Why You Can't Stop Flirting With a Married Man: 5 Tips to Navigate Your Emotions
So you’ve been flirting with a married guy at work. Maybe it’s just the occasional, casual smile or a little shimmy in your pencil skirt when you walk by his office. Casual flirting is a totally normal way for people to playfully explore the depths of their personalities. So long as it upholds the golden rule of respecting each other's boundaries — a little fun interaction is nothing to bat a lash extension at.
However, maybe a handful of jokes have turned into coffee dates at three every day. Or text threads are starting to build long after office hours. And with the holiday season coming up, maybe you're starting to hope that with just enough tequila shots, and a quick trip to the coat room you’ll finally give those lips something to do (other than give awkward smiles).
It’s a tricky thing, flirting with a married man. The rules of attraction can sometimes be a little unorganized. But if you are in this sort of pickle and you need a clear way to define what you are doing, I sat down with life coach and hypnotherapist Alexandra Janelli from Theta Spring to see how you can wager your chances for love and make some concrete decisions about your complicated romance.
- Know this is probably more normal than it is super special.
The most important aspect of this attraction, Janelli says, is to recognize that it’s totally normal. “Of course you’d be attracted to people in the workplace,” she says. “You are with them all the time. Life is about connections and when you are working on projects with people and spending that much time with them, why would you not begin to start to develop feelings?” So remember that. The odds of having the feels are logically stacked in your favor. But recognize that odds are a not facts and you still have a lot more calculating to do, such as . . . .
- Identify what this is doing for you.
It’s always nice to have another male fan — someone who reminds you that you’re smart, talented, and hella sexy. However, looking at how much you value this input is important.
She insists on connecting to what’s going on with you first. “Ask what is it about that person when you are with them, that you are really valuing? Is it the communication? Is it the touching? Is the deep conversations you are having? Really ask yourself what is it about the experience that this person is providing for you?”
By knowing this, she suggests you can then give yourself the tools to decipher between being attracted to someone or just identifying something that’s missing in your relationship with yourself.
- Get realistic.
When it comes to flirting with a committed person, “You should know that you probably are getting a more comfortable version of that person,” she warns. “Because they have securities on both ends. So you will almost always get the best version of them.” So be aware of the blurred reality. “There’s not a lot of insecurities, if it doesn’t work out with that person,” she says, “ Because there is already someone else to fall back on.”
- Know your own values and get real.
Janelli does not judge the potential of meaningful relationships coming out of unconventional circumstances. However, to pull yourself out of haze of this flirting conundrum, she suggests to ask yourself, “What is it that I value in a relationship? Maybe it's trust — and if I knew this person was cheating on their relationship with their significant other, is this how I want to enter a relationship with somebody else?”
She also suggests to play the relationship out fully in your mind. Move beyond the fantasy of finally kissing this upcoming holiday party and look at the picture down the road. For instance, if he leaves his partner for you, “Ask yourself if you are ready to switch from the person that they have fun with and love and into a support system as they go through a break-up and divorce? Think to the next level. Playing out the full scenario. Get realistic.”
- Give yourself options.
So what if the flirting has gone too far? Maybe you really did just like someone saying you’re pretty. Maybe you don’t want to be a part of a decision that will break up a marriage or a family, because despite how fun it feels, it doesn’t actually sync with your values and dreams. How do you move on, within the confines of an office space when you really need to keep that check coming?
Janelli insists on finding the big picture. “Look at it objectively and deal with the facts. Can you change companies? Or departments. Maybe it’s holding tight to your values, like ‘I’m not the person who wants to be [with] the cheater. Take the emotions out of it. Really ask yourself, if the emotions weren’t there, how would you behave differently at the office?”
What do you think? Have you ever taken flirting with a married man too far at work? Do we judge each other too hard when we should be asking ourselves deeper questions instead? Let me know your take below.