One of the biggest questions we get around the topic of jealousy concerns office flirtations –or flirtations with people other than their partner. Many people are caught in the “flirtation trap” and they or their partner can’t figure out how to get out of it or have no desire to get out of it.
The “flirtation trap” goes like this…
Whether it’s with a willing office co-worker, a person in a chat room, or through a dating service–the “flirtation trap” starts innocently enough with an email message, lunch or a cup of coffee. What starts innocently can and often does turn into an obsession with the other person and neglect of a partner. The two people caught in the “flitation trap” can move into physical intimacy or not.
Whether the flirtation moves into physical intimacy or not, the people who are caught in the trap can cause many problems for themselves and for others in their lives, largely because they aren’t willing to look at really what’s happening and the underlying causes.
You might be saying right now–“So what’s wrong with having coffee with someone you like or cruising the internet to have some innocent fun?”
We say office flirtations are not innocent and here’s why…
This “innocent” fun is masking a need that you aren’t willing to look at in your life if you are currently in a committed relationship. We are in no way suggesting that if you are in a committed relationship, you have to keep to yourself and never mix with other people, especially of the opposite sex. What we are suggesting is that before you strike up a friendship with someone and before you begin “innocent” flirtations, you examine what your motivations are.
What is it you are wanting from this relationship?
If your committed relationship isn’t what you’d like it to be, we suggest that you start there before you start a secret or maybe not so secret flirtation with someone. Flirtations and extra-marital entanglements cause mistrust in relationships and they push two people further apart who are probably already disconnected because of any number of things.
What if you think your partner is engaging in office flirtations?
Get yourself together and confront the issue without blaming. We know that’s really hard because a loss of trust can be a very high wall to climb but you’ll have a much better chance at rekindling your relationship if you do. You both need to ask yourselves what you’re not getting from this relationship that you’d love to have. Maybe your relationship was once close and now it’s not. What are you both willing to do to repair your relationship? What is the person who is/was caught in the “flirtation trap” willing to do to create the trust that’s been broken?
Those are just a few simple ideas to get you started toward dealing with this issue if you are caught in it. We have a trust-building program that can help if you’d like to get started bringing back the love.