Love, Self

How To Deal With Jealousy When You Catch Your Partner Flirting With Someone Else

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How To Deal With Jealousy & Communicate Relationship Boundaries Around Flirting

Learning how to deal with jealously in your relationship is tough, especially when you catch someone flirting with your partner. 

You’re out with your partner at a party, club, or in another social setting.

A person comes up to them and begins flirting.

You're irritated at first, but because your partner is not stopping the obvious (to you) overtures of this other person, you get jealous and furious! 

RELATED: How To Deal With Jealousy When It Threatens Your Relationship

This scenario is, unfortunately, all too common. 

And, believe it or not, the way you choose to respond to a situation like this when you're in a relationship can mean the difference between connection and distance with your partner.

There are a few possible responses you can use when someone is being overly flirtatious with your partner:

  • You could approach the one flirting with your partner and tell them to "back off".
  • You might firmly re-direct your partner’s attention away from this other person and back to you.
  • You could say and do nothing, until later when you let your partner clearly know that you won't tolerate a repeat.
  • You might storm out of the room leaving your partner with this other person.
  • You could also say and do nothing at all and just stuff down your feelings.

There are always many possible responses to any situation, especially one as emotionally charged and difficult as this.

It's important to remember that, as intense as you might feel in any moment, you always have a choice.

This is essential.

Because when you simply react to the flirting from jealousy-laced fear or anger, you will make the whole situation more difficult.

When you feel your stomach clench, your heart begins to race, or your palms tense and sweat because your jealousy has been triggered by the flirting, it’s time to remind yourself that you get to decide how to respond.

And as you make this decision, ask yourself this question: "What is the outcome I want from this situation?"

As upset and out of sorts as you might feel watching someone else flirt with your partner, take a few seconds to breathe, and inwardly pose this question to yourself.

Is it more important to you to get the other person away from your partner or is it more important to move closer to the one you love?

There truly are no "right" or "wrong" answers here and it's also not really an either/or question. 

Circumstances can be so different. What's most important is for you to become clear, within yourself, about what you want and what your true priority is.

Then you can more easily choose a response that will point you in the desired direction.

RELATED: What To Do When Another Woman Hits On Your Boyfriend

Learn how to deal with jealousy in your relationship when someone is flirting with your partner by doing these two things:

1. Focus mostly on connecting with your partner

Make it a top priority to connect and stay connected with your partner. Do your part to keep communication between the two of you honest and open.

This doesn't mean you pretend the flirting isn't happening or that you're okay with it (when you aren't). 

This might mean you try out new ways of sharing and listening. Build the trust in your relationship by communicating and following through on agreements and promises.

With a solid base of healthy trust and communication, jealousy won't be as big an issue, even if someone else is flirting with your partner.

It might be that your response to another person flirting is a subtle look or touch that passes between you and your partner.

With your strong connection, it becomes a non-issue and the two of you easily move on. Together, instead of torn apart by another person's actions. 

2. Make requests and agreements to support the relationship you want

As you do the internal work reminding yourself of your priorities and consciously choosing how to respond, you can create agreements with your partner.

It is probably not the best time to make an agreement when that other person is standing there. 

When the two of you are alone and you're feeling close to one another, suggest an agreement for how you both could handle a flirting situation.

For example, is flirting cheating, in either of your points of view?

Perhaps your partner is just as uncomfortable with the flirting as you are but doesn’t want to offend the person doing the flirting.

Maybe they don't know how to react and so do nothing (and that gets misinterpreted). 

Or perhaps your partner defines flirting differently than you do and doesn’t see specific behaviors as flirting, even though this seems obvious to you.

Really listen to one another and try to understand how your partner views a particular situation and what they want to do to resolve it.

Come to an agreement that you both can feel good about and that you'll both follow.

Talk about specific behaviors and be as fact and observation-focused as possible.

If your partner accuses you of "just being jealous", keep returning to what you observed (and not what you guess or think another person's intentions are).

Ask for what you do want and be specific about this too.

Once you learn how to deal with jealousy in a social setting where someone is flirting with your partner and you feel jealous, you can choose to make a clear and calm request, in that moment. 

Just be sure you are responding in alignment with what you ultimately want and that you aren’t merely reacting from intense feelings.

For example, you could politely enter the conversation between your partner and the other person and request that your partner joins you for a breath of fresh air outside, at a table, or for a dance. 

You aren’t pulling or tugging at your partner, because it is then up to them to decide whether to end the interactions with this other person and join you or not. 

When jealousy rears up within you in the face of flirting, it is not a foregone conclusion that an argument will erupt between you and your partner.

RELATED: 7 Ways To Stop Acting Like An Insanely Jealous And Crazy-Insecure Person

Susie and Otto Collins are Certified Transformative Coaches who help awaken love and possibilities in your life. Get more tips about how to handle tricky and jealousy-inducing situations, like someone flirting with your partner, in their free 7 Jealousy-Stopping Secrets e-book.

This article was originally published at No More Jealousy Blog . Reprinted with permission from the author.