When does being friendly cross over to being flirty?
Bruce Sallan: Can a married man ever be "friendly" with another woman without it being potentially misinterpreted -- or worse, being hurtful, dishonest or even non-sexually unfaithful to his wife? I struggle with this, given my outgoing personality and my wife's somewhat reserved nature.
I also struggle with "looking," and there's no question in my mind that it is completely disrespectful and inappropriate. My "fix" (guys always have to have a fix, don't we?), other than being aware of this deficiency in my makeup, is to walk a little behind my wife so she doesn't notice the occasional lapse. When we're in a restaurant, I strive to seat myself facing a wall and hopefully have my wife facing outward, so I focus just on her.
We are wired differently, as men are much more visually stimulated in general than women. So, even when committed via marriage or a monogamous relationship, we men can get distracted. The degree and amount of it are the issues, along with the sensitivity of your partner. Ultimately, the "looking" gets us nowhere if our intention is to stay faithful -- as is mine.
But the flirting thing is different. Because I work behind a computer at home, I tend to interact with everyone I encounter when I'm out. To be honest, I may favor the good-looking women more than the fat old guys, as it brings me a little sense of validation (and it's fun). Am I crossing the line, or am I just a guy?
|Bruce Sallan gave up his showbiz career a decade ago to raise his two boys, now 13 and 16, full-time. His internationally syndicated column, A DAD'S POINT-OF-VIEW, is his take on the challenges of parenthood and male/female issues, both as a single dad and now a newly remarried dad in a blended family. Join Bruce's A DAD'S POINT-OF-VIEW fan page at Facebook and follow him on Twitter. To contact Bruce, visit his new website brucesallan.com.|