How To Deal With A Flirty Boyfriend & Address His Behavior

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man looking back at smiling girl

While flirting isn't always a bad thing, it is understandable to feel disrespected when you see your significant other flirting with other people, and trying to deal with a flirty boyfriend can be frustrating.

It’s important to understand that there are times when your boyfriend is flirting with other people because he simply enjoys the attention or is a charismatic and charming person who might not even realize that he is flirting. 

Not everyone regards flirting as equivalent to cheating, and in some cases, it might even be okay for your boyfriend to flirt a little as it can add some spice to the relationship. 

“What’s flirty to one may not be flirty to another,” says Keya Murthy, a Clinical Hypnotherapist and Spiritual Life Coach. “But if all your girlfriends and sisters agree that your boyfriend is flirty then you need to have a serious conversation with him.”

Whatever the reason might be for your boyfriend to flirt with other people, it can be difficult figuring out how to deal with a flirty boyfriend, especially because you don't want to come off as insecure or hurt. 

The good news is that it is possible to deal with a flirty boyfriend without putting a dent in the relationship or making your partner uncomfortable.

How To Figure Out If Your Boyfriend Is Flirting With Other People

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1. He gets in their personal space.

Of course, you can’t stop your boyfriend from talking to other women, and there is sometimes nothing wrong with it either.

However, it can become a bit questionable when you notice him invading their personal space while engaging in a conversation with female friends.

Sometimes you can even tell if he’s being flirty from how often he’ll try touching her, maybe on her arm or shoulder. 

If it’s an innocent conversation, a man won’t try and find an opportunity to touch a woman — in fact, he won’t even try to lean in close at all.

2. There is prolonged eye contact.

There is nothing wrong with eye contact while engaging in a conversation with someone. In fact, it is regarded as good manners.

However, prolonged and lingering eye contact is a big sign of physical attraction, so if a man holds intense eye contact while listening, that can mean that they are actually flirting.

As his girlfriend, you are immediately in tune with the games he plays while he’s flirting, so you should never second-guess yourself if you think the prolonged eye contact is him flirting.

3. He doesn't turn down someone else's flirtatious advances.

Sometimes it can help to figure out if your boyfriend is flirting by looking at how the person he’s with is responding to the conversation.

Her reaction can definitely let you know if he’s flirting with her or not, especially because women tend to be a bit more expressive with their faces, tone of voice, and body language.

If the woman is blushing, smiling shyly at him, or trying to draw attention to herself in any way, then it means her responses can validate his intentions.

However, if she has a stoic expression, or if her advances are strictly coming off as friendly, then it means your boyfriend is most likely not flirting, or she is not picking up on it.

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How To Deal With A Flirty Boyfriend

1. Talk to him.

If your boyfriend flirting with other women is making you uncomfortable, then it is important to simply bring it up in a healthy discussion.

Not everyone has the patience to deal with their boyfriend flirting, and brush it off. Sometimes the best way to understand his motives is to hear him out.

So what do you say to a flirty boyfriend?

“Ask him specifically what he means by when he says something or does things with each woman you think he flirts or flirted with women," says Keya Murthy. “You have to be specific when you ask your questions so he can address each action of his on a case-by-case basis.”

A simple conversation can drastically change the way your boyfriend interacts with other women, and might even be the key for him to watch his flirting.

2. Don’t accept it.

Sometimes guys will flirt because they know their girlfriends won’t stand their ground and call them out on it.

Women usually will not call out their partner flirting because they don’t want to come off as jealous or insecure. 

The truth is, if it bothers you, don’t just ignore it. It won’t make you look jealous or insecure, in fact, it will show your boyfriend that you won't take the disrespect.

You shouldn’t have to deal with behavior from your boyfriend that makes the relationship hard to be in.

3. Trust him.

Your boyfriend’s flirting could be harmless, and he might tell you so. If it is a healthy relationship in every other aspect, then it should mean that you trust him when he says that, especially if you have no reason to suspect that his flirting with other people means he is cheating. 

It could be harmless fun for him, and at the end of the day, you can’t police him on every little thing he does.

If you wholeheartedly believe the relationship is worth it, and he doesn’t actively go out to make you feel insecure, then let him be.

4. Don’t be naive.

Even though it is important that you trust your partner, don’t be naive, especially if you have a gut feeling.

Be more conscious of your boyfriend's flirting so you aren’t blindsided by anything that is happening. 

It is easy for men to get carried away, and what might have started off as harmless flirting can quickly catapult into something much bigger that can jeopardize the relationship.

It can be hard to decide whether or not your boyfriend flirting with other people is grounds for you to leave him.

Of course, it all depends on intent, and what your boyfriend is trying to get when flirting with women that aren’t you.

It’s important to set boundaries with your partner and make sure he understands if you genuinely don’t like it when he flirts with other people.

“Flirty behavior can become cheating if he is not getting what he wants in a relationship with you,” says Keya Murthy. “If you are important to him then he will change and work on becoming what he needs to be a couple with you.”

Flirting with intent to step out of a relationship is not acceptable, as well as flirting with people that might have a crush on your partner. 

The only time flirting can be acceptable is when there is nothing behind it. When you know that your boyfriend either flirts to have fun or maybe doesn’t even realize that he is flirting.

At the end of the day, you shouldn’t subject yourself to being in a relationship that is not making you happy. 

If you find that your boyfriend’s flirting makes you feel like you can’t be in the relationship with him anymore, then maybe it’s best to take a step back.

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Follow her on Instagram.