Q: Hi Renee,
My boyfriend is a really friendly and charming person , and so naturally he attracts lots of women. However sometimes I think he is flirting with them…he says that he is just being friendly and that it is a part of his culture to have this type of friendliness/flirting with women . I know he doesn’t want anything with them and I trust him , but I can’t help but feel a little jealous and uncomfortable when he does it . Is it OK or am I just overreacting?
A: Let’s get one thing straight, flirting is flirting , no matter what country you come from , the action still has the same intention. Some men and women are more prone to ‘flirtatious behaviour’ purely because they have an outgoing and friendly personality like your boyfriend .
However there also is a fine line between having fun with someone and flirting with them .
Firstly , so there is no confusion , let’s clear up what exactly the signs of flirting are:
- lingering eye contact
- body language that indicates familiarity , intimacy and physical attraction (eg: he touches her back , or pokes her and makes some sort of physical touch even if it’s just in jest)
- teasing , both verbal and even physical
- suggestive talk or lots of compliments!
- laughter …there’s usually lots of laughing and smiling and joking involved.
If you are feeling uncomfortable with his behaviour then chances are you have a right to. Just because he is justifying his actions it does not make them right.
The only person he should be flirting with is you . As a woman we know exactly what the signs of flirting are ..heck we invented them! So if I was you , I would set some boundaries and address it immediately before it has a chance to build up.
Tell him how you feel and ask him to be aware of what his actions and behavior indicate.
If he still makes the excuse that he is ‘just being friendly’ then I suggest reversing the scenario ( hypothetically) and seeing how he feels when you are ‘just friendly’ with other men .
Secondly if he uses the excuse ‘ but I’m a guy ‘ , then you need to hit that nail on the head! Just because he is a man that does not give him permission to act disrespectfully to you and your relationship .
If after trying to talk , reason and reverse everything with him and he still acts the same , then you may want to start questioning what he really values in your relationship and if you are willing to put up with it.
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