by Koh Mei Yan
It’s such a typical lame excuse: “Men can’t help flirting because it’s hard-wired into our systems. It’s all part and parcel of evolution and propagating our genes.” I’ve heard some men say it with such nonchalance, as though women aren’t part of the evolutionary equation.
Yes, we women realise there’s a science behind flirting, and that it serves a functional purpose in the larger scheme of things that ensures the survival of our species. Yet, there are lines you just aren’t supposed to cross when you’re committed in an exclusive relationship. So, to help men better understand the boundaries of flirting (online or in real life) that should never be traversed, here are four transgressions we’d probably never forgive, nor forget.
1. Having A Physical Affair
Obviously, this is No. 1 on the sin list. It’s really a no-brainer, especially when you look at the sheer number of women who are lashing out at recently disgraced sportsmen – like trampin’ Tiger and rompin’ Rooney – for their sexual indiscretions. Yet there’s ironically a silver lining to it: This sort of cheating is one that makes moving on the easiest. And if the woman is married, she’ll get to sue the living daylights out of her husband for going astray.
2. Flirting On Social Media
Most women can turn a blind eye to harmless flirting – for example, a poke on Facebook or an occasional smiley in your SMS. But don’t even think about “sexting” or taking the next step to ask someone out for a drink. This is as good as a lead-on to a physical affair. Just so you know, women do occasionally scan their men’s mobile phones with an eagle eye. (Don’t judge. We know of guys who do the same.) Putting one too many smileys in your SMSes will only send alarm bells ringing. So, learn to manage the tone of your messages that will differentiate the platonic girl friend from your partner.
3. Hiding The Closeness Of Your Friendship With Another Woman
Ever found yourself lunching with a female colleague or former classmate and neglecting to tell your partner about it? Joanna, a friend of mine who’s a successful career woman, struggled to appear cool about a blossoming friendship between her husband and his former schoolmate. “This evokes the worst kind of jealousy,” she says, “especially after I find out from his text messages that they’ve been meeting for coffee quite often.”
To you, the other female soulmate in your life may just be a childhood pal who knows all your embarrassing moments and share your same sense of humour. But know this: To your partner, she’s “The Other Woman” – and must either be kept in her
place or eradicated.
Telling your partner about your friendship with another girl will help her feel more involved and reassured that everything is vanilla. But if you feel the need to hide a close relationship without a convincing reason, chances are you’ve already crossed the line emotionally.
4. Having A Drunken Make-Out Session With Someone Else
This excuse is just plain pathetic. Getting high on booze doesn’t give one the license to misbehave without having to face the consequences. Says Dilys, a 26-year-old teacher whose ex-boyfriend confessed to her he had a one-night stand after a drunken night out: “The admission didn’t help; I ended the relationship. It’s not fair that the guy gets possessive over his girl but insists on having fun on the side.”
Of course, we could list many more grey situations such as platonic dates with the ex or frequent porn-watching habits. The lines may be blurred but, at the end of the day, honesty, communication and sticking to the pre-agreed boundaries in a monogamous relationship are your safest bets.