Many people these days have someone who they considered to be a back-up for their relationship. It is so easy to flirt with someone online and keep them around just in case your relationship doesn’t work out. You can delete anything that you don’t want your partner to see and continue with this flirtation for as long as you want (but the relationship is not physical in anyway, they are just someone you feel that you could potentially have a romantic relationship with should the one you are currently in doesn’t make it). The problem however is that not only are you keeping insurance for your relationship but you are giving time and attention to the back-up person instead of to your own relationship which could cause it to end even though it had the potential otherwise to go the distance.
A study that was published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior found that people who had these back burner romances were not involved with just one, but an average of 5.5 back-ups! Men had more than women. One of the more interesting finds of the study was that the people that had these back-up relationships reported that they were not any less invested in their relationship with their current partner. Does this mean that it is fair to the other person? Of course not, but the people that reported that they were still fully invested with their partner may not have realized that this is not entirely true. The more time they spend flirting with the Plan B person and the more time that they spending thinking about them is time that is being taken from their current relationship. They want to keep the back-ups invested so that they will still be around should their relationship go sour which means that they much get creative and flirt with them to keep them interested. Sometimes this means deleting online messages with the person or giving them a pseudonym in their contact list for their cell phone so that their partner does not find out about the flirting.
If you have a back-up step back and take a look at how intense the flirtation really is. If you tell them exciting news before you tell your current partner it could be a problem. Normal conversations about friends and current events are fine but if you start to get into deep and personal conversations with them, you may be crossing that very fine line. Try to invest that amount of time and communication with your current partner instead and look at why you feel that you even need the insurance in case your relationship fails.