I'm a flirt without even trying to be, 98% of the time. I'm also in a committed relationship, and look at my flirtations as harmless methods of self-expression.
But while I self-identify as a flirt, when a person I'm dating flirts with someone other than me, I freak out. It's partially due to my own insecurities, and partly due to the fact that I'm not Miss Cleo. I know my flirtations on a random night out with the girls are totally silly and innocuous. But who can say with 100% accuracy that the same goes for the flirtations of my S.O.?
Even if you trust your partner completely, you can't be inside their head. This can stir up any number of unpleasant feelings. So while my gut reaction is to say no, flirting isn't cheating, when the roles are reversed things get a lot more complicated. To untangle things and settle the score once and for all, I reached out to some friends and professionals.
Is flirting cheating? Here's what I found out.
It all depends on your intent
How innocent flirting is hinges on your objectives. "If the intent is to do it for fun, it's lighthearted, and makes you smile, then it's cool," says Amy Levine, sex coach and founder of Ignite Your Pleasure. "Particularly if you're in a public setting and out with friends, and the person you're flirting with knows you're in a relationship."