Relationship Advice Tips from Dr. Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.
Does it bother you when you catch your partner flirting with your best friend?
Do you swing from thinking it’s good that they are pals, to wondering if both of them are betraying you?
It must be very uncomfortable for you to be caught in this trap.
Do you confront one or other and risk being seen as overly sensitive or jealous?
What if you hurt one or both when they feel that you mistrust them and that the friendship and romantic relationship are in jeopardy?
Do you wait to see what develops?
Do you nip things in the bud?
HOW ABOUT LOOKING AT THE SUBTLE WAYS YOU MAY UNCONSCIOUSLY COLLUDE WITH YOUR PARTNER TO FLIRT WITH YOUR BEST FRIEND?
Here are 9 reasons why your partner may be flirting with your best friend – With your tacit approval!
1. Fear of missing out on the coolest person.
Your partner’s antenna are still on the alert for the best of the best mates – it could be evolutionary, since physical attraction is a facet of having good breeding partners. If it’s your best friend, then it’s close to home and requires less effort – kind of part of the family in a way. You also see it as useful because now you don’t have to choose between your friend and partner.
2. Having your cake and eating it for insecure people.
Having a partner provides an element of security, but the nagging fear that it may not last makes them keep her eye out for what else they can have if things go south – a sort of insurance policy if you like. Again, because they are attracted to your best friend, it doesn’t feel like cheating – but it’s like twofer!
If your partner is insecure and a bit clingy, needing a lot of reassurance, it’s a boon for you when your best friend takes on some of that load.
3. What they have is devalued because it’s already in the bag.
You lose some of that initial heart stopping attraction, and now that you are “theirs;” it’s less exciting – hence looking to your best friend. Your partner doesn’t possess your best friend in the same way, and it becomes a way of jump starting the now defunct excitement factor.
You may get upset and jealous and revamp your excitement factor to bring the relationship back into line
4. Insurance policy against cheating
Eyeing your best friend creates some sort of safety valve to prevent your partner having an affair. Because it’s your friend, your partner can enjoy feeling titillated and sexy from afar, knowing they aren’t going to cross the line.
Having brought your partner into your ‘family’ of friends, including your best friend, it feels natural and even heartwarming that they are playful and teasing – just like a family where aunts, uncles, cousins and siblings teased and titillated one another.
5. You might encourage your partner and your best friend to get on with each other, ‘so it’s allowed!
Because it’s your best friend, your partner knows that you aren’t immediately going to get suspicious. You probably encouraged your partner to make friends with your best friend- so there is some sanctioning of the liaison, even though its being used to pump up the novelty and excitement factor – albeit safely.
You are glad that your relationship with your best friend now includes your partner. It’s a relief that everyone adapted and made room for one another. You haven’t lost anything, but gained an added dimension to your connections.
6. Flirting removes the chains of expectation in committed relationships.
The best friend may not expect anything and enjoy flirting. They too knows it’s safe because of the friendship with you. That juices up a relationship for your partner that has now become all about commitment, duty, obligation etc. Your best friend may listen to your partner in a non-judgmental way since they has no ax to grind – while you may be putting all sorts of pressure on them to be whatever you think a partner should be.
You are happy that your best friend supports your partner, as it takes the pressure off you, and your best friend is really there when you need them.
7. Possessiveness on your part can make your partner want to flirt to feel free, but without giving up the relationship entirely.
If your partner senses that you are possessive they are likely to ogle your best friend. They resent feeling ‘owned’ and constrained. But they don’t want to end the relationship or have conflicts with you. So flirting becomes a respite and a bit of fun while they stay tethered to you.
You can pull in the reins when you need to feel ownership, and let them go when you feel your partner is too much to handle!
AUTHOR OF ‘Now You Want Me, Now You Don’t! Fear of Intimacy: ten ways to recognize it and ten ways to manage it in your relationships.”
Copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D. 2015
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Disclaimer: this article is for informational and educative purposes only. Dr. Raymond is not responsible for any reactions you may have when reading the content or using the suggestions therein. Interacting with this material does not constitute a therapeutic relationship with Dr. Jeanette Raymond