“My [26F] BF [25M] of 5 years just told me this new friend [29F] was flirting with him and told him she just broke up with her bf and was feeling lonely, telling him how she was free all afternoon when they met yesterday. He was acting weird all day yesterday and even asked me “if you meet the perfect person would you cheat on me and leave with them” which I thought was an odd question to begin with. He told me today he was thinking of texting her to say thank you for meeting with him (she brought him something from their home country) but was not sure because he wasn’t sure what her intentions are. I tried to be calm about but I don’t know what to do, I feel very sad and it felt almost as if he was asking for my permission to cheat. What should I do?”
Dear Throwaway 09XFV,
What a loaded question. “Would you cheat on your partner if you met someone more perfect?”
There is no “right” way to answer this question either. While it is true that no one person is perfect for another, we generally live under the illusion that we are perfect for each other in that we make up for each other’s imperfections.
The context of this situation is very interesting as well. The fact that he is struggling with understanding her intentions implies that he is himself unsure what his own intentions are. It should be a relatively straight forward text to share that he had a good time meeting her and thank her for the gift. Does she know that your boyfriend is dating you? At the end of the day, her intentions don’t really matter at all. Why does her interest matter at all if he isn’t available? Harmless flirtations happen all the time. What’s more important is being able to establish firm boundaries to make sure that the harmless flirting doesn’t become anything substantial. And that establishment of boundary is the responsibility of your boyfriend.
The most mindful way to approach this might be to ask him what his own personal intentions are, and what kind of boundaries will he establish to make sure that he doesn’t hurt anyone’s feelings.
Some of those boundaries could look like:
- Not spending any more one-on-one time with her.
- Limiting the amount of texting.
- Re-establishing firmer boundaries.
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