but if you have a partner who loves to flirt with everyone else, it can get in the way of a healthy relationship.
Relationship expert Tara Caffelle says at the end of the day, the other person in this equation needs to address the issue — don’t let it sit.
“Ask for what you need,” she tells Global News. “It’s important to look under the jealousy that you feel.”
Is flirting cheating?
Life coach and love guru Tonya Tko, says flirting is not explicitly cheating. “However, flirting can be problematic,” she tells Global News.
She says people who have issues with flirty partners can also come down to self love and self-esteem. Sometimes, if someone is insecure about themselves, they may perceive their partners to be flirting with others, even if they are not.
But this type of self love also works the other way — if your partner truly is flirting with others and you are allowing yourself to stay in the situation and feel disrespected, this is also an indication to leave, she says
Below, Caffelle and Tko offer seven ways on how to deal with an overly flirty partner.
Tell your partner how you feel
“At an appropriate time and place, talk to your partner about it without accusing them of anything,” Caffelle says. Tell them what you’ve noticed, what people have told you and how this makes you feel. Sometimes, the partner may not be aware of how their actions could be affecting the relationship.
Tko adds you shouldn’t be confrontational, but honest: “Sit next to the person in a neutral surrounding, shoulder-to-shoulder.” The reason for this is that some people fear direct eye-to-eye contact.
It could be beyond just flirting
During the times you catch your partner flirting with friends, co-workers or strangers, you may feel upset, angry and jealous. But Caffelle says, ask yourself why you are feeling these specific feelings, and if there is a larger problem in the relationship. “Is it that he/she seems to be [cold] and distant toward you? Whatever is under this reaction, address that: ask for some reassurance, some time alone, or whatever you need to feel a little more secure.”
Load the conversation with “I”
Tko says often when we confront our partner’s actions on anything, we tend to gear the conversation with the word “you.” If you are bringing up a tricky topic like flirting, make sure you emphasize “I” instead of the word “you.” This way, your partner doesn’t feel attacked and also acknowledges how it makes you feel.
“Let’s assume that your partner is not out to hurt you with their behaviour, and are just being their charming selves in the world,” Caffelle says. “Attention from outside our relationship can give us a renewed spring in our step in our relationships, so engage in a little of this yourself. This isn’t a method of revenge, but enjoying yourself and indulging in some connection.”
Try the sandwich approach
If you are having a hard time bringing up the topic, Tko recommends the sandwich approach: start with a compliment, get to the tough details and end your conversation with another compliment. This way, you are not only addressing how you feel, but that you are willing to make things work.
READ MORE: 6 signs your marriage is probably over
Flirt with each other instead
If your partner’s attention on someone else makes you uncomfortable, ask them to bring that flirtation back home. “At a party, for instance, you only flirt with each other. See what happens and take it from there,” Caffelle says.
Know your own limits
While something like flirting shouldn’t necessarily end a relationship, Tko says it’s important to know what your own boundaries are. “If a person is not happy, then they must find a way to find happiness,” she says. “Listen to your intuition, honour yourself. If you do the work and your partner is not willing to change or make changes, make a decision.”