Ask A Guy: Is It Ever Okay To Flirt With Other People When You’re In A Relationship?

Hi Joel,

I’m in a relationship with my boyfriend and we’ve been dating for eight months. When I go shopping, or anywhere for that matter, men flirt. Sometimes I like to flirt back, but I tell them I’m not interested and keep it moving and that’s that. But I find that when I tell my boyfriend he gets a little angry. Not at me, but at the fact that men do it. So I was wondering would I be wrong for not telling my boyfriend about the flirting if nothing happened?


It sounds like you’ve found yourself into an uncomfortable position, but it could be much worse. Thankfully, for the time being, your boyfriend doesn’t explode when other guys hit on you–but I totally understand how it makes things both awkward and difficult since it continues to happen. There are a number of problems working together here, and the answer of what to do isn’t that simple.

First and foremost, honesty is always, 110% of the time, the best policy. Even if he gets a bit upset when you tell him that guys were flirting with you, as long as he knows you did not return their comments, that will help him to have confidence in the relationship and trust in you. Also, if you weren’t telling him, imagine if one of his friends sees it go down and tells him…he’ll be much more upset that he didn’t hear it from you first.

That being said, it is a bit concerning that he hasn’t “gotten over it” yet, as after nearly a year, he should have moved on in one way or another. Though it’s definitely good that he’s not super angry when it happens, it really shouldn’t bother him at all anymore. By this point, he should have full confidence that you are with him, and when you tell him about the flirting, he should just shrug it off.

You may just want to straight out ask him if he’d rather you not tell him when guys flirt with you. If it’s just going to upset him (even a small amount) every single time, it’s not worth the drama. Tell him that he needs to either get over it or agree that you won’t tell him when it occurs. Like it or not, the longer this goes on, the more frustrating it will be for both of you, so it’s better to address it sooner as opposed to later.

The reality is, this is very much his problem. It’s not like you’re going to stop going shopping or elsewhere, so he needs to get comfortable with the fact that guys hit on you. If he’s not confident enough in himself or the relationship to deal with that, even knowing you don’t reciprocate, then you might need to consider ending things. Small bits of anger eventually add up to a breaking point, and when it gets that far, things almost always end badly.

Best wishes,


Joel Freimark has done a lot in life and seen even more. From last minute international travel to bizarre places to writing award winning books, he’s here to bring his wisdom to all your problems. He hosts a weekly advice series on Youtube and a music series also on YouTube. No question is too outrageous or personal, so go ahead and fire away! Follow him on Twitter.

Are you confused about a guy? Do you find yourself wondering, “What is he thinking?” Tell us everything in the comments! And if you have a question for Joel, email him at!

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