My girlfriend was flirting with another guy… What should I do?
Last week when my girlfriend and I went to a nightclub, she flirted with another guy in front of me, which made me really upset and she knows it. Whenever I think of what happened, I feel terrible. What should I do?
— — — A Falling Leaf
Dear A Falling Leaf,
Thanks for the message.
It seems that you actually rewarded your girlfriend for her bad behaviour because now she has realised that flirting with another guy makes you pay more attention to her by showing how much you care. In any relationship, always remember to reward good behaviour and punish bad behaviour. Let me explain.
After she flirted with that guy, you didn’t react very well because she could see that you were upset — In her opinion, the fact that you were upset further confirms that you really like her. The ideal reaction that she wants from you is to start paying more attention to her immediately. But the right reaction that you should demonstrate is to be unreactive and then stop giving her too much attention after that episode.
There is nothing that gets a woman’s attention faster than withdrawing your attention or leaving. The most powerful action is withdrawing your attention when she shows you bad behaviour because she will need to prove herself to you again. The most powerful word to use with a woman is NO when she violates your standards. After she has flirted with another guy in front of you, you can call her out in a polite way and give her a few days to process what you have told her. For instance, instead of being upset and paying her more attention, on your way home that night you can say this to her, “I do care about you, but I just don’t understand why you flirted with that guy in front of me tonight. It was such a turn-off. That made me rethink what’s between us.” (Your tone should be peaceful but firm.) In fact, it’s not too late, you can still say this to her now because it happened only last week.
You can’t control her behaviour, but you can influence her behaviour. Remember: Only go to a nightclub to pick up women for casual relationships & never take a girl that you are already seriously dating to a nightclub where there is too much uncertainty and lots of competition due to the context of a nightclub. You would be well-advised to be her man who leads her to the right direction because as a man, in a relationship you either lead or be misled. Only take your girlfriend to a nightclub if you want to pick up another woman for a threesome. Otherwise, there is no reason to take your girlfriend to a nightclub with you. (But never say this to her, “I definitely won’t go to a nightclub with you.”) If you have to go to a nightclub with her to attend someone’s birthday party and she flirts with another guy in the nightclub, then that’s exactly when you should punish her bad behaviour so that she learns how to respect you. Therefore, you can also turn such a bad episode into a positive thing if you are very well-calibrated.
P.S. If you have decided that your girlfriend isn’t really wife material, you may choose to end the toxic relationship and create a powerful matchmaking profile which will attract a suitable girl online.