Social Question

Jude's avatar

Why would someone flirt with other individuals online, when they are in a relationship?

Asked by Jude (32134points) May 25th, 2011

What do they get out of it? Do they think about how their S/Os would feel?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

43 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

It’s just for fun. It’s a game. It doesn’t mean anything at all.

tedd's avatar

I’m a flirt at heart and usually continue to flirt both in person and online when in a relationship.

Flirting shouldn’t be a problem in my book. Letting it go past flirting of course is a different case.

People like to flirt, it reassures them of their attractiveness/likeability and in many cases its just being a good friend/social person. I’ve had S/O’s get jealous of me flirting before, but in most cases it was just nothing but jealousy, which they understood.

Jude's avatar

@wundayatta How would your SO feel about it?

Blackberry's avatar

The same reason why people flirt face to face. People flirt for different reasons.

quiddidyquestions's avatar

I think flirting can be a fun ego boost for all parties, and many people don’t see it as a relationship problem.
I tend to like when my partner is flirted with a bit. It makes him feel good, and makes me feel good that other people find him attractive.
Especially in online situations, I don’t think it always matters what the person’s SO would think. If Pat is with Jo and Jo cares that Sam is flirting with Pat, it’s up to Pat to shut it down.

Jude's avatar

@Blackberry even though you are in a relationship?

GracieT's avatar

I like to flirt, but have absolutely no intention of acting on it- actually the men I flirt with are usually friends if I’m online, and they know I have no intention of doing anything.

Facade's avatar

What @Blackberry said. I’m naturally friendly, but it’d never lead to anything without my SO’s knowledge.

FutureMemory's avatar

Boredom and/or lack of respect for their real life relationship/SO.

wundayatta's avatar

@Jude I don’t see how she could mind. It’s all quite innocent. Just jokes and puns and insinuations. If I were actually thinking about something more with a person, I wouldn’t be flirting with them in public.

quiddidyquestions's avatar

I think there’s a difference between flirting and truly hitting on someone, and some people get them confused. I think of flirting as friendly, possibly slightly sexual playfulness, while hitting on someone is making it clear that something romantic/sexual is desired from the other person. IMHO, flirting is much more innocent.

Jude's avatar

@Facade Curious, how would you feel if your SO flirted with another woman “possibly slightly sexual playfulness”?

Just wondering.

Blackberry's avatar

It’s hard to imagine dating someone or being in a long term relationship with someone that wouldn’t be ok with innocuous flirting. I would feel controlled, like they were trying to limit my personality.

Facade's avatar

@Jude He does it, and I do feel jealous, but that’s my issue, not his. And as I said for myself, it wouldn’t go anywhere without my knowledge.

WasCy's avatar

Different people have different meanings for words, and “flirting” is certainly one of those words.

To me, “flirting” is playful banter, double-entendre jokes and very light (or none at all) touching. To others, “flirting” means a dirty boogie dance, sitting on a man’s lap and licking his ear.

How do you define flirting, first of all, and let’s start the discussion from that point.

Facade's avatar

@Jude I know it probably sounds a little weird, but as @Blackberry said, disallowing harmless flirting would be like limiting the person’s personality. As long as no one is actually hitting on someone else, it’s all good.

Blackberry's avatar

@Jude What are some things you would consider flirting?

Jude's avatar

Has anyone ever taken the online flirting too far (when in a relationship)?

Blackberry's avatar

@Jude What’s your defintion of too far? Making plans to meet for sex? Making plans to meet for coffee to chat? Asking for a picture?

Jude's avatar

@Blackberry cyber sex, intimate convos.

And, hiding it from your partner.

Facade's avatar

@Jude Not I, says the brown cat.
@Blackberry All that would be too far IMO, especially if done in secret.

Blackberry's avatar

@Jude Yeah, but this was a few years ago, I was like 21 or 22.
@Facade When not a secret, meeting for coffee isn’t too far, but that’s just my opinion. Making plans on facebook is the new thing lol.

marinelife's avatar

I don’t know. Mild flirtation, maybe. Anything more is a bad thing. It can pull you away from reality and the real things in your life.

It is not real because you are not actually around the other person. You can’t know them.

tinyfaery's avatar

I don’t do it, because I don’t flirt without intention. Plus, I think it’s disrespectful, even though I doubt my wife would mind.

Why do other people do it? Who knows. Whatever it is, I’m sure ego is involved.

Jude's avatar

With some, you would wonder with a past history of “going over the line” (via online) while with their partner, and it hurt their marriage, well, why would they continue to flirt (and keep it hidden)?

Allie's avatar

Maybe some people do it because it’s enjoyable. Maybe some do it because it’s just the kind of personality they have. Maybe some people do it because they need that gratification they get when they flirt with others to feel good about themselves. I don’t know, but if it hurts the person you’re with I don’t understand why you’d intentionally put them through that.
And yes, you can refrain from it. Saying you can’t stop flirting is a cop out.

Jude's avatar

This question has nothing to do with my relationship, btw. It is just something that I have seen with others here.

bob_'s avatar

Is that a self-describing question in my pocket or am I just happy to see you?

Jude's avatar

@bob_ It’s just you playing with yourself.

zenvelo's avatar

There is a fair amount of flirting here on fluther in some social questions, and it has never impressed me as much more than harmless fun. And I haven’t seen anything that would raise the ire of a SO that stumbled upon the flirting. What I have seen, if it really pissed off a partner the relationship is in much deeper trouble than a little on line flirting.

People flirt on line because it is semi anonymous. It’s progressing beyond flirting that can cause problems.

Trolling on dating sites, by the way, is not flirting.

Blueroses's avatar

It’s just a matter of skill and balance. I can have cybersex with @bob_, email my boyfriend, file my nails and order lunch all simultaneously. No one thing detracts from any other.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I don’t know, you tell me :)

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Jude It depends on what you consider to be “flirting”. According to MY definition of flirting, I see you flirt pretty much every day. So what do you get out of it, and how would your s/o feel? =0)

Personally, I have a blast flirting innocently with both the same sex and the opposite sex. My hubby knows about it and he doesn’t care because he trusts me to not cross the line. He’s allowed to flirt with whomever he chooses, as well.

Jude's avatar

I guess what I mean is when it goes beyond innocent flirting and you start getting a little more intimate with your discussions. Hiding it from your SO.

This question came about because a certain user.

Ajulutsikael's avatar

It’s like a validation of their attractiveness. They want to make sure they still got it.

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

Because its online = fun

janbb's avatar

@Jude Because a certain user…..what? You left us with a tease.

Aethelwine's avatar

I agree with you @tinyfaery. I don’t flirt without intention. I think it’s disrespectful. I’m also sure ego is involved. I might flirt a bit with my lady friends here, but I’‘m sure my husband doesn’t mind. ;)

augustlan's avatar

Harmless flirting is fine (according to me, and my husband), but cyber sex would be out of the question (for us). I think it all depends on the ‘rules’ the couple has for their own relationship. If one person is breaking those rules in any way, they’ve gone too far and shouldn’t be doing it.

Edit: As for why they do it, I’m sure it’s for the same reasons people cheat in real life. Either something is missing in the relationship or something is going on with the cheater that compels them (depression/sex addiction/etc.).

angelique_1's avatar

its because people lack excitement in a relationship or are bored with the same things.

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