Trish is one of my closest friends, and my hook up dating partner in crime when we were both still single. I’ve seen her charm her way to men’s hearts with an easy laugh or a fixed gaze, which eventually led me to learn how to read her body language. Her moves landed her a boyfriend in college, a few flings, and her hubby John. All of this didn’t matter to me, until she started using them on my husband, Seth.

Trish never flirted with Seth, until we started going out on double dates. She’s been asking him too many questions about his vintage guitar collection and laughing a little too hard at his jokes all of this being done while flashing that familiar flirty smile. John and I are left to engage in small talk, pretending not to hear their conversation.

I didn’t give my husband a heads up of Trish’s antics right away, since I trust him and didn’t want to sound bitchy and insecure. But after a few more double dates, I finally asked what he thought of Trish’s flirting. He answered with the typical guy response: “Really? I’ve never noticed.” You’ve got to be kidding me.

There’s another weird aspect of this whole situation: Seth acts salacious towards me after going out with Trish. When I mention this to my friend and therapist, Liz Lombardo, PhD, she says I relax. Even if Seth doesn’t notice Trish’s actions, they still boost his ego, and this primes him for great hook up with me, which she says I should take advantage of.

It’s pretty good advice, but I can’t promise to deal with it sensibly.

I’ve been told by an expert that it takes guys four times longer to pick up on subtle social signs than it does for women, which is most likely the reason why Seth is unaware of Trish’s flirting. And since Trish and I have never had to compete for guys, her flirting is done subconsciously, because it’s a way for her to feel attractive and alive. I’ve been advised to direct Trish’s thoughts on a different direction. I have to call attention to the fact that Seth and I are a “we,” saying something like, “Seth and I had a great time in New York. When are you guys going on a trip?”

So should I confront Trish? She would have stepped over the line if she suggests that she and Seth do something on their own. A confrontation should be done if I start to see the situation in a distorted way, like Seth falling in love with Trish or that Trish is doing this just to spite me, which only means my happiness is seriously at stake. If this is the case, I’ve been told to make a lighthearted comment like, “Wow, you really laugh a little too hard at Seth’s jokes.” Trish should take the hint and ease off. And if not, this may be a sign that she doesn’t have innocent intentions and clearly wants to hook up with my husband.
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