Relationship Problems: Digital Flirting Can Cause Distrust

August 23, 2011 by

One of the newest relationship problems encountered by couples is digital flirting. Technology has made it easier than ever to reach out to an ex or find an attractive “friend” who wants to flirt or engage in sexual fantasy. Since you aren’t physically acting on these desires, it can seem to many that they are not breaking their marriage vows, and the technology can also make it seem less personal or real. But the truth is that these dalliances can be just as harmful to a relationship as a physical affair. What it comes down to is trust.

Digital flirting can take many forms – video chatting, sending provocative photos, or simply instant messaging. The issue of sexting is usually viewed as a teen issue, but it is far more common in adults aged 18 to 29. But just as technology can make flirting easier, it can also make it easier to get caught, causing serious relationship problems.

How would you feel if you picked up your spouse’s cell phone and saw that she had sent a nude photo to an ex? Or if you noticed that your boyfriend was chatting with an anonymous woman in a sexual way? There is little difference between this type of behavior and catching your significant other putting the moves on someone in person. From my experience as a Portland relationship counselor, I can tell you that digital flirting can hurt and cause your partner to doubt your fidelity in other areas as well.

Prevent Relationship Problems. Don’t Engage in Digital Flirting.

Just like after a physical affair, you will have to work to rebuild trust, and it will take time, patience, and understanding. But these relationship problems can be prevented. In fact, technology can even make it easier to avoid digital flirting than in-person flirting. If you are tempted to rekindle a flame with an ex or you are being hit on by an attractive co-worker through digital communication, block them, unfriend them, and unfollow them. Do whatever it takes to remove them from your internet life, and you will remove the temptation, preventing future relationship problems. If you need help avoiding or repairing relationship problems, give Portland Relationship Center a call.