Do you happen to be dating a guy who’s naturally a flirt? The delivery girl, the waitress, and the girl next door are all targets for his bad habit. Flirty guys can be charming but can be a lot to handle. Irrespective of the motive, it can make you develop unhealthy feelings like jealousy and low self-esteem. While it may not be a deal-breaker, there are things you can do to cope with the situation and make it better so that it becomes a win-win for you both. Here are ways to handle a guy who’s a flirt.
- Talk about it. You can learn more about his motivations by talking with him. According to psychologists, people flirt for a variety of reasons. Is he engaging in it for enjoyment or self-gratification? In actuality, he might be acting innocuously. He probably formed this habit over time, so he didn’t need to worry if it might bother his girlfriend. He might not be aware of how it impacts his partner if he hasn’t been in a committed relationship. Perspective is gained by learning his motivation. Talking about it is the only way to determine whether the relationship can work while preventing you from assuming the worst.
- Let him know how you feel. You need to be honest about how his actions make you feel as well as the motivation behind what he does. Explain to him in plain terms why you can’t continue to support his behavior. When he was a single guy, he had every right to flirt with any and every woman he could think of. Now that he’s with you, that needs to stop. You can’t be with someone who’s so focused on chatting up other women that he’s not focused on you.
- Give him a chance to change. It seems like a no-brainer that if you tell the guy you hate that he’s a flirt with other women, he puts a stop to it immediately. However, it’s not always so easy, especially if he wasn’t even aware of his behavior in the first place until you pointed it out. If he’s said that he’ll change, he’ll be a work in progress. This means he might slip up sometimes or still make mistakes. It’s up to you to decide how long you’ll put up with it.
- Trust him. Contrary to popular belief, not all flirting results in infidelity. You can trust that it won’t progress to cheating if he has already assured you that it’s just innocent. If you feel that his promises are disingenuous and there’s a legitimate reason to worry, you might want to reevaluate your relationship as a whole.
- Be calm. If he does flirt, try not to react too strongly. Stay calm, maintain your composure, and don’t make a scene. Acting unbothered speaks well of your self-confidence and shows that your feelings toward him are healthy — you’re not obsessed or lovesick. Besides, going ballistic will send the wrong message to onlookers. You don’t want to be labeled the “jealous girlfriend.” This also works if he is flirting inappropriately, such as trying to catch your eye. Any relationship benefits from a healthy dose of jealousy, so your guy should be a little concerned if you don’t exhibit any outward signs of it.
- Stand your ground. Even though you want to be sympathetic, you need to let him know that it needs to stop. A gentle reminder now and then is understandable and appropriate. Explain to him calmly but firmly that you need him to be more respectful around you and other women. Don’t let him gaslight you into believing that you’re overreacting or that it’s no big deal. If the fact that the guy is a major flirt bothers you, he should care enough about you to want to make a change.
More ways to deal with a guy who’s a flirt
- Flirt a bit yourself. Putting your flirt of a guy in the same situation that he puts you in can sometimes be the most effective way to make a point. Try chatting up another guy in his presence, though be sure to keep it respectful and not cross any lines. This shouldn’t be the rule because it is unhealthy for the relationship to act like you’re in some kind of contest to one-up each other. This tactic is to help him understand how it feels to be on the receiving end.
- Set boundaries. You might be able to accept a guy who flirts occasionally, but it’s also important to set some boundaries. It’s a good idea to explain to him what is appropriate and how he should behave toward other woman in public when he’s with you. He should be respectful to you by not flirting in front of your face or by saying inappropriately suggestive things to other women. Set the ground rules you feel comfortable with, as they’ll vary depending on the person.
- Evaluate your feelings. Is it possible that you’re overreacting or overanalyzing the situation? There are many reasons you might experience a hint of jealousy over how you believe your boyfriend behaved toward the other girl. Could it be that you had a bad experience with a cheating ex in a previous relationship? You may have low self-esteem because you think the other girl is prettier than you and your boyfriend grinned at her. Or, maybe you overly fixate on his behavior because you see him as your everything. If this is the case, you might want to manage your emotions and start to see things differently. Try not to be too focused on your boyfriend and begin to build a life independent of him. Does it really bother you because this guy is a flirt or are there other, deep-seated issues at play?
- Be vigilant when it comes to spotting red flags. Even though you trust him, you should still exercise caution. Let him know right away if any of his flirtatious behavior makes you feel disrespected. Check to make sure he’s not going too far. He’s already aware of your opinion of his habits by this point, so instead of making his bad habits worse, he should be looking for ways to change them. Therefore, it’s a bad sign if, after you’ve discussed it and his need to change, this guy continues being a flirt or even ups the ante.
- Blend in. Get to know his friends instead of being the jealous girlfriend, especially if he has a lot of female friends. It will help you build trust with each other. It’s not very mature to cut yourself off from his friends and throw fits when he hangs out with women he’s been pally with for years. Seeing them hanging out together is also a great way to put your mind at ease when you’re dating a guy who’s a flirt.
- Know when to shut things down. You are under no obligation to date a guy who’s a flirt. If he’s behaving inappropriately, you should consider whether or not you want to continue the relationship. If he won’t change and doesn’t see the problem, it will cause you a ton of anxiety. It can be mentally taxing to live in constant fear that he’ll be unfaithful to you. If this guy wants to flirt more than he wants to focus on your relationship, it may be time to hit the road.