June 26, 2009 | | Comments 2

Is Online Flirting Cheating? Hey, I never met the guy!

It’s a difficult question to answer. Is online flirting cheating or is it just innocent fun and harmless play? This issue regularly divides couples as there are many different viewpoints that factor into the answer. Some people firmly believe that online flirting doesn’t really count as cheating because you really aren’t even sure with whom you are flirting with! It’s just a bit of fun!

Anyone can upload a photo and claim that it’s a photo of themselves so there is never any guarantee that this is really the person you are talking with. Other similar lines of thought include that the other person poses no threat since their presence is only online. It’s not real!

Sniper Spy

However by many people’s standards online flirting is just as disrespectful to the relationship as flirting with someone in the brick and mortar world. Flirting, while often fun and generally harmless, can send the message that the relationship is really not all that secure. It leaves too much room for interpretation, including that the flirter has a wandering eye and has the potential for straying.

While this is not generally factual, as flirting with someone can be a harmless way of helping someone feel good about themselves, there is just too much room for different interpretations. It’s best to leave the flirting behind.

That said, it should be pointed out that each couple has the right and ability to define their relationship in any way that they want. Flirting may be fair game. When it is agreed upon by each party within the relationship, flirting might be considered a harmless and innocent method of communication.
In our every changing world it has become more popular for couples to define the parameters of their relationship by their own standards of what they believe works. Thus, anything goes when everyone is in agreement and comfortable with the idea.
The danger with online flirting is that it can grow into more than just innocent flirting. It can easily grow into an online affair. If the third party isn’t spread out across the globe and lives fairly close, the online affair can grow into an actual physical affair. By flirting with someone online, there is a high risk that you will take your energies away from cultivating your primary relationship and spend that energy cultivating online relationships.
Your relationship just isn’t going to fare well under such conditions!
This kind of computer ‘chat up’ exercise is especially dangerous if it is something that you feel you need to hide from your partner. Any time you have to sneak around or lie to your better half in order to cover up your behavior it is safe to say that it is something that just won’t fly. If you can’t be open and honest with your partner about your online interactions, even if it upsets them, then you are well aware that your behavior is out of line, one way or another.
Online flirting doesn’t have to be anything more than innocent fun. However, once it takes on a new dynamic and goes beyond a little bit of innocent fun, it can alter the course of your primary relationship. Tread carefully in these waters, as there is a very fine line between online flirtation and an online affair.

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  1. Online flirting is cheating. I’m a PI and this is exactly the kind of thing I investigate. I locate peoples secret online personal ads.

  2. A lot of emails I get at this site regard concerns from both men and women that they suspect that their partners are confiding in people they meet online ( in online games, chat rooms, ‘Second Life’ and the rest) and that these relationships, even if they’ve never met the person and so can appear relatively innocent, can become obsessive.

    That’s gotta effect a real world relationship right?

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