Do you have a cute neighbor? A flirt buddy at work? Someone you look forward to talking to every day--other than your husband? In this excerpt from Getting Past the Affair, three psychologists set the record straight on those so-called innocent friendships and why they so often lead to more. Find out if you're taking things too far -- and putting your relationship at risk -- with this test.
Is Flirting Hurting?
It feels good to feel attractive or desirable. We all like to receive compliments. “Innocent” flirtation often feels good for similar reasons. It's often reassuring to know that someone else considers us bright, charming, witty, successful, emotionally sensitive, caring, strong, physically attractive, supportive, or whatever other characteristic we'd like to believe about ourselves. It feels especially good to receive such compliments when we tend to have self-doubts or haven't been receiving such comments from our partner.
It's not unusual to be drawn into an affair following pursuit by someone outside the relationship. Such pursuit may come quite unexpectedly from an acquaintance. The pursuit may begin with an explicit intention by the other to have an affair or as a genuine wish to have a special friendship based on caring and trust that subsequently leads to feelings of physical attraction. Sometimes an outsider persists despite clear, explicit resistance and discouragement. And other times a pursuit continues because of an individual's tolerance or subtle encouragement.