Being married doesn’t mean you can’t flirt a little here and there if that’s something that makes you – and others – happy.
But what is inappropriate flirting when married and what exactly crosses the line?
For most people, this depends on what your partner is comfortable with.
For example, here are 10 flirty behaviors that are typically inappropriate when you’re married:
What Is Inappropriate Flirting When Married?
1. Deliberately Touching
This is pretty obvious.
If you’re married, you shouldn’t be touching anyone else in a flirty way – no matter how innocent or accidental it might seem.
Even if there’s no intent behind it, your partner is likely to see it as a betrayal of your marriage vows.
By touching someone else you’re crossing that line from playfully flirting to giving them messages that you’re interested in them.
2. Phoning or Texting Behind Your Partner’s Back
If you’re married, you shouldn’t be phoning or texting anyone else in a flirty way – no matter how innocent or accidental it might seem.
If you’re doing it behind your partner’s back, then you also have to ask yourself why you feel the need to hide it.
I’m sure the answer is that your partner wouldn’t approve. Just as you wouldn’t approve if you found out your partner was flirting, right?
If you feel the need to hide your flirting, you shouldn’t be doing it.
3. Lying to Your Partner About Your Actions
Lying to your partner about your actions is just as bad as doing the flirting behind their back.
Your partner deserves to know what’s going on in your relationship – especially if it’s something that could potentially hurt them.
Lying will only make things worse and damage the trust between you and your partner.
Lying about flirting is crossing the line. Again, if your behavior is something you wouldn’t want your partner to know about, don’t do it!
4. Complimenting Other People More than Your Partner
This one is pretty self-explanatory.
If you’re married, your partner should be the number one person in your life.
That means that you should be complimenting them more than anyone else – not the other way around.
By giving compliments to other people, you’re sending the message that they mean more to you than your partner does.
That’s not fair to your partner and it’s definitely crossing the line into inappropriate flirting territory.
5. Comparing Others to Your Partner
This is another behavior that crosses the line into being inappropriate.
By comparing your partner to other people you’re putting either your partner or the person you’re flirting with down, and you’re sending out the message that you see them in the same light.
It’s not flattering to either person, it’s hurtful.
And it’s definitely crossing the line into inappropriate flirting territory.
6. Buying Gifts or Arranging Surprises
If you’re married, your partner should be the only person you’re buying gifts for or arranging surprises.
By doing either of these things for someone else, you’re sending them the message that they are as special to you as your partner is.
A gift for a good friend is one thing, but buying gifts for someone just to flirt with them – that’s definitely crossing the line.
7. Asking to Meet up Behind Your Partner’s Back
This is another behavior that’s definitely crossing the line into inappropriate flirting territory.
If you’re married, you shouldn’t be asking to meet up with anyone else without your partner knowing – no matter how innocent it might seem.
Even if there’s no intention of anything happening, your partner is likely to see it as a betrayal.
Like many of the points on this list, think about how you’d feel if you found out your partner was meeting someone behind your back.
Related – An insight into how married players behave!
8. Getting Emotionally Attached to Someone
Getting emotionally attached to someone else – even if you’re not physically flirting with them – can be just as damaging to your relationship.
If you find yourself confiding in someone else more than your partner or relying on them for emotional support, it’s time to take a step back and reassess your relationship.
It’s not fair to either you or your partner to have someone else filling that role in your life.
9. Pretending or Telling Someone You’re Not Married
This is definitely crossing the line into inappropriate flirting territory.
If you’re married, you shouldn’t be pretending that you’re not – no matter how innocent it might seem.
It’s a dishonest thing to do and it’s not fair to either your partner or the person you’re flirting with.
If you’re telling someone that you’re not married, I think you need to have an honest conversation with yourself as to what your motivations are.
10. Complaining About Your Partner
This is the final behavior on our list of what counts as inappropriate flirting when you’re married.
If you find yourself complaining about your partner to someone else, it’s time to take a step back and reassess your relationship.
It’s not fair to either of you to have someone else listening to your complaints about them, and this is likely to lead to an emotional connection with the person you’re confiding in.
It’s not a typical type of flirting, but it’s just as dangerous and crosses the line.
If you’re not happy with your partner or something in your relationship, you should speak to them about it, not gossip behind their back.
Is It Ever Ok To Flirt When You Are Married?
Now that we’ve looked at what counts as inappropriate flirting when you’re married, you might be wondering if it’s ever ok to flirt.
The answer is yes – but only in a harmless way and only with your partner’s knowledge and consent.
For example, some couples enjoy seeing each other flirting with people, just as some people really enjoy having a little flirt.
As long as both of you are comfortable with it and it’s not crossing any lines, there’s nothing wrong with this.
However, if you’re married and flirting with someone else without your partner’s knowledge or consent, that’s definitely a problem.
You will know if you’re crossing a line or not by how you feel and how you think your partner would feel if they knew exactly what you were doing.
Image credits – Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.