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The Good and the Bad of a Flirting Relationship

I've been through too many failed relationships and finally found the one. I enjoy writing about relationships and spiritual connection.

flirting-relationship

The Definition of a Flirting Relationship

Did you know that flirting has been around forever? Everybody flirts, yes even you. It’s just that some are natural flirters and others are not, or have to work really hard to make it happen. Flirting is something that we do naturally and (here’s the tricky part) sometimes unconsciously.

The first thing you need to know is that flirting is fun, whether you’re romantically interested in the person you’re flirting with or not, just the exchange of teasing words and looks or gestures is fun. It’s a fun way of human interaction. Nevertheless, there’s a scientific definition of flirting. “Flirting is nature’s solution to the problem every creature faces in a world full of potential mates- how to choose the right one.”

According to Steven W. Gangestad, Ph.D., “flirting is a negotiation process that takes place after there has been some attraction.” He expressed this statement after observing, in a study that took place at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, how people choose their mates. It’s what happens when you see someone attractive and he sees you. Flirting is the way of making him know that you like him and want to get to know him better. Makes sense right?

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Let’s break it down to make it clearer.

  • Flirting is natural; don’t be ashamed of it, we as humans are programmed to do it.
  • Flirting has evolved throughout history. There are different techniques to flirt and some are also programmed in our minds, we do them subconsciously. Pay attention next time you’re in a bar or at the park, notice how men and women interact. Do women sway their hips more than normal when walking in front of an attractive man? They may not realize it, but they’re flirting.
  • Gender wise, we all flirt in similar ways. Women use the same body language when they encounter someone they like: we play with our hair, we smile or giggle, we gaze up at our target, do a lot of hip-swinging when walking and lick our lips (most of this happens unconsciously). Men on the other side, arch their backs to show the chest, they sat with their legs open and do grandiose gestures (gestures that express dominance).

The Benefits of a Flirting Relationship: Is it Healthy?

flirting-relationship

Now that you have clear what is a flirting relationship, do you think it has benefits? Is flirting a healthy thing to do? For some it may be, for others, it is the opposite. It will depend on your context (single, in a committed relationship, married)

Some say flirting is an art (you can get better with practice). When it’s done right is has plenty of benefits, when it’s not, well it just leaves a mess. Even if you’re in a committed relationship, a little casual and innocent flirting will do you and your partner no harm (as long as you two have talked about it and both are cool with it). We’ll make emphasis on the innocent part, if it’s not as innocent, then you’ll need to talk because something’s not right with your current relationship.

But we digress, flirting has benefits, even health benefits (how about that!?) Want to know what those health benefits are? Keep reading.

1. Flirting can make you feel great about yourself

It is a great boost to your confidence. Regardless of your relationship status, a little healthy flirting can make you feel attractive (maybe you need that). If you’re not single, remember boundaries.

2. It can be an escape from boredom and loneliness.

Flirting can help alleviate the dullness of your everyday routine. It can help you get back into the dating pull after a breakup. It could help you make new friends so you won’t feel lonely anymore.

3. Flirting can help relieve your stress levels.

It releases dopamine (the “feel-good hormone”). Flirting can activate the pleasure receptors in your brain and that is why you feel good and your stress levels go down. It also tests your wittiness and your vocabulary, it keeps you on your toes.

4. It promotes healthy social interaction.

We make other people happy when flirting and it’s energizing for us to see that happiness all around us.

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Is it ok to flirt while in a committed relationship?

As we already established, flirting is a natural thing we do and is fun but when you’re in a committed relationship… it’s a touchy subject. Lots of questions here, is it acceptable? Is it wrong? What would be considered flirting outside the relationship? Is it possible to avoid flirting at all, be oblivious to the world around you? All are fair questions and if you’re not sure of the answers, they should be address to avoid awkward or hurtful situations.

Basically flirting while in a committed relationship is a gray area. For some people it would be ok for others, it is a big no. It all would depend on your own point of view, and the other thing is what you might consider flirting… It could be considered by him as just some friendly joking. The bottom line here is your own take on it, is flirting ok in your eyes?

If you’re not sure about his take, talk about it with him and be honest about your take, then if you don’t agree on it, set some rules and stick with them. If any of you is a naturally flirty person, you should make it clear from the start. Flirting doesn’t need to be a red flag in your relationship if both of you agree on the terms and are ok with it.

And here’s another thought, why don’t you flirt with each other? We bet that it would be a lot of fun and sexy too, and it can really boost your relationship. ☺

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Consequences of a Flirting Relationship

Flirting does have consequences; you flirt to have a reaction right? To make the other person smile, to get him to ask you on a date, to boost your partner’s confidence, to make you feel good. The consequences (good or bad) would depend on two things: your relationship status and the intention of your flirting. If you’re single, go ahead, have some fun. The consequences in your case could be good, you may even find love.

If you’re in a committed relationship or are married, flirting has the potential for disastrous consequences. Some playful flirting with someone who’s not your partner can have unintended consequences. You may become attracted to him and that could open the door to cheating. You know the saying: “if you play with fire, you might get burn”.

If it doesn’t lead to cheating and your partner is not ok with you flirting with someone else (even if it’s totally innocent), there could be other consequences.

5. You could lose the trust of your partner.

All your actions would become scrutinized and he could get suspicious of everything you do.

6. You may lose your partner’s respect.

Flirting can make you look like a selfish person and that could cause you to lose respect in front of your partner and friends, even of your coworkers. You may be seen as untrustworthy.

7. Intimacy in your relationship would suffer.

Since you have lost the trust and respect of your partner, the intimacy between you two is in danger of not happening to be replaced by arguments and heated discussions.

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Advice for love birds on a flirting relationship

If you’re not comfortable with your partner giving smiles and joking with anyone but you, then you need to do something about it. Your first impulse might be to put a “leash” on him to make him stop, but that may not be a good strategy. You’ll get better results if you build on trust and learn how to communicate more effectively with each other.

Since there’s no off switch in your partner that you can control to make his interactions with other women less flirty or at all, there are some things you can do that’ll get you that result or at least a way to handle it.

8. Communicate what you expect from each other

You need to set some rules, not like a list of Dos and Dont’s. What you aim here is to agree on what is acceptable for each of you in regards to flirting. Be as clear as possible on what you won’t accept and what you’re ok with.

9. Build a sense of healthy trust

This is achieved by sharing with each other with your most inner thoughts, feelings, and hopes. This creates a sense of closeness and trust. You need to feel secure with each so that a little innocent flirting won’t bother so much because you’ll have certainty that he loves you.

10. Speak up when you feel uncomfortable

If you haven’t set the rules, you need to speak up and share your feelings. The thing is that he may not have realized that being extra friendly with your friend is flirting and that it bothers you. So tell him.

11. Know when to walk away

If your partner refuses to take your feeling into consideration or if he breaks the rules you have established, tell him how you feel, if he disregards that and continues his flirting, walk away.

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3 popular Quotes on a flirting relationship

Flirting is the art of keeping intimacy at a safe distance.

— Unknown

I think the eyes flirt most. There are so many ways to use them.

— Anna Held

Flirting is the gentle art of making a man feel pleased with himself.

— Helen Rowland

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Summary

Flirting is a fun way to interact with people, it’s a natural thing we do sometimes in an unconscious way. This is good about a flirting relationship. The bad comes when you’re not single and the intention of your flirting is not so innocent and you cross the boundaries. That’s the simple way of putting it, but like we said it all comes down to your point of view on the matter.

Comments

Muriel B Tewes (author) on September 10, 2020:

Thanks for reading! Sometimes it is unawareness. Some people take flirting as being friendly while the partner takes it as flirting. It takes communications to make an adjustment. Typically flirting tones down in a serious relationship. It is a matter of relativity. Unless being flirtatious is the core being of the person and simply cannot be compromised, it has to be made clear or for the partner to decide to walk away.

dashingscorpio from Chicago on September 05, 2020:

'If any of you is a naturally flirty person, you should make it clear from the start. Flirting doesn’t need to be a red flag in your relationship if both of you agree on the terms and are ok with it."

If you are opposed to having a boyfriend/husband who flirts with other women or a girlfriend/wife who flirts with other men then "flirting" should be considered a "red flag".

However what usually happens is when people are "infatuated" with someone they tend to be okay with whatever the other person is into because they don't want to say or do anything which might "blow it".

Needless to say once there is an emotional investment or commitment made you discover they NEVER liked this or that.

If you or your mate has to change their (core being) to make a relationship "work" it probably means you're with the wrong person!

Some people view flirting as form of (cheating) especially if they "catch" their mate doing it. Most likely the issue is they remember that's how they got with you.

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