Sunday, October 17, 2010

Flirting Out and About in a Relationship: Turn On or Turn Off

Written by Lauren K. of Love Kudos
I can be a shameless flirt, but when I am in a mutually exclusive relationship, I tend to tone down on the amount of eye winks, sly smiles, and limit the number of males I dole out my digits to in order to make my partner feel good about our connection.

A couple of months ago I disclosed that one of the reasons I was dumped was due to my slightly inappropriate flirting with others, as well as talking about other guys.

Was my flirting really a symptom of my wanting out or was I doing this to make him jealous, and ultimately stake his claims on me? Flirting under the right circumstances can spice up a relationship and have your partner see that you are indeed a hot commodity. However, it should not be abused and used too early in a relationship. Upon reflection, I was not truly content with my beau at the time and flirted with others to seek new prospects and to fulfull a void that D-master was not providing me. 
From on Flirting Techniques

In a completely informal setting, I asked a co-ed group their perspectives on flirting outside the relationship. It was not really unanimous that flirting was bad for the couple. However, one female said unequivocably she would chop the balls off her boyfriend if she caught him blatantly flirting. Her rationale: flirting is usually a prelude to something more. It is rare that someone is just being coy to know if they still got it. A couple of guys said it really depended on the circumstances and if it was a frequent habit. It was a turn on for one guy to see his girlfriend hit on, but was more turned on when she quickly ended the conversation with the random guy to return to spend more time with him. In person flirting can be harmless one person commented, but texting with others can be more deceptive and lead to communication problems and cause trust issues.

Lindsay K says flirting can be a turn on when you are in an established relationship and you can talk to others at a party and still catch eyes across the room and know that you are going home with each other. I think that touching others is crossing the line. No slapping the butts of others or ogling my girlfriends.  No exchanging digits of other guys or girls for non-business reasons.

I also feel that the more established you are in a relationship, the more you can bend the boundary lines with flirting outside the relationship. For example, I was dating someone for about eight months at the time, and we were at a UT / OK  tailgating party, and a girl hit on him about five feet away from me. It started out with both of them going for a dip of queso simultaneously. I think he might have accidentally flicked a little queso on her. Food can be a powerful tool in flirting.

He was not known for flirting with my girlfriends or anyone while we were out. He apologized to April* for messing up her shirt and handed her a slightly damp napkin to clean the splotch off her chest. (At least he did not try to get it off himself.) I think she was a Sooner fan and he made some joke about how she might have to change into a burnt orange shirt if she can't get the spot out. She took the bait and asked him how long he had lived in Texas, what he did for a living, and a few other benign questions. He smiled at her and she swayed her body back and forth, with one leg slightly forward. I watched the entire encounter and was definitely turned on watching this innocuous interaction transpire.

He finally excused himself after a few minutes to go to the bathroom and came back to sit at my table. I said to him, "I think I might be a little jealous. You have an admirer." He responded, "No way. That girl was not into me. She was just making friendly conversation and trying to make me feel less embarrassed for getting queso on her shirt." Of course I was definitely inebriated myself at this point, so my quoting is based on fuzzy memories.  He was naive. Once she figured out he was taken, she no longer pursued anymore friendly conversations with him that day. Aha ... maybe I was right. 

In case you are confused about what flirting looks like, here is a scientific breakdown of signs you are flirting or someone is flirting with you. Keep in mind that female flirting techniques tend to be more subtle than the more overt gestures that men make:

Body Language

• Prolonged eye contact 
What's Your Man Got to Do With Me?

• Dilated pupils
• Arched eyebrows
• Winking
• Rapid eye movement and blinking
• Stroking or toying with hair
• Smiling
• Licking of lips
• Touching the lips or teeth with tongue
• Thrusting chest or breasts outward
• Mirroring or copying posture
• Crossing legs
• Leaning inward
• Open-legged posture

Other Behavior

• Any form of touching
• Playing with hands
• Fidgeting nervously
• Shy avoidance of eye contact
• Standing on one leg or shifting weight back and forth

But is there anything morally wrong with flirting?

Gettysburg College philosophy professor, Steve Gimbel, explains that on the face of it, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with being a flirt. Exclusive relationships require fidelity and that means not sharing one's most intimate side with anyone else, either physically or emotionally. "Flirts, like married actors who perform love scenes, are playing a part, only this one is not pre-scripted. The depth of true romantic involvement is something completely different from the shallowness of flirting," Gimbel said. "A flirt is perfectly capable of enjoying a fulfilling and exclusive relationship. Of course, that requires a certain sort of partner."

Gimbel explained that generally partners in a relationship come in two flavors: confident and secure or insecure and seeking approval. "Being with a flirt is a constant reminder that the person attracted to you is found attractive by those around you, and some people are comfortable with that but most people are not," Gimbel said.

Guest blogger for Real World Venus Mars believes that every time you flirt with someone you are not in a relationship with, you're diluting the intensity and the focus of the relationship and demonstrating to your partner that he or she is not enough to entertain you erotically. I was always under the impression that when you're in a relationship with someone, that person is your one and only so therefore that relationship is totally based on exclusivity.

I'm Watching You!

Well, Love Kudos has given you both sides to the "Flirting in a Relationship" topic, but it is really up to each couple to establish their relationship rules. Personally, I want a boyfriend that is proud of our relationship enough to disclose it to the public and also a hot enough of a commodity to be noticed by other women at a party. He can dance with other women at a wedding, as long as I get the first and last dance. Am I asking for too much?

Do you have a flirting story that you would like to share?

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1 comment:

Flirting Body Language said...

Please allow me to express my biggest appreciation for this great article you have written. You are truly a great expert in this field. The important tips imply a lot to me and also my family. Please understand that your kindness to share these guidelines with people like us all during this difficult time meant a lot to our family.

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