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Online Flirting Is Equal To CheatingOnline flirting is yet another relationship obstacle that can lead to someone deciding to file for divorce, and it’s an obstacle people didn’t have to worry about 20 years ago when the Internet was in its infancy. But as technologies got faster and more personal, it became easier to negotiate long-distance flirtations that could often lead to real-life trysts.

But isn’t there a difference between exchanging flirtatious text messages and sleeping with someone other than your spouse?

A new survey indicates that the answer is no.

Fusion put the question to 1,000 millennial-age people (18-34), and a resounding 82 percent believe that if you flirt with someone online, you have committed infidelity as much as if you physically cheated. Dividing the numbers out by gender, 88 percent of women indicated they would file divorce papers if they caught their significant other flirting with someone else online, while 77 percent of men felt the same way.

When you think about it, it’s understandable why a married person or someone in a serious relationship would feel this way. Online flirting is indicative that something is missing in the relationship and rather than work on whatever issues exist between the parties involved, one party is seeking comfort and intimacy with someone else, the same as if they were in a physical affair.

It essentially shows that the “flirting” party has checked out of the relationship, and online flirting almost always leads to action.

The only way to “fix” this problem in your relationship?

Increased transparency.

Firstly, there needs to be a genuine willingness to change on the part of the “flirting” party. Secondly, there needs to be openness and honesty with all online interactions. You can’t exchange racy or intimate emails with someone else without your partner’s knowledge or approval, and then expect to enjoy the same freedoms and privacy — not if you’re committed to fixing the relationship. Lastly, there needs to be a willingness to disconnect and engage more with your partner. Both of you should try to rebuild the bonds of communication that you lost, and that means putting down the phone and focusing on each other.

That’s at least how it has to work if you want to avoid the divorce forms. If you’re dealing with this issue in your current relationship, best of luck in working through the problem in a manner that ultimately improves your life.

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