Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Is Flirting Cheating? Does It Promise Commitment?

Dear Tazi:

I am both angry and heartbroken right now. I have been in love with a cousin of my friend for several years. We have always flirted with each other, but I now think it meant more to me than it did to him. He was married when I met him, so I kept my distance. When he and his wife split, I decided I would wait a reasonable amount of time after his separation – six months – before asking him on a date. Three months after he moved out of his house he introduced his new girlfriend to his family! He had only met her a few weeks before, so as hurt as I was I didn’t think it would last; that was five years ago.

“Chad” continues to flirt with me when “Katie” is not around, but when she is he completely ignores me. Katie does not like me because she thinks I am after her man. I admit that I come on strong around him, even when she is there, but if only she knew the whole story! The last time I saw Chad, I asked him straight if he was going to leave Katie, like he has been saying he wants to for the past few years. Chad reassured me that he did, but said that he was waiting for Katie to recover from cervical cancer. I loved him even more for his dedication to standing by a woman in sickness, because I thought he would do the same for me.

Katie recently missed an engagement party that Chad and I both attended, and we danced together the entire evening. I found myself imagining that It was our engagement party! When I asked about him and Katie, he told me she was not well enough to attend and thanked me for my concern about her. I was not asking out of concern for her!

A few weeks after the party I saw Chad with Katie at a First Communion party, and she looked fantastic! I overheard her telling the engaged couple that she was sorry that she missed their party but that she was finishing work on her Master’s thesis in preparation for her graduation this summer. I was very surprised to hear that she was finishing a graduate program, especially while she was supposedly so sick, and I asked her about it. She told me that she has been cancer-free for almost a year now, and that she continued to go to school during her illness since chemotherapy was not needed. How sick could she have been???

That afternoon at the party Chad was glued to Katie’s side, looking at her like she was the only woman in the world. The only time he even spoke to me was when he was taking a group picture and asked me to “move into the picture or out of it” since I was halfway out of the camera view. I have never been so hurt! I am disgusted that Chad has lied to me like this, and think I am owed an explanation and the truth about if he is ever going to leave Katie. Where do I go from here, Tazi? I am considering telling Katie everything!

Doubly Duped

Dear Doubly Duped:

While I am sorry that your heart is breaking, this is the risk you took by chasing after an unavailable man. I realize that you loved Chad first, but even before he met Katie he was unavailable to you because he was married. If he was truly interested in being with you – and not just looking for a boost to his ego – he would have made his move before meeting Katie. This is a harsh truth you will need to accept.

Unlike most humans, we cats know we are sexy beasts!
You need to ask yourself what telling Katie everything will accomplish. What exactly is “everything”? Have you ever kissed Chad or had any kind of physical contact beyond dancing? Was your flirtation light and playful or full of sexual promises? Some couples do not mind if one partner flirts, so long as they do not cross the line; others consider flirting a form of infidelity. Are you hoping that Katie will consider Chad’s flirting cheating? If you were able to break them up, do you think that Chad will be grateful to you or angry? Be honest with yourself. Furthermore, how will your friend react when she discovers that you are the one who caused trouble in her cousin’s relationship?

Some men enjoy flirting. Just as a woman may be completely committed to her partner, some still find it nice to be complimented by another man – even though they have no intentions of leaving their partner, it is nice to know that others still find them attractive. Since men are generally the aggressors when it comes to asking someone on a date, some will flirt. Even though they have no plans on leaving – or cheating on – their partner, it is still nice to know that they can gain the attention of an attractive woman. [Ed. Note: In the case of a same-sex relationship, change the pronouns accordingly]. It appears that this is what has been happening between you and Chad.

While I personally find Chad’s behavior hurtful – to both you and Katie – I do not think you should sink to his level and attempt to destroy him as he has destroyed you. Instead, take the high road; the next time Chad tries to flirt with you let him know that your time is reserved for men who are serious about you, and not lying flirts. Then, walk away. Until that time, try to find comfort among good friends, sad movies, and a carton of ice cream. My preference is chocolate chip.



P.S. A localized cancer, like cervical cancer, may not always require chemotherapy. That dsoes not, however, mean the cancer is not serious! Shame on you for suggesting that!

Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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