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Flirting and Fantasy

So, you’re in a relationship. You’re in love and you’re committed. Guess the f-words (“flirting” and “fantasizing”) are now off limits, right? Wrong. Flirting and fantasizing both have their places in loving, committed relationships.


When you’re single, flirting is often the way to show the opposite sex that you are available. It’s the ruffling of your plumage, the mating dance, the corny pick-up line. But, when you’re committed to your partner, why would you need to express your interest in someone else? Besides, you’re no longer available; so why flirt?

The answer is because now you flirt for different reasons. You’re no longer trying to show the opposite sex that you are available (and if that’s why you’re flirting, either cut it out, or get out of your “committed” relationship as soon as you’re done reading this report). Now, you flirt to let someone know that you find them attractive and/or fun. That’s it. And, yes, it’s perfectly normal and acceptable to find someone other than your partner attractive. Doesn’t mean you have to get involved with them; just means you appreciate their beauty.

Say you buy a DaVinci piece and you hang it in your home. It’s beautiful. It’s yours, and you’ll never give it up. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate the beauty of a Renoir or stop and look at a Rembrandt at the museum.

You need the flirting to remain innocent, and if you detect the other person feeling that you mean more, pull back immediately or make sure they know you are committed to your partner.

Once everyone is on the same page, just be sure you don’t over-step any boundaries. Talk, laugh, joke around. Be sure you’re not doing or saying anything you wouldn’t if your partner were present.

Flirting can actually help your relationship. When two people flirt, they both feel attractive and happy. When you’re happy you release endorphins and that can benefit all aspects of your life including your relationship.

When you feel attractive, you have self-confidence and you bring that back to your relationship. Confidence (not cockiness) is attractive and you’ll probably find your partner paying more attention to, and spending more time with, you.


Fantasizing about someone (an acquaintance, or not) while you’re already in a relationship is not only normal, but also healthy. I am not advocating purposely undressing a co-worker mentally while you sneak peeks from the corner cubicle. But, you shouldn’t feel guilty if you find your brain has taken you there.

When we fantasize about someone, often there’s something we find attractive or enticing about the person. Just because you are in love, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t find someone else attractive, too (see above reference to Art History 101).

The only thing is, you can’t act out the thoughts or fantasies, nor can you allow them to flood your thoughts. When you do, this impedes upon the relationship you have with your partner.

And, what about dreams? What if you have a romantic or sexual dream about someone? Is that cheating? Does it mean you secretly want them? Not necessarily, and more often than not, not at all. When we sleep, our minds will often take us places we would not think of going to when conscious. In the dream we may enjoy the “fantasy” but awake uncomfortable, because we know we’d never do that in real life. So we begin to question ourselves.

If you are questioning a dream, don’t beat yourself up over it and don’t feel guilty. It doesn’t mean you want that fantasy played out. It merely means your brain was playing around with some scenarios when you were sleeping and you happened to remember them when you awoke. They’re just thoughts your mind puts to music when you hit the hay.

So, Reader’s Digest version: if your mind starts fantasizing on its own now and then, don’t feel guilty. Don’t act out the fantasies (unless of course they are about your partner, and your partner is down with the fantasy), and don’t purposely choose to live in a fantasy world.