There are different levels of keeping a relationship or marriage pure. Staying faithful to your spouse or partner has many levels to it. It's not just as simple as not being intimate with another person, despite what many, if not most people would think. Many people feel that there's nothing wrong with flirting with anyone when you're in a relationship, as long as you're not intimate, and it's merely just flirting. As if intimacy is the only way of cheating and being unfaithful. How can I put this... they're wrong.
There are ways that someone can cheat on their partner without even being intimate. There's a controversy when it comes to having friends that are the same gender, but I'll write on that later. If you're in an exclusive relationship, engaged, or married, you shouldn't be flirting with anyone but your partner. Many people would agree or not, and I'm okay with that, because the truth remains, it's impure. Emotionally cheating consists of many things. Here's a list of some examples of emotionally cheating. I'll likely fail to mention every way that could be considered emotionally cheating, so keep that in mind, and know that these are merely a few examples.
1. Having secret conversations with someone that your partner doesn't know about, with your preference being to keep them in the dark.
2. Developing feelings for someone else, despite whether or not there's intimacy involved, or whether or not you act upon it.
3. Being overly complimentative and flirty with someone other than your partner, knowing that you have chemistry or are attracted to them or that they feel something of the sort towards you.
4. Talking, texting, emailing, spending time with someone that you feel attracted to, while knowing that there's fire and chemistry there. Putting yourself in that situation is obviously wrong, and you can feel it, yet you do it anyway. Having on-going communication with someone secretly, or to an extent that's inappropriate.
5. Sharing intimate details about your relationship with someone, and being open to getting consoled by that person. Embracing another with hugs, cuddling, or deep, emotional love that you know damn well is the type of affection that one should only get and receive from their partner (even though it's merely emotional affection).
6. Getting consolation from another person, instead of your partner (other than a therapist).
7. Flirting with the idea of cheating, in words, pet names, going out with someone (with or without being intimate), sharing your deepest thoughts and dreams, and whether it's someone from work or anywhere.
8. You find yourself thinking about the other person a lot, daydreaming about them, fantasizing about them, and desiring them intimately.
9. Falling in love with someone else. This only happens when there's emotional cheating involved, assuming that there wasn't any physical cheating going on, which is possible, and likely because of their own guilty conscious.
10. Becoming private more and more, hiding someone that you're communicating with a lot. Perhaps this person and you have a special connection that your partner and you are lacking.
When it comes to flirting vs. being too friendly, it's basically the same thing, being that it's opening the door to the possibility (even if it's a slight possibility) of cheating. You never really know who you're dealing with when you're flirting with a stranger. Flirting with a stranger is basically, flirting with danger. Keep that in mind. Some bitches, they be crazy! Seriously though, if someone ends up falling in love with you, they might put up a fight, and mess up what once was a happy marriage.
It's important to be sympathetic enough to see the other person's perspective of the situation (your partner). If you can, put yourself in their shoes. Would you care if your partner was flirting with someone else? How about if they were developing feelings for someone else, and whether they were intimate with them or not, they talked hypothetically about running away together, and leaving you. Whether they meant it or not, let's say that you stumbled upon such a letter, email, or conversation where you knew that this conversation not only took place, but it closed with an "I love you" and an "xoxo."
It would tear most people apart if they found out that their partner was unfaithful to them, even emotionally. For many people, it could hurt so badly, and create the type of wound that couldn't be fixed, just like broken glass. Many times, that type of pain will not only hurt your partner, but if you love your partner enough, knowing that they know what you did, it will hurt you too. Many times, your partner will simply suck it up, and not tell you that they know for whatever reason, but it will be emotional torture even more so. Why cause such distress to someone that you claim to love and adore. You should treasure your partner or spouse, confide in them, share your deep, dark secrets with them, flirt with them, and be intimate with them, and only them.
There could be many reasons why a relationship would get to the point where people would cheat on their loved one, whether it be emotionally cheating or intimately. Either way, it's wrong. It's important to concentrate on all of the things that your relationship does have, not what it's missing. It's imperative that you and your partner be best friends and confide in each other. It's important to share things with one another and when feeling down or stressed, that you go to your partner, using them as a listening ear. You and your partner should give love and nurture to one another. You should build a relationship that's based on honesty, trust, and good communication. It's important to think of all possible consequences in life, and be careful never to hurt those that you love. If you care about your relationship, then you need to work on it, and do everything in your power to improve it, as well as develop better communication.