Is flirting outside your relationship ever OK?

Krasinski’s only got eyes for his wife ... and Conan ... and maybe you.

Conan O’Brien recently offered a solution for the lonely-hearted: Watch his video of celebrities flirting directly with viewers. From John Krasinski to Emmy Rossum to Fred Armisen, the stars looked at the camera and acted like they were meeting you in a bar and hoped to hook up. Some of those flirters might be looking for love, but what about John Krasinski, who is married? Do you think his wife minded? In this case, he may have just been playing a role, but people in relationships deal with this question all the time: Is flirting good or bad?

The answer is that it depends. For everyone, putting yourself out there with other people of the opposite sex and making smart conversation helps you feel desirable and confident. If, however, you are already in a relationship, then you want to make sure all that heightened sexual energy is stored up for your partner, who you will share it with later. If your relationship is solid and you feel you are being given enough one-on-one time, then a little flirting is OK. Sometimes watching your partner flirt can even give you a sense of pride.

But if it makes you feel threatened, then it might not be such a good thing. If the foundation of a relationship isn’t strong, it can increase your feelings of doubt and mistrust. The person doing the flirting might feel good, but it might make the other partner feel insecure.

If that’s the case, it’s a good time to take stock and realize that rather than looking outward, you should focus your energy inward to work on strengthening your trust. You can do this by being affectionate, complimentary and expressing your love. If you still feel uncomfortable when your partner flirts with others, it can also help to set ground rules. For example, a little conversation might be OK — but if it goes beyond that and someone offers or asks for a phone number, the answer is no.
The goal is to make flirting work as a positive rather than a negative for your relationship.

— Relationship expert Dr. Jane Greer is the creator of “Shrink Wrap” – national commentary on what we can learn from celebrity relationships – and host of “Let’s Talk Sex” at Healthylife.net. Her book, “What About Me? Stop Selfishness From Ruining Your Relationship,” is available nationwide.

Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages.


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