My husband, Jake Eagle, just wrote an article about flirting and jealousy from a male perspective. I appreciate what he wrote and would like to add my own perspective.
In his article, Jake shared that early on in our relationship, I had a tough time with jealousy. This was true. My history was one of being with men who couldn’t be trusted, including my father.
It wasn’t a matter of needing all of Jake’s attention, but I didn’t trust that he would not act on his attraction to someone else. Over the years we’ve been together, Jake has proven himself to be trustworthy by his consistent clear and clean behavior. And over the years I’ve matured and grown to feel more confident in myself.
Gaining more confidence allowed me to adopt the same attitude that he had when our relationship began. Early on, I asked him if he ever felt jealous, and he said, “If you were to ever be unfaithful to me then you would not be who I thought you were, so I wouldn’t want to be with you anyway. And I would move on.” I liked that perspective.
Interestingly, though I don’t trigger myself with jealousy any more, I haven’t really changed my attitude about flirting. I still see flirting, for people who are in committed relationships, as somewhat dishonest and immature.
From my point of view flirting, if we’re not available, is just pretending an availability that isn’t really there. I see it as misleading to the recipient and unkind to the recipient as well as the partner.
The recipient may feel flattered at the time, but I think there are few people who wouldn’t perceive flirting as an invitation. And if we are not really making an invitation, then what are we doing?
Secondly, I see flirting, when we are in a monogamous, committed relationship, as an immature way of getting attention—a way to make us feel temporarily good about ourselves, but a pretty superficial way to get there.
If instead, we were to express our kindness toward people and our sincere desire to connect with others—without the flirtatious vibe—I believe we’d have something more valuable to feel good about.
I no longer feel jealous when women get Jake’s attention. Not only do I trust that he’ll be appropriate, but, I am confident that he has his priorities straight. And if he didn’t, he wouldn’t be who I know him to be and I would move on.
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