6 Tips on How to Respond When Someone Flirts With Your Partner
You’re at a cocktail party in your office, and you see the H.R. girl laughing at your boyfriend’s jokes nonstop. She even takes a glass from the server and gifts it to him with a smile, and your boyfriend grins back. You feel that jealousy begin to overpower you. Now you don’t know whether to look at your partner with disappointment and leave the party or tell the H.R. girl to mind her own business. When someone flirts with your partner, things can become uncomfortable very fast, but approaching the situation strategically and calmly is enough to know how to respond successfully.
Bright Side offers you an action plan to know how to react when someone flirts with your significant other.
1. Study the circumstances.
Determine if a reaction is worth your time and sanity by evaluating the context of the situation. After all, it’s not your partner’s fault that someone is flirting with them.
Suppose it’s something temporary and it takes place right in front of you, like a long conversation between your partner and someone at a party, or shared laughter between them and your cousin. In that case, it may be convenient to just let it go. The mere fact that this happens in front of your eyes indicates, most likely, that there’s nothing they’re hiding or that should worry you. They’re only having a good time.
2. If it’s light flirting, use it in your favor to reconnect with your partner.
Situations like those we described above can generate jealousy because we realize that our partner can enjoy someone else’s attention.
But instead of releasing jealousy in a negative way, it’s smarter to make it work in your favor. The person who’s enjoying your partner’s jokes or conversation is seeing something special and attractive in them, it’s clear. Try rediscovering that yourself. Chances are, you’ll quickly recognize how lucky you are to be next to them and may even get motivated to work harder in your relationship.
3. If flirting is intense or persistent, watch their reaction.
Suppose the person flirting with your partner is regularly present in their life, like a colleague or childhood friend. In that case, things can become extremely uncomfortable or jeopardize the relationship.
Watch how your partner handles the situation. If they don’t flirt back, if they radically change the subject, or involve you in the conversation, it’s evident that they’re trying to stop the flirter’s inappropriate behavior.
4. Tell your partner what you think and feel.
It’s also possible that your partner gets uncomfortable after unwanted insinuations, but they get shy or don’t know how to stop the comments. Maybe they don’t even know that the circumstances are irritating you. In that case, it’s best to be honest with each other — express that the third person’s behavior bothers you, explain why you think it’s inappropriate, and ask them to stop quickly next time it happens.
We recommend that you approach the conversation with a positive attitude. You can make them feel appreciated and flattered with your jealous reaction. But if you treat them as a suspect, you could welcome an argument.
5. Take the bull by the horns and confront the flirter.
Certainly, feeling jealous may make you want to get up and tell that flirter a couple of things, and in extreme cases, you should. If it’s someone you’re familiar with or close to, and the flirtation is getting out of control, separate that person from the crowd and confront them with the truth.
Let’s say one of your colleagues keeps smiling suspiciously at your husband, laughing at his jokes, and went out of her way to touch his arm and get her face close to his, carelessly. If something makes you think that this was unintentionally done, explain what you think and tell her that what she did made you upset.
But suppose it’s evident that the flirter is shamelessly acting by their own choice. In that case, it is enough to describe the scene and unmask them by asking why they’re behaving so boldly.
6. Reconsider the general picture of your relationship.
Although it’s not your partner’s fault that someone is flirting with them, it’s a whole other story if they welcome it with open arms or even instigate it. In that case, be honest with yourself and accept that they should own their behavior.
It’s time to take a deep breath and study the relationship. Their actions suggest that there’s a more serious problem that you should pay attention to. This flirting can be a symptom that something deeper in your relationship or marriage is in trouble.
When was the last time you felt really jealous for no reason? Tell us your funniest story involving jealousy in the comments!