Let’s Define Flirting.
Some people are very aware of their flirty nature and have fun with it. Others though, may work the flirt to manipulate a situation in order get attention, create jealousy, boost their ego, or to find a new sexual partner.
If you’re in a relationship already you need to know specifically what flirting is and ask yourself why you’re doing it. The future of your relationship could be in jeopardy if you don’t.
According to Psychology Today, flirting is an instinctual human language, shared around the world. The natural tendencies of flirting are well heeled in the sexual repertoire and used by both men and women.Psychology Today
So what does that really mean?
When I think of flirting, I imagine the licking of lips, the twirling of hair, or the small intimate touches while deep in conversation. Does that sound cliche or what? Ugh.
So, let’s go a little deeper: flirting is a type of communication, silent or otherwise, to show attraction or sexual interest, but is also manipulative in nature as there’s a hint of favor, or satisfaction, of some type.
Here, I’m thinking of the flirty salesperson who pumps up your ego as you shop…. you love the ego boost and he wants a sale.
There’s also the type of flirting manipulation that may be a game of making someone jealous, and that’s a dangerous road to go down.
Flirting or coquetry is a social and sexual behavior involving spoken or written communication, as well as body language, by one person to another, either to suggest interest in a deeper relationship with the other person, or if done playfully, for amusement.Wikipedia
If you’re flirting, chances are you’re well aware of your actions, but do you know what’s what’s going on around you and the potential repercussions of your behavior.
Are There Different Degrees of Flirting?
Yes, there are degrees of flirting.
Flirting for Fun
This takes me back to the notion of the salesman and the ooh la la… type of exchange. or perhaps writing to your fave media star declaring your love and admiration. This type of flirting is innocent and you know isn’t going anywhere beyond strangers.
Now with that being said, we do live in a digital world and you still need to be careful as to who these people are and what they want from you. Don’t be sending pixs or yourself or anyone else. If it gets weird, tell someone and shut it down immediately.
Flirting for Attention
Some people don’t feel “seen” and getting flirty, touchy-feely can be the ego-boost they feel they need, but don’t have any intention on carrying through to the next level.
This happens online, in bars, at work, at parties…everywhere. Is it harmless?
Hmmm…So long as you’re not leading someone on to think there is a potential relationship or ‘benefits’ then fine.
Sometime friendly banter can be flirty by nature and you need to watch that it doesn’t get out of hand. Again, if you’re in a relationship you have to ask why you’d be involved in such behavior anyway. Can an innocent flirtation cross the line?
You also need to define a strong boundary. It’s one thing to sit and giggle with friends in a bar but it something completely different to accept drinks and make out with a stranger. That’s not innocent. That’s not flirting. That’s flagrant cheating and a violations of trust. Think before you act.
My question here, is why do you feel you need validation from someone else? What’s missing in your self-esteem and personal life that you need to play these kinds of games?
Step back and really take a look at your life.
Flirting With Intention
This could also be under ‘fun flirting’ but it’s more personal.
It’s using those wiles to get something you want. Like flirting with your significant other to make your favorite meal or go for a walk in the snow. Here, the flirting is a manipulation with mutual benefits.
What happens when your intention aren’t innocent though?
What’s behind your flirting? Are you trying to make someone jealous? notice you?
Are you trying to convey a message of Look At Me…See how many people desire me?
Are you trying to get a reaction out of someone?
I will tell you, this shows an incredible amount of low self-esteem and will eventually backfire. It’ll blow up in your face and create a cavern between you, your target, and perhaps even further afield..
Flirting to Seek out Sexual Partner
This type of flirting is that silent communication between humans that we all instinctively understand. If you’re at a place in life (of age, single, looking, safe, emotionally healthy) where this behavior is acceptable, then go for it.
It’s natural and can be that fun dance prior to getting ultra serious. Remember to look both ways and ensure your safety whether physically, mentally, or in practicing safe sex.
I’m in a Relationship but Love to Flirt With Everyone
Well, this could be a problem.
If you’re a flirt, you probably shouldn’t be in a relationship.It’s not only disrespectful to your partner, but also to yourself.
Jumping, pawing, or yanking on other people is not the way to make your partner like you better.
It will definitely get you noticed but it really is for the wrong reasons.
Other questions arise too.
Are you trying to show how easy it would be to get another partner? Or how desirable you are? Are you pouting and trying to punish someone (your partner, maybe?). If any of these sound familiar, it’s time to grow up and take a very close look at your own behavior.
If you love to flirt with everyone, then you’re seeking attention and connections with others and don’t belong in a committed relationship.
If you love flirting so much and it fills a void within you, there’s nothing wrong with that–if you’re single and available.
You may need to work all of that out of your system first and then look at settling down.
Is Flirting Cheating? How Do You Define Cheating?
If you’re in a committed relationship and have to ask the question whether or not your behavior equates to cheating, then I think you already have a sense of what you’re doing is over the line.
A definition of cheating aka infidelity…
Infidelity is a violation of a couple’s emotional and/or sexual exclusivity that commonly results in feelings of anger, sexual jealousy, and rivalry. What constitutes infidelity depends on expectations within the relationship. In marital relationships, exclusivity is commonly assumed.Wikipedia
The key words that jump out at me in this definition are exclusivity and expectations.
What Kind of Relationship are You In?
If you’re in an open relationship with no expectation of monogamy then, whatever.
But–If you’re in a relationship where your partner and you have commitments and a foundation built for the future–well, that’s a different story.
How does your partner feel about all your flirting?
Don’t ever negate those emotions because you’re the cause of them. If you had another person’s hands on you, or someone whispering in your ear as your partner was either absent or a witness, then the blame is square on your shoulders.
What was your motivation?
How would you feel if the tables were turned?
Did It Cross the Line? It Didn’t Mean Anything to Me. I was Just Having Fun.
Go back and read the definition of cheating and ask yourself that same question.
Is it cheating? Did you cause your partner to be angry? jealous? Is this flirty behavior okay and accepted in your relationship? Ask yourself why you did it. Are you bored? Is it a not so subtle message to your partner?
Flirting, or communicating in an overtly sexy, coy, or teasing, manner when you’re in a relationship is disrespectful and self deprecating. Yup, you look like an idiot.
Apologies may be enough if you talk it through an be honest about your actions. Don’t blame the alcohol or the other person, you’re responsible for your own actions.
So do I End Up With a Reputation as a Sleaze Now?
Here’s the thing, if you have a partner and you’re together, then overtly flirty behavior with strangers, exes, friends, others in general, is basically off the table. Yes, you can still have fun, but know the reason behind it and the message it sends your partner.
If you and your partner are fighting and you end up drinking and flirting–you’re the one who looks like a complete sleaze–not them.
If you default to flirting for attention or to cause jealousy, then chances are your maturity level is lacking for a longterm successful relationship.
Communication needs to be a priority to keep a relationship strong… flirting with others sends a strong message, but not one that you want.
Flirting can be deemed harmless but do it with your partner and not with strangers. If done for the wrong reasons it can cause jealousy, anger, and feelings of betrayal. If you want to be with others, that’s fine, but break off the relationship first. It’s more fair that way. Go back and review the definitions. Good Luck.