Friday, March 30, 2012

Flirting With Disaster?

Barbara: Okay, here’s a blog-leap from the sublime (thank you, Deb, LOVE YOU!!) to the ridiculous. I want to talk about flirting. How it makes you feel. Where you think the line is. Is it good, lovely, or bad, icky.

Why do I want to talk about this today? Well, it keeps coming up in recent convos I’ve had and articles I’ve read. Flirting is suddenly everywhere (except not actually directed at me—which is inevitable as I spend all my time locked in a solitary computer-driven daze … wait, does my dog eyeing me from his perch on the couch count???). Anyway, it’s made me wonder about it—and since we’ve had a bit of a heavy week, maybe we need to flirt with each other a bit and have fun and giggle and stuff.

First I read this article by a respected older writer about his natural male tendency to eye young beautiful girls and all the attendant guilt that comes from that. I think his final point is (my paraphrasing-interpretation here): Flirting/looking is a good thing, it feeds the cycle of human connection, we would all be worse without it, it is harmless, and it is spiritually beneficial (spiritually beneficial? um…okay…). All valid points, but I couldn’t shake the sad urge to tell him that the waning years are equally hard on both men and women: in other words, while women realize they are getting fewer and fewer of those sexy glances as they age (and possibly missing them), I’m sorry to say (admit) that being gawked at by men also usually follows the age scale: hot young man flirting/looking=exciting; old man=not so much. And this brings up an important point—there’s a HUGE difference between wanted attention and unwanted, isn’t there, even though all of this attention falls into the general sphere of “flirting”.

I can’t remember the last time I flirted. And yet I cherish the many engaging, close, and interesting relationships I have with men who are not my husband. I’ve never been a big flirt (outside my marriage). I’ve always preferred to keep my relationships in the realm of “harmless fun”. Luckily for me, I don’t remember a time when this approach created a conflict, where I couldn’t just assume we were, you know, buddies hanging out. I never had to draw an actual line. If there was ever intent there on his side, I don’t actually “know it” because I refused to see or acknowledge it. But then, I never had to deal with anything very obvious or aggressive.

Recently several of my beloveds have been the recipients of some serious flirting… and all of them have been uncomfortable with it. They described to me that moment when “harmless fun” suddenly seemed to veer into “oh, shit, he might want me” territory (this isn’t a post about mutually attracted adults … because that’s a whole other kind of flirting!). Suddenly, my beloveds felt uncomfortable and self-conscious. They wanted to know what to do. In each of these cases, they truly valued these friendships, wished they could continue unharmed, and were looking for ways to manage their sticky situation. What did I tell them? …Oh, I hope you don’t lambast me for this… I told them to keep having fun. To stay firmly on their side of innocent and honest engagement. To ignore the magnetic pull of unwanted desire. Because it’s not a black hole into which you must be sucked. Just because someone wants you doesn’t mean they get to have you. You shouldn’t have to “guard” something (your affections) that you have no intention of giving. For them to “have” you means there must be a mutual attraction. (I hope I don’t need to qualify this by acknowledging that there are some people who take this sexualized attention far too far and must be stopped cold and short, however that means.)

My advice to my beloveds was in the realm of “ignore it and it will heal”. That said, I also added that they shouldn’t fan the flame by blatantly flirting back, and if there were ever an admission of strong/real feelings, then they might need to add a good ‘ol, “This is never going to happen,” or “You’re a great person, but I don’t feel that way,” and continue as they were. And, yes, I even include flirting in professional situations—in fact, the workplace is probably the most commonly rife arena for the innocent and not-so-innocent flirt, isn’t it?

In my optimistic version of the world, I like to assume that we can continue a lovely, positive, and innocent connection with flirtatious people until a) they get the message that this is as far as it goes, b) they back off, and c) any unrequited feelings (having never been stoked) fade and eventually all is back to “normal”.

So this is where I open the door to you guys. Tell us your awful, wonderful, exciting, scary, interesting stories about flirting. Did I give my friends bad advice? Is it possible to treat unwanted flirting as something harmless? And does age figure into this discussion at all? It would be great to hear from both sexes on this one because, of course, all of these points apply to both.

Deb: This is such an interesting and tough subject to nail down. One man’s or women’s flirt may be another’s every day behavior. I can never judge it until I see it firsthand. Someone can seem benign and yet have a come hither gleam in their eyes and then someone else can seem all “out there flirt” and have no such intentions. Again it is subjective, isn’t it?


But I do know this. I am not a flirt. Or shall I say I am not a serial flirtist. I do not flirt as my social M.O. I do flirt plenty with my husband like Barb with hers, but I do not flirt with friends and acquaintances. I like to proudly wear “In A Relationship” on my demeanor. I think it’s fair play. If I were flirting it would (to me) be an indication that I was looking for something else, be it sex or be it a mate. Which I am not. So I don’t.

I will admit that I do get flirted at. And given that the flirter knows that this flirtee is taken, I find it distasteful. I am not judging your advice to your friends, Barb, because I don’t know the flirters or the flirtees or their intention and I totally agree that we should be who we are regardless. But of course I cannot SEE how your friends are acting so I can’t make a blanket statement about it. What they describe as casual conversation may indeed be sending a message. Or their attitudes may be totally innocent. I know mine is. All the time. I am very touchy with everyone, men and women, but not in a sexual way and I am a story-teller and a question asker. So I never have to change who I am because there is no way one could misinterpret my intent. However, when I get the come on vibes that don’t quit, I admit that I shut it down. Because the way I look at it, if you are coming on to a happily married person who is clearly not flirting with you, you deserve the “excuse me, I just need to use the powder room” ruse. 

PS Not that it makes any difference to Deb's point, but I (Barbara) do want to add that all of the peeps I mention here are single. But still ... not interested. Now we wanted to leave you on a high note with this little opus of overt flirting--from us to you. (Thank you, Sean'a, for this bit of loveliness!)

49 comments:

  1. This explains why I have been thinking about flirting lately too!! I am so not a flirt....Probably a bit of innocent flirting WITH FRIENDS...but even they know it doesnt mean anything.....I think there is sucha big difference between flirting and complimenting...I compliment a LOT....I dont know..I just do..I like it, it makes me feel good..and brings a smile on the other person's face.....I appreciate a lot..but flirt....no..given I dont have many cute guys in life..!! I have a few friends who flirt sometimes but thats innocent flirting...you can obviously sense that...and about the advice you gave your friends I dont know Barb..I think everyone has their own way to interpret this..so theres no right answer you gave them what you thought now its their decision...and Like I said we can sense it...if they feel uncomfortable then it is...everyone has their own way !
    And like Deb I am very touchy with everyone...not in a sexual way..
    and I dont get flirted with that much....just sometimes....I get compliments often...I do have one icky story though...back in junior college we had this annual cultural program and and I was hosting it...so I was wearing this beautiful blue saree and was all ready with makeup on and I looked pretty traditional...and Ive had people telling me everytime I am in a saree that I look good.....even that day but...I never got flirted with...but that day suddenly I dont know how or from where...every guy started noticing me..and flirting a bit! Especially the one I didnt expect would....he was in the theater group and was kinda egotistic, and jealous of me because I was selected in the college play without auditions coz they loved me so much (So jealous...he sort of drove me off the group...long story...Il tell some other time)....and that day....he was so flirty it was very icky....at first I was flattered because well I never get flirted with....but he sort of crossed the line by trying to get touchy...and I just went "Ok...dude...DISTANCE.....please" and he didnt even dare to do it again..but It was icky....so definitely icky...! I think with me there should be a line...I dont know probably because of the Indian-ness in my DNA...!
    I wont say its good or bad coz thats perceptual...I'd definitely prefer complimenting people rather than flirts !! (Although I'd love a husband who flirts...god please!! ;-))
    But I did enjoy the flirting in the cute video...I was *blushing* so much....my face went PINK !!
    And speaking of flirting.....

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMVRAUFqgZU

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KefO2liifbE

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I definitely think there is a line -- and we all have one. And I think we all share that in common. I guess in the cases with my friends, no one had crossed a line (yet), but everyone had been enjoying each other so much and then a certain change of emotion happened and it was like "whoa", too close. But they'd been enjoying such nice relationships before that. So I was hoping they could get that back somehow.

      Oh, your story about the guy at the event is so icky. Than god it didn't get worse. Thanks for the videos!! xoxo

      Delete
  2. This is really interesting...mainly as I think so much of 'flirting' is a matter of interpretation. When it comes to men flirting with women, in many cases it's such fine line between flirting and charming as to be almost indistinguishable. As I was married to a man who's sincere charm was the stuff of legend, I've observed this first hand countless times. It never bothered me in the slightest, nor does it with my present husband,as I know in both cases it speaks to their considerable appreciation for women...a quality I actually value.
    Then there's the stuff of women flirting with men...I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I am probably, wrongly, thought to be a flirt as I, as you very well know Deb, am also a storyteller...a touchy, feely storyteller given to grasping a forearm for emphasis or tossing an arm around a fella's back to imply collusion. It's how I naturally operate and I couldn't be less interested in inciting 'romance' but will concede that my overt friendliness could be misinterpreted.
    I would actually agree with your advice to your friends Barb for the simple reason I think most people instinctively know if a real line is being inappropriately crossed and respond accordingly. Which is to say they become more mindful of and a little more cautious with the person who's intentions may be suspect until "it" goes away...it being the behavior or in extreme situations, the person. I also think we all can spot creepy from complimentary without a primer...and that if someone's being flirty in a flattering "appreciate your beauty, humour, great ankles, way with a scarf" type of way, it's not a big deal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I so relate to the touchy-feely connection -- I do that too! Without thinking. Although, as far as I know, it's never been misinterpreted (and I would like to retain my blissful ignorance on this if I am wrong). I also think charm and flirting can often be confused. It's all in the development of such (or lack thereof), isn't it? Thanks for your final assessment. You said it better than I could (as always, Annette), but that's generally the feeling I got when asked for my advice. It's a fascinating social question!

      Delete
  3. I like to flirt but don't do it often. I have seen where flirting can lead to a relationship and if both are single okay but I have seen it lead to a lot more. Need to be careful of who you flirt with as they may see it totally different and be willing to leave their lives for it because it becomes the driving force to leave a marriage or a relationship.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I have seen that too, Madge. That is a terrible twist on the whole thing. I have also seen people fall in love with people even when there's been absolutely NO encouragement. We are a tricky, complex puzzle, we humans...

      Delete
  4. Hmm...flirting...well, I am not a big flirt. I am so super shy that flirting is near impossible. I am a quiet flirter, I guess you could say. If the guy starts it, then I will go with it, but I NEVER start it.
    I have flirted with a few guy friends before. For five years, one of my best friends was this guy that I innocently flirted with (both of us, not a one-sided thing). We were close friends and we flirted. Both of us were single, although he dated a few girls off and on through the years. We had an awkward moment once when we were talking and another guy came up and asked if we were "going out" (a term I just don't understand). Well, we didn't really answer it and just went to lunch, laughing it off. Over the five years that we were in school together, I had friends, random students, and even a teacher ask me if there was anything going on between this guy and I. I always just said no and left it at that. I don't know if anyone asked him, just not something we discussed. His manner of flirting was subtle at first, but as the years progressed, he was more obvious about it, as was I, I guess. It all culminated into a comment he wrote in my yearbook at the end of senior year. I won't tell all of it but he said that I could find someone better than him and that I would. I was shocked that he wrote anything like that. We haven't seen nor spoke to each other for a few years now and I miss him.
    During my first semester of college, I had a flirting experience with a guy that did not really end well, at least on my side. He was an obvious flirt and I just accepted it, didn't really flirt back but I wasn't not interested, so... anyway, I found out that he had a girl friend and that was it. I stopped listening to him or responding. He didn't get the message but after that semester I haven't seen him sense, so no worries.
    I am not a good flirter. I am a friendly person in general and so I find it hard sometimes to flirt specifically. I am also the person that does not know when I am being flirted with unless it is super-obvious. I have had those moments: talking to a guy, he walks away, best friend runs up and gives me the look, I think to myself, "oh, was he flirting with me? He was! Ugh. How did I not see that?!?" Yep. That's me. I just hope everyone is nice and friendly, so if a guy goes out of his way to say something to me, I think it's natural, he would say that to anyone. Men should really come with some sort of manual.
    Barb, I think your advice was great. I am the one that everyone came to for relationship advice, to hear their stories and give sound, wise advice (even when I had no experience with their situation). Everyone is entitled to have crushes (I know I have a few ) so if it is harmless, let it be, just don't encourage it. If they are following you around while you work or just won't shut up (I have had that happen to me once) set them straight.
    Good luck to all the flirters and flirtees!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh I forgot something in the novel that I wrote above! Age. For me, flirting is different now than it was 5 years ago. It means more. Yeah, there is still the innocent flirting with the guy you stand next to in the line for food, but then there is also the "getting to know you" flirting that means more. The REAL flirting, the flirting with good intentions. It does change with age, I think.
    Okay, I will give others the chance to talk now! Sorry for the rambling.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I so love all your observations here, Steph. So many excellent points and thoughts. I do have an uncontrollable urge to JUMP on the first story about your friend. I so want to play matchmaker and get you two back together and see what happens! He obviously didn't take it further because he thought he wasn't "good enough". Is that what you thought too? Or were you interested, but also lacking confidence??? Sorry, you can ignore me if you want, but I have to ask!

      Delete
    2. Ha! Well...yes, I was interested. I just didn't think he was and I didn't want to put our friendship in danger by making my interest obvious to him and yeah, I have never been over-confident so that also played a part in the whole situation. Not even by best girl friend knew about my interest in him. I finally told someone the last day of high school after she saw what he wrote in my yearbook. I got a lot of looks and questions about what he wrote as I had people sign it after him. What I didn't mention before was that it took him a long time to write in my book and he didn't write much, but what he did write, well... you read some of it. I honestly never thought that he thought he wasn't good enough; the girls he dated in school were the preps, cheerleaders, etc. and I was the literary, arty, history nerd. We had a lot in common, but...I don't know, the idea that he was interested never really stuck in my mind. I so could have used your advice a few years ago!!! ;)

      Delete
    3. Hmmmm. I wonder if he's still available. wondering, wondering wondering...

      Delete
    4. Ah Steph...your story reminds me of a German TV show, where people find their "first love"...They can meet each other, and talk, and discuss things and feelings.

      *sighs* Love makes me sad...

      Delete
    5. Can you get me on the show, Becki?! Joking, of course.
      I still think about him occasionally, but I am not sick at heart about it.
      You know, reading back over what I wrote, I remembered something else that he wrote in my book the year before grad. He played basketball and I am a former b-ball player so I went to a lot of games. He wrote that he liked seeing me there, at the games. That meant a lot to me. That year he was going through a lot personally, he even broke down crying once at a game, and I talked to him later about it.
      Hmm...now you have me thinking...

      Delete
  6. My glorious world of flirting…. It’s all around me. Always has been. 24 hours a day, like a buffet to feast upon. Not to mention, it was my life for 14 years as a dancer.

    In my world, flirting is part of human nature. It’s a universal aspect of human interaction. An exchange of admiring glances is part of the world I live in. Flirtation, at this level, is harmless fun, and it only freaks out the insecure killjoys. Clearly, it makes sense to exercise a degree of caution with people who are married or attached.

    I like it when I walk away from Bradley at a store, and walk back up, and find someone showering him with admiration. I think he benefits from knowing that others find him attractive.

    However, Bradley feels differently about it when it happens to me. His tolerance of flirtatious behavior sent my way, is annoying, and can be extremely disrespectful to him at times. Men have a tendency to mistake friendly behavior for sexual flirting. I think it’s because men see the world in a more sexual way than women can. It's a bummer. And I hate the distress it causes for my LoVie. So, I’m particularly careful to avoid sending ambiguous signals in interactions with men. But I’m not as carful with my flirting, when its directed at women. I LoVe flirting with women. I think light-hearted flirtation is both harmless and enjoyable. NOW GO GET YOUR FLIRT ON!

    XXX
    Sean'a

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with the different views men and women have with flirting with someone. Men tend to take everything to heart and women, in my opinion, are more open about flirting. I don't know, maybe!
      And I think it so sweet that you like to see him "showered with admiration."
      :)

      Delete
    2. I LoVe it! He GLOWS. And sometimes i stand back and let it last longer. When he see's me approaching he always reaches out to me, and introduces me as his beautiful wife…. And then proceeds in telling me what “they” we talking about. Like a nervous teenager doing something wrong. BUT, when we get in the car, it’s a completely different rant. He gloats about it all the way home. I adore! LOL ;)

      xoxo Sean'a

      Delete
    3. Oh my god, Sean'a, this is so adorable! I can just picture it. You guys are just the cutest. And you are definitely the flirt-able type, so I will happily flirt with ANY DAY. :) xoxo

      Delete
  7. I have a friend, Rick, who I do gigs with. We sing together on stage, and he asks me, "Is it okay if I flirt with you tonight?" and since he asks, I always say "sure!". And then it's fun, respectful, it gives us great chemistry on stage...we both know it's a game and it's harmless.

    It's when one person doesn't know it's a fun, harmless game..that's where the trouble begins.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, that is so sweet, that he asks you if it is okay.

      Delete
    2. Another adorable story!! I think on-stage flirting is so nice for the audience -- who love to see chemistry (and who probably prefer it to be this kind of casual, friendly flirting than something more overt anyway).

      Delete
  8. This is an interesting subject, primarily because I'm not in a relationship right now and I don't have many guys friends, nor really any guys that I'm "interested" in. I think that a little flirting every now and then is ok. As for me, not a flirt. At all. I'm outgoing, don't get me wrong, but not a flirt. My roommate, on the other hand, is a BIG flirt! While it normally doesn't cause any issues, it has gotten her into some hot water before, since she has a boyfriend and MANY guy friends.

    Anyway, sis and I are enjoying our day off from classes with DIY spring pedicures! Hope everyone has a lovely weekend! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, spring pedicures sound like healthy self-flirting! :)

      Delete
  9. I have to admit, that I lack the skill to notice when someone is flirting with me. I do seem to notice when it happens to others, but when someone flirts with me I am totally oblivious about it. (Truth to be told I might not always notice when it is happening to others...) Well yes, I remember once when me and my aunt (only 1,5 yr senior) went to learn how to (ballroom)dance (we learned it when we were younger but had already forgotton it) and the guys we provited by the army (can't remember what they were called, but they needed to learn how to dance so that they could dance in the independence ball with those who wanted to dance but didn't have a partner). So anyway, me and my aunt over heard guys asking from two girls if there were any movie theaters near there... Well, do I even need to tell you what happend. (Propably I do.) Me and my aunt went over to the guys and started lecturing about the places to go and see. After feeling very good about having helped the poor sods, we realized that maybe they were trying flirt with the girls and later maybe ask them out...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hilarious!! A little flirt-blocking.

      Delete
  10. I'm happily married and do not flirt outside of my marriage. I think it would be dangerous and harmful. I don't find it necessary for engagement with others and only would when I am looking for a sexual connection, which is why it is reserved for my sexy husband.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Gosh, I've missed you guys. I'm using my lunch time to blog visit.

    I like flirting when it's done at a safe distance and in small doses. The other kinds of flirting have lead to trouble in the past and I'm not about to repeat those kinds of mistakes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We missed you too, Lisa! But you have a WONDERFUL reason for not being around.

      As for mistakes in flirting -- yeah, there is that line, isn't there??? But "safe distance" is probably the way to go.

      Delete
  12. I'm sitting here reading this post and its comments like I'm studying a foreign language lesson. I don't know how to flirt, and it would be gruesomely awkward if I tried. Likely a Mr. Bean level of awkward. And, I never get flirted with. I'm not a valid candidate for flirting. The whole flirting thing is alien to me. *shrugs*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, young lady, you can't say you've never been flirted with: I'm going to wager you might not have been able to acknowledge it if you were... And, ya know, foreign languages can be lots of fun to learn. Think of it as a challenge, you know, like dipping toes in oceans and such ;)

      Delete
  13. Sharon( Im Just A Girl Who Can Say NO) ReineMarch 30, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    I DO remember flirting WAAAAAAAY back in my 20's when I was still sexual and interested. Flirting was like the preliminay round before The Big Event. As I got older and less attractive, fewer opportunities presented but as my hormones were also disappearing rapidly I became less and less interesed in that aspect and now look upon ALL adult men as either married or gay. Innocent flirting may exist for others- but I never practised it nor do I wish to. Glad others can and do enjoy- just not for me

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "As I got older and less attractive" is a self-imposed restriction, Sharon, but that said, I totally hear you when you say you don't wish to practice it. Flirting is an adventure you have to want to take on some level.

      Delete
  14. So I am only 18, will be 19 in June, but flirting and dating have yet to 'click' with me. I am a huge tomboy so don't really mind the lack of mushy gushy in my life most of the time. Occasionally I do wish I could flirt better or be flirted with. Like in high school during the weeks and month before senior prom. I hate wearing dresses and getting all done up, but I still kinda missed being asked to prom. Not one guy asked me to prom and I am far too shy to ask them. Like I said I don't even know if I would have gone because of the amount of 'girly' prep and dress involved, but I still wanted to be asked. I felt left out, like I somehow missed an important aspect of a girl's high school experience. Same thing with dates and that "First Kiss". I wanted to have those experiences before I finished high school but at the same time I was happy to just stay within my "extremely-shy-tomboy" state of mind. Now that I am in college I talk to guys but it usually revolves around sports or action movies or something, never flirting.
    So I set the goal at finding a guy and getting married before I die. Seems reasonable. LOL : )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're never "too old" for first kisses and love, Kelly, but I do think it means a bit of openness and interest. Sometimes our comfort zones are cozy and wonderful and sometimes they're restricting. A little innocent practice in the flirting department might be fun now that you're in college. Maybe practice on guys you know are good sports (or, even better, one who you'd be happy to flirt with if you were outside your comfort zone). Let me know if you try it. Remember: take care and have fun!

      Delete
    2. I am a little older than you and I had those same experiences(or lack thereof) in high school. Just asking, did a guy ask you if you were going with anyone or at all to prom? In any way, did a guy question you about it? I only ask because I was not asked either, but I was asked if I was going with anyone, which felt to me like the guy was feeling the situation out. I second what Barbara said. Flirt. With guys you know, in passing, whatever. College is a time to get out there (safely, not crazy) and flirt a bit. It is not hard once you give it a try, trust me. I am so shy, but I manage to flirt once in a while, not well, but still...
      And if you like talking about action films, then ask a guy to go with you to see one.

      Delete
    3. Kelly, I just wanted to comment because it seems like I am in the same boat you are. Having just turned 18 a couple months ago and also being a major tomboy I also have very little (ok, almost none...) experience with dating or flirting. I have a lot of guy friends, but I definitely see them more as just being friends than possible "flirt targets". I do think there is a little bit of flirting that creeps into my personality because I love joking around with people and paying them compliments, but I really have no idea how this behavior is perceived by people around me. I have basically made the conscious decision to wait until college to date, if for no other reason than that I am picky and there are only 48 students (male and female) in my graduating class. Not exactly the widest selection :-) I totally agree about prom. Thankfully for us it is not a problem to go single and I have no problem going and hanging out with my group of friends, but it does hurt a little that I have never been asked by anyone. Unfortunately the couple people I would consider asking are not available :-( But I am sure fishing in a bigger pond next year won't hurt any :-)

      Delete
    4. AHH I love you all ! I was rather nervous about sharing what I did. You all just make me feel so loved and among people with similar situations : )
      @Barbara .....I am always VERY uncomfortable out of my comfot zone. so I think the fact that I have made a few friends to watch football or play catch with IS HUGE for me at the moment. I promise that I will try to broaden this into something more when I find a suitable and willing subject : ) Thanks for the support and encouragement : )
      @Steph The only guy to speak of prom with me was a kid who sat in front of me in science. He asked if any of the other girls on the softball team were looking for dates and if I wouldn't mind asking them for him. Because he specifically said 'OTHER' girls on the team, which I took to exclude me, and the fact that he never talked to me normally, I didn't pass his request on the softball team. He never inquired any more any way.
      @Lizzard We seem like twins! Thanks for sharing! It made me feel better and slightly more normal : )

      Delete
    5. Lizzard, you are right. College does make the pond into an ocean. Good Luck!
      Kelly, good luck to you too!

      Delete
  15. I don't know, if I should write something.

    I don't even know what flirting is...

    I know the "I find you attractive/I wanna have sex with you" type of flirting...but I don't get the innocent flirting.

    Is it just a hug? A smile? A joke? Having fun with the other person?
    I always thought flirting can only happen between people, who barely know each other...can you flirt with friends?

    Confusing!

    My first and only love was cruel.
    He was single, his girlfriend had broken up with him. He was lonely, he was sad...

    I was there (yup...that's me..always trying to help. Stupid me!).

    We spent nearly every day with each other.
    We hugged and cuddled a lot. He let me touch him (well...nothing sexually!).
    We held hands.
    We talked for hours on the phone (did I mention that I hate calling people?).

    I was in love. I never did something, because I feared he would throw me out (and because I knew - somewhere deep inside my heart - that he didn't love me). Besides, I was too shy to flirt with him (when I think of it, it seems so ridiculous...sometimes I was stiff as a board and talked as much as his fish...how on earth could someone fall in love with someone like me? Seriously!)

    But sometimes he said things, he did things...I guess that was flirting, too? I still don't know why he did that.
    Maybe because he was lonely. Maybe because he wanted to numb the pain. Maybe there wasn't a reason.

    I told him that I fell in love with him.

    You can guess what happened...

    He said it's fine. He said felt flattered. He said we can stay friends forever.

    Well...one day he didn't respond anymore. He didn't talk to me. Without an explanation.

    I broke down. I didn't want to lose him. He was so important to me (although he didn't love me, he was like a soulmate).

    I cried like every day. It was the most horrible experience, I've ever made.

    I was about to give up, and took one last step. I told him that I am not intersted in him anymore (well, that is a lie. I think I still love him. But my brain has accepted that we are just friends. And I'm fine with that...).

    He came back to me. Unfortunately, we never talked about this. He hurt me so deeply. I cannot forget that. He used me like a toy, and threw me away, once he didn't need me.
    He never asked, how I was feeling (although he did think of me and missed me).

    But....(sorry...for being off topic...) we're friends now. He's one of the most precious people in my life. He has a girlfriend, now. And I love her, because she is one of the nicest persons ever...

    Usually, I would now start a discussion about true love...and stuff like that...but I better shut up now.

    Sorry...the whole thing is my constant companion, and I keep thinking about everything almost every day...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Becki, I hear your pain on this. First off, your question about flirting: I think innocent flirting (ie there's no intent to follow through) is a certain kind of smiling and laughing and eye contact and physical contact. Kinda like what Sean'a and Annette describe-- although again, as they both say, "flirting" and being open and free can look somewhat the same without being the same. Flirting would have a certain "knowingness" about it on the part of the flirter, I think.

      As for your heartbreak. Yeah, this would make a good blog post as I know we all have at least one devastating heartbreak in our history. It does make sense that you would want to make peace with this heartbreak as it probably exacerbates a lot of your sense of "not being good enough". In fact, I read somewhere that our experience with first love can have a stronger longer-lasting effect on our future emotional lives than anything our parents could've done! I won't go into my own heartbreak (maybe I'll deal with that in a later post), but suffice to say it was shocking and painful. But, unlike you, I didn't want to be friends after and we've never spoken since. I think you need to work to break free from him to some degree. At least from your sense of him being your soul mate. Your soul mate will feel the same way about you and that's the difference. With this guy, you're just getting the idea over and over that you must not be good enough the way you are (in your own mind) when, in fact, you are so patently gorgeous and sweet and wonderful. Chemistry is a tricky thing. It has to go both ways to really be chemistry (or alchemy!). My advice to you would be to let go of him and go and have a wonderful adventure of discovery out in the world. Think of "the one" as being the most amazing geocaching treasure ever. But he can only be found if you're looking...
      xoxo

      Delete
    2. You said, "how on earth could someone fall in love with someone like me? Seriously!"

      I'm willing to bet that you're the only person who doesn't know the answer to that. And maybe one day someone will come along who can tell you exactly how it's possible to fall in love with you ;)

      Delete
    3. I am sorry this happened to you, Becki. Oh my. To me flirting is a look that lasts longer than normal, when a guy makes a point of finding you in a crowd, when a guy compliments you, when he tries to make you laugh, when he hugs you longer than a friend would, when he leans in when you talk (this one I actually read about), when he just feels closer.
      I agree with Barbara, you need to break from him a bit, Discover yourself more so you know what you want in a mate. You are a lovely person, Becki. Don't doubt it. This guy sounds like an idiot to pass you up. I don't want to sound cruel to him, but to me it sounds like he is still using you, as a friend. He should have encouraged you to find love rather than hold onto to you and not let you out of his spell.
      I have to say, I admire you for being brave enough to tell him how you feel. I didn't tell the guy I liked for 5 years how I felt and look at me now, haven't seen nor spoken to him for 3 years. I don't know. You read my comment on my "friend," not sure if I'm the best person to listen to on this topic! ;)
      Becki, you WILL find someone. I know it. And when you do, I will be expecting an invite to the wedding!

      Delete
    4. Barbara, Aimee and Steph: You guys are awesome! Lots of huuuuugs!

      Barbara...ok, well I guess I never thought of flirting. Maybe sometimes I wanted to attract attention, but yeah...as you might have figured out, I tend to hide away most of the time.

      Sorry...but I cannot leave him. He's so important to me. I don't know how to explain all this... He's my only friend I have here...if I let go off him, I would be all alone...I need him.

      I don't think...no...I don't think anymore that I'm not good enough. I did at first. But since I know his girlfriend, I know that it would have never worked out between us. We're too different in a lot of things (that's why I wrote that he could never fall in love with me).

      But on the other hand...we are connected (I feel that, when he looks at me, when he smiles at me, when he tells me not to go, when he sings at me, when he hugs me, when he holds me).

      Ah I don't know...this upsets me...I feel so stupid. I'm not always happy with this friendship...if he hadn't said to me that he needs me, I would have more doubts....

      But maybe I am all wrong...

      Thank you for your kind words. I'm so insecure. It's not that I wouldn't look. But every guy, who seems interesting is either married / in a relationship or doesn't give a damn....
      And sometimes...oh God...that feels so embarrassing. I haven't really thought about this a lot. But sometimes I think I might be asexueal. And maybe that's why it's so difficult for me to find someone.

      Aimee: Thank you. :) I just wanted to point out that I behaved strangely.

      Steph: No...please don't be cruel to him. And he did encourage me, and wanted me to find someone...or wanted to help me finding someone. I don't see him that often anymore.
      I don't know why I said that to him...it was kind of stupid, though. ;) Not brave. *lol*

      Haha, of course I will invite all of you! :D

      Delete
    5. Well, I am glad that you have a healthy friendship with him then. I think you just need to be open to finding or being found by someone. When its right, then the "one" will show up. Until then, just have fun. Just don't let your friend hold you back, because then he's not a friend anymore.
      All the best to you, girl!

      Delete
  16. I often find it hard to know what is flirting and what is not. Somebody starts a conversation with me every now and then and I chat back, I find out who they are, what they do, interesting tidbits of their lives and then we might discuss in more depth a mutual ineterest (eg. music) and share opinions etc. all the while throwing in a joke here and there. That's a generalisation of how it goes with me, but there is zero physical contact (on my part). And then I'm quite happy to walk away and remember them as an interesting random stranger.
    Yet it doesn't always work out like that. I've gotten into trouble with a guy who creeped me out by texting me incessantly (the conversation started with him accidentally texting the wrong number) and then when I asked to back off he didn't. Then he found me on facebook despite only knowing my first name.
    More recently I met a guy at uni and we started becoming friends. He wore a wedding band so I knew he was married, but he never mentioned his wife! In fact, he corrected himself when he was coming close to saying "My wife and I" and changed it to "I." Suffice it to say I'm never meeting up with him again and will be removing him from my facebook friends.
    I don't think of myself as a flirt, in fact the only people I flirt with are my mates - usually my female ones so there is no confusion - as a joke. And then it's the overdone flirting to make it even more ridiculous. So I'm asking myself how do I get in these situations?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here's where I have to pull out the old and trusty: It's not your fault, it's them. I think genuine people shouldn't second-guess their own vibes. You are being yourself! Don't let foolish others make you second-guess that. In fact, what's great is that you also understood the change in intent as soon as it happened and were able to act accordingly. Our instincts (or intuition) are powerful tools!

      Delete
  17. I DID respond to this entry, but my comment has disappeared into the great internet ethers (although I think it DID appear when I first posted it)! Also thanked you for posting this sweet video; it made my day, and the day of friends I sent it to! - Kate

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ack -- no, I never saw your 1st comment, humble Kate. But thanks for coming back and trying again. So glad you loved the video -- it made my day too!

      Delete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.