I was recently reading a friend’s blog where he was posting online conversation between himself and a female friend. Long story short, she was seeing someone she met on an online dating service, and she thought things were going really well, but then found out he had put his profile back up on the site. Needless to say, she was confused and discouraged. The subject hit a nerve with me, as I have been in a committed relationship where this happened.
There is no harm in online, chit chat flirting, right? I am pretty sure that is what some people think when they are in committed relationships and decide to just have a little online fun. Or maybe it is to satisfy the “I am still hot because other people are interested in me” ego boost.
The problem is that no matter how much your partner trusts you, it will undermine that trust if they find out you are doing this. It is silly to think that if you met on an online dating service, that your partner will not notice your profile going back out on the market. During my short online dating stint, that was how I determined if someone I was seeing was serious or not, since you can take down your profile but still look. Even if that is not how you met, karma will get you in the end. Maybe an online friend recognizes your picture or description and tips off your partner. Maybe you left your login ID saved in the browser (which is pretty daft, but that is how I found out it was going on in my last relationship). Anything can happen, and usually does with these sorts of things.
So no matter how confident someone is, in themselves and the relationship, finding out that you are still perusing the singles scene will make them question what it is that is lacking that makes you need to find something elsewhere. It will be hurtful. It is also going to put into their mind that little nagging voice that says there is the possibility that more than just chatting is the end goal. Or for the vengeful type, it will make them think that if you can do it, so can they. Then you have a two wrongs do not make a right situation going on.
So basically, for what you may think is harmless ego boost and flirting could be detrimental to a solid relationship in the long run. Because once trust is broken, it is painfully difficult to build again. The best question to ask yourself is, no matter what the motive, is it worth losing what you have?