Love & Relationships: Is Online Flirting Harmless?

 Are You Engaging in Online Flirting Behind Your Partner’s Back?

The world is full of people who engage in harmless online flirting. But the people who think it’s harmless are they people who are doing it! Online flirting is intriguing and more than a little exciting—especially when it’s done behind someone else’s back. The people who do it tell themselves it’s harmless. But is it really harmless, especially if it’s done in secret? Is it ever justified? What if their partners aren’t fulfilling their needs and that’s why they’ve turned to online flirting? There are a lot of things to consider.

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Tending to Each Other’s Needs

If their partner isn’t tending to their needs, they should ask themselves is they’re attending to their partner’s needs. Relationships are one of the true cause and effect situations in life. This means that a person pretty much get out of them exactly what they put into them. If someone engages in online flirting because they aren’t getting what they want in their relationship, there’s a good chance they’re also not giving their partner what they want either.

Most surveys suggest that people engaged in online flirting blame their partners for their actions. They have been driven to the Internet because they feel neglected by their partners and are waiting for their partners to fix things. There are really only two options for a couple in this situation: Both people need to make an effort to make things better, or they need to go their separate ways.

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Testing the Waters

But isn’t that what Online flirting is really all about? They’re putting their line in the water to see what kind of nibbles they’d get if they were single. This thinking is flawed though. The person engaged in online flirting is actually engaging in fantasy, not reality. This is not a real relationship. There are no obligations and responsibilities. And the person they’ve been talking to could be lying about who they are and what they look like.

Partner Bashing

Flirting online can lead to partner bashing. And of course the person an online flirt is talking too is more than willing to lend an ear and a virtual shoulder to cry on. But they aren’t there to make the other person’s relationship better. They’re there to cause a rift and add a little excitement to their life at the expense of someone else’s happiness.

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Energy Robbing

The energy an online flirt should be putting into their real-life relationship is being invested in an online fantasy relationship. It weakens their partnership and robs energy from their relationship. How can it not? They’re taking the fun times they should be having with their partner and giving it someone else.

What Can You Do?

Recognize that there is no such thing as harmless online flirting. Almost every divorce has started with harmless flirting (cheating), and ended with the reality of cause and effect. It is you who is responsible for your happiness. You have the power to make or break the success of your relationships, and it involves action over reaction, and taking that action before hard feelings set in. Get back into your relationship, regain curiosity in your partner and remind yourself why you fell in love with them in the first place.

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Harmless flirting is not a band-aid to “help you get through bad times.” If you really feel that your relationship is over, don’t bother testing the waters online, because you really can’t experience a different or new life from the vantage point of a computer or smart device. Have the courage to end things properly, and realize that finding happiness is a lot more complicated than discovering it while living in virtual exile with an online stranger.

16 thoughts on “Love & Relationships: Is Online Flirting Harmless?

  1. Poopsie

    To Barbara, so much for those “Christian” dating sites. I hope this is not representative of all of them. It goes to show, there are con artists everywhere, whether online or in church.
    Online flirting, I would venture to say, certainly has its risks. If married, I would also wonder why the need for the online flirting. There is a difference, however, between online flirting and just having friends of both sexes online.
    My husband and I trust one another and certainly do not mind each other talking with friends of the opposite sex, but that is not the same as “flirting”!
    Good luck, and I would recommend being more tight with your money, for your protection, a bitter lesson I am sure that you have by now learned after the second time around! Thanks Eric for the insightful article!

    Reply
  2. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Nice article, Eric, food for thought indeed.

    Flirting on line can start as innocent but, if not careful, it can turn out to be a very slippery slope.

    I liked Chris’s comment below, I tend to agree with him.

    However, there are those that CAN flirt and NEVER cross boundaries into infidelity….I have met a few who can.

    It all depends on exactly what they are looking for on line…a friendly chat, new connections with interesting people who, for example, have interesting careers….the list goes on.

    It all depends upon the individual, the circumstances, and what they are seeking.

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

    Reply
  3. Jan

    well maybe you werent thinking correctly. scammed by men. are you so desperate that you allowed that to happen to you. twice? its u with the issue not them. not trying to be mean but you need to investigate why you let them scam you. and resolve it. or it will happen again. good luck

    Reply
  4. mmdirtnerd@gmail.com

    Okay guys..I have to admit my husband onlines with his ex’s..if he gets something out of it that is healthy than more power to him. It’s not in anyway in our control what they are doing or saying. If they come to rhe conclusion they are better off with someone else. .who are we to judge? We pick ourselves up and move on.

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  5. Chris

    Thanks Erik:
    Great insights from all those involved! I have many friends online, mostly on Facebook. I am not flirting, but, I do receive some offers. I am not in a relationship right now, by choice. I want to put myself together after nearly forty years of being abused emotionally by a very sick woman.
    Flirting on-line is a different topic for singles, as is flirting for singles. I believe flirting is searching, fishing or otherwise seeking something else. All flirting means the same, it is a search, on line can be down right dangerous.
    Someone happy in their relationship stops searching or flirting and if they do not it is because they are looking for the next catch. I believe this applies to all people, but I only care about my own relationships, each of you must decide your own behaviour.
    If you need to hid the behaviour, ask yourself why?
    Chris

    Reply
  6. Frances

    I believe online indiscretions are the start of infidelity. It happened in my 28 yr marriage. The first affair was with a co-worker though inter office mail. The second and last affair again with a co-worker out of province inter office mail. Its os easy to get caught up in office co-workers lives and it only takes a short time to show empathy. Wheather online inter office or email out in the public is causes chaos to those who are trusting them. Most have no Idea the extent of havoc they are creating and they mostly act so innocent. Some don’t even wake up to the consequence even though the loose their trusting wives, children and grandchildren. All because they can, on social media. Very easy but so very detrimental to the family.

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  7. Marc from the UK

    If you are in a safe trusting relationship then flirting is ok, it is healthy and good for your soul 🙂 we all like to be liked !

    Reply
  8. Dawn ext. 9777

    Couldn’t agree more. Online flirting, flat out, is cheating. You’re giving your energy, chemistry, attention to someone other than your mate. Basically, this leads to an “emotional affair”, if not a full on physical affair. Almost ALWAYS leads to the downfall/heartbreak/ruin of three or four (if the other person has a mate) people’s lives. And here’s the kicker: the online person you’re involved with…….is almost NEVER the way they portray themselves…….
    Good article, really important reality check!

    Reply
  9. Acinta Monteverde/OnlineLoveCoach

    Agreed, Eric. An ex-boyfriend was cheating online while I was in a long-term relationship with him. He was cheating, of course, on her as well. Years later, SHE became a victim as well as of his online cheating. Basically, he didn’t have the balls to end it with me for some time. At least, I was spared the agony of uprooting myself for him AND get cheated on (which she had to go through). Since this is a pattern for this coward, I am sure he is not cheating on his current partner. I am now happily married to someone I met online who took his profile off after the first date to make me feel safe. This is when you know you have met someone who is willing to commit and work on the relationship.

    Reply
  10. Christy

    Very true. I lost the love of my life to “harmless” online flirting. When I found out what was going on, he got very defensive and the relationship went south very quickly. I respected myself enough that I wasn’t willing to share my love with a multitude of virtual energy suckers. It was a real eye opener. Online flirting destroys trust in a relationship.

    Reply
  11. Midget

    Than you for your wonderful information. Having counseled several young women and husbands. it is good for more people to hear this. Our society keeps leading us to believe anything goes and it is nice to hear a physic who might have a chance to get this truth across to some of them. It appears as though many of them are being raised on the soap opera mentality – if it feels good do it after who am I harming They can’t seem to see it but they ae harming themselves and future relationships with that type attitude. As a Catholic I don’t believe in divorce or for your sake those who predict the future. But in this case I will give credit where credit is due. Peace Have a great day. Midget

    Reply
  12. Valerie

    Thank you for this article. On line flirting and the lewd pictures these women sent my guy ruined our relationship. It was done secretly, but I knew that he wasn’t vested in me anymore. There were no more nice texts or great love making. He treated me like I was the maid or some friend that just lived there. He ws having all of his fun with other women not only on-line but on his cell phone where they “hooked up”. Then there were conversations of getting together somewhere out of town. I thank God that I eventually found it all out and now I am on my own. He would not get help for his addictions (on-line dating, porn, and alcohol) and his commitment issues. I was a very loving a giving person in this relationship. I am also a very sexual person and am in great physical shape. There was no “reason” for him to look outside the relationship except for his own insecurities and problems at his work. I learned a very hard lesson, because I found him on-line, and should have taken more time to learn about his past dating history, which I didn’t find out until I moved here for him. He has a very sordid past. I have not been on-line since meeting him, nor will I in the future. I was honest about myself and expect the same in return. I’m taking time to heal now and thank Calirfornia Psychics for getting me through this rough time.

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  13. Andrea

    sounds like you are “very knowledgeable” in this area? online flirting is only a manifestation of neglect if that is how you look at things. , One can put any kind of “meaning” to it, but that is all. Flirting is done online , in business, in selling car’s , hell it is on TV ( sex sells). and that is it. Unless you go out to meet this person , that is cheating, or if your partner does the same, it is called , an “open ” relation ship. The mind travels, no matter where it goes , it travels and it fantasizes about things. we all do. we are human , we are always striving for more , better, higher, online flirting is like a roller coaster ride it is fun while it lasts . For if man cannot reach for the stars , what are the heavens for? It would be a dull life indeed! YOU of all people should know. right?

    Reply
  14. Barbara Kelley

    Online flirting is not a good nor safe way to meet anyone usually . I was on two Christian dating sites .Wrote to one man and he scammed me out of several thousand dollars which I didn’t have . well the next month I was stupid and got scammed again by a man claiming to be from Publishers clearing house . Scammers are everywhere looking for someone like me that is widowed and easy prey .As we get older we trust people more than I use to at least but no more as the last scam I went into debt to help pay for the taxes etc they said I had to pay .They will promise you the moon while all of the time they are taking your money and laughing their heads off.

    Reply

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