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Flirting is an age old art and isn’t limited to situations in which one is attempting to bait a potential mate; people flirt to get out of parking tickets, to get into the club, to curry favor at work…some flirt simply because its a day ending in “Y”.

While flirting is not always a sign that someone is seriously attracted to or interested in their target, a sticky situation can arise when one of the people involved in the exchange is attached. What works for one couple may cause a big blowout for another; its wise that you discuss your limitations with your sweetie and get some clarity on what the two of you find to be appropriate behavior with other men or women before it becomes an issue. If your man was a notorious flirt when you met him, its unlikely that he’ll turn his charm all the way off; however, if he understands your feelings on the matter, he can take it down to a respectable, harmless level. Do understand that even the sweetie who tells you that they trust you and aren’t concerned about you flirting with other folks may feel entirely different if they happen upon a BBM convo with a bunch of winking smileys and the word “cutie”.

Show your mate the respect you would want in return.  If you couldn’t handle him or her spitting game on other people, then keep your own flirting eye level: innocent, G-rated, no overtly sexual undertones. Not only do you show your boo that you care, you let others know that you take your commitment seriously and that you don’t wish to invite any sort of third party.

Where do you stand, Clutch Fam? Is flirting appropriate for someone who has a partner? How deep can it go? Is it okay to flirt with a coworker while on the clock, but crossing a line when the flirtation takes place via text message? Is it cool to have a little banter with someone with whom you’d never actually be interested in, but inappropriate to mack on a certified honey when you have one at home? Speak to us!

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  • We’re all grown-ups (by age at least) so we can decipher who would take flirting too seriously, and who knows it’s just playful banter. Personally, I’m a shy flirt, which means I don’t do it with everyone but I do have fun with it. If I were in a relationship, I would want my man to understand this is no indication of my desire to be with anyone else. Just that it’s fun to feel attractive and wanted. He is entitled to do the same, so long as it’s not in my face. I think it’s disrespectful to flirt in front of your mate, but “behind their back” it’s harmless. Unless your intentions are to go beyond flirting, flirting is just that. If you are trying to go beyond that, then flirting is the least of your problems.

  • Be On It

    I feel like you shouldn’t do anything that you can’t do in front of your SO/partner/spouse. A bit of harmless flirting with the clear intent of going no further may be something that people TALK about BEFOREHAND as being okay, as long as established boundaries are followed. Some people view that as absolutely unacceptable in a relationship. The key is do have ground rules and follow them.

    I like to flirt. I like to flirt hard with handsome men, even though I have no intention of getting their number or having anything come of the conversation. But, I also know that not everyone flirts for flirting’s sake, nor can everyone accept that in a relationship. So I tamp down those impulses so as not to needlessly upset my SO, and to avoid men assuming that I want more than a conversation.