Is Flirting Cheating When You’re in a Relationship?

By on September 12, 2016

Are you afraid that your significant other is out and about flirting with a bunch of people when you’re in a relationship? If so, you’re not alone. Everyone fears that their partner may be flirting with other people every now and then because there’s such a fine line between flirting and cheating.

Do you ever find that you’re flirting with a random stranger only to realize that you’re in a committed relationship? Flirting is something that we all do from time to time no matter if we’re in a relationship or not. The question is: when does flirting become cheating?

While we all may have different opinions on whether or not flirting is actually cheating in a relationship, there is a lot of information that we have to consider before making those opinions. Ultimately, it’s up to you and your partner to decide what is cheating and what isn’t, but these are great starting points to get the conversation going.


What is flirting?

Flirting can be a really difficult thing to explain because it’s deep-rooted into our own DNA. Think back to when your parents used to make fun of you for flirting with the neighbor boy. You didn’t even know what they were talking about but you were still doing it.

Flirting is seen as what happens when two people converse and put on their charm. Basically, if you’re smiling a lot, making eye contact, and taking an interest in what the other person has to say, you’re flirting.

Now, flirting is also a very scientific interaction between two people. Flirting is initiated when your body responds positively to their pheromones. Pheromones are scents that someone puts out that we can’t detect just by smelling them, but our minds and bodies can.

If your respond well to someone else’s pheromones, your body is basically telling you that your DNA and theirs would mix to produce a healthy offspring. So really, flirting is a survival technique for our species. However, it’s still seen as a means to hook up and even just get to be in a relationship with someone.

Why do we like to flirt so much?

It’s no secret that flirting is super fun, but why else do we do it so much – especially if we’re in a committed relationship already? There are a lot of different factors that go into why we like to flirt so much – some of them including the health of your relationship – but these are the main ones.

  1. It gives us a self-esteem boost

Who doesn’t love being flirted with? Obviously, it means that someone finds you really attractive and wants to pursue getting to know you better. Honestly, it makes you feel really good about yourself! That’s a big reason we like to flirt so much – especially if it’s just innocent. Sometimes hearing you’re beautiful from someone other than your significant other is a nice change.

  1. Our bodies can’t help it

Just because your mind knows you’re in a committed relationship doesn’t mean your body will just shut down its genetic work to hook you up with a good mate. Your body will want to flirt whether you actually want to or not. This just makes it feel right and natural – which we like.

  1. It’s something new

Flirting with the same person for a long time can get boring – no matter how much you love them. That’s just the truth. Eventually you run out of things to flirt about and it’s a little stale. Flirting with someone new is refreshing and it’s a nice change of pace – as long as it stays innocent.

  1. It’s automatic and it just feels right

There are times when flirting comes so naturally you can’t tell that you’re doing it at all. Some conversations just take a flirtatious turn and you can’t help but feel right in that moment flirting with someone. If it feels right, we like to do it. That’s how we are as people.

  1. It’s entertaining

I don’t know about any of you, but to me, watching someone else flirt and try to put on their magic is really entertaining and fun. Even if I’m in a committed relationship and know that the flirting won’t go anywhere, it’s really fun to watch someone get creative in coming up with different ways to flirt.


When does flirting become cheating?

Some flirting is perfectly innocent and not considered cheating at all, but sometimes it can cross a line that you can’t come back from. Although each couple or even each person may feel differently about what would be considered cheating, this is a great place to start.

  1. If you start getting feelings for the person

This is an obvious sign that your flirting has crossed the line and is in jeopardy of being cheating. If you’re flirting with someone and you have strong feelings for them – feelings that may even compete with your feelings for your significant other – then it’s cheating.

  1. If there is any touching going on

Any closeness or touching at all is obviously cheating. It doesn’t have to be kissing in order for you to be cheating on your significant other. If they would feel hurt by any touching going on when you’re flirting, it’s cheating. Now, there can be exceptions for hugs and such between good friends and flirting as though you’re just kidding, but anything beyond that is hurtful and would be considered cheating.

  1. If you’re spending a LOT of your time flirting with them

If you’re texting, messaging, commenting on their pictures, or spending a lot of your day talking and flirting with them, this is borderline cheating. This indicates that you have feelings for this person and I’m sure your partner would NOT be happy to know about how much time you spend flirting with them.

  1. If the flirting gets sexual

If there is any talk of sexual things between the two of you, it’s cheating. If you’re even willing to discuss being sexual with someone other than your significant other, then your feelings and respect are already elsewhere and both of those indicate that you’re cheating on them already.

  1. If you feel guilty

This is just an obvious sign that you’re cheating. Each couple may have different definitions on what “cheating” really is, but the one thing that everyone can agree on is that if you’re feeling guilty for doing it, then it’s definitely cheating. You should never put yourself in a situation with someone else that makes you feel guilty about your partner. If your flirting feels like this, then it’s more than likely cheating.

The Bottom Line

The ultimate takeaway here is that flirting is something natural that we all do. Sometimes we do this without even realizing that it’s happening. If that’s the case, then the flirting is innocent and not cheating. The thing that makes the flirting cheating is when you know you’re flirting with someone and acting on those feelings.

Now that you know the truth about if flirting is actually cheating when you’re in a relationship, would you still do it? What do YOU think about flirting when you’re in a relationship? Let us know down below!


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