The Fun In Flirting

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Flirting can be fun. If you're up-front about your desire to date or have sex with someone, you're not flirting. In a flirtatious interaction, the excitement comes from the hint at a possibility.

For many people, the thrill of flirting is simply receiving attention. Ladies do it a lot, and so do the guys. To get some attention, you have to give it. Using non-verbal signals is all part of the game – eye contact, standing just a little closer than normal, facing the person when he or she is speaking.

There's no one magic pick-up line. Rather, it's up to you to figure out what kind of conversation the other person might enjoy. “Wow, I like your shirt” is perfectly okay in the right context, and much better than a line that sounds rehearsed. If the participants are secure in their belief that nothing will come of it, it's possible to enjoy flirting as part of a harmless friendship.

The problem only comes when one or both participants start to take it seriously. If you flirt with someone who's vulnerable, under stress, or impaired by alcohol or drugs, you run the risk that he or she will think you want something you don't.As a guy, flirting can be a great way to figure out whether you should ask someone out. If you are married, better DON’T flirt. However, if you feel like you can't help yourself, then you're in too deep and need to spend less time with this person. Words and looks are OK, but no touching.

Flirting with your spouse?
In fact, you probably should! Flirting is a way of noticing someone, of conveying the fact that you find that person interesting and attractive. When you've been together for a while, it's easy to take one another for granted and fail to send those signals. Flirting with your spouse is a kind of insurance against relationship problems like boredom and resentment.

Here is how to flirt with your spouse:
At a party full of attractive people, scan the room, and let your eyes stop on him. Then, don't look at anyone else.

Wear something you know he likes.

Look into her eyes when she's talking.

Tell him something you appreciate about him.

Flirting at parties?
This is a great place to find potential partners if you are single. However, if you are already in a relationship then it can become a problem. A couple goes to a party, and one person has a delightful time talking and flirting, while the other seethes in the corner.

The ride home is a familiar cycle of recriminations – “what were you doing with that lady?” and “You were ignoring me!” Many married people enjoy flirting at a party as a way of maintaining a connection to a side of themselves they gave up when they settled down.

If you're the flirtatious partner, remember to introduce your partner at social events, and make at least one appropriate gesture of couplehood – putting your hand on a shoulder, for example – early in the event. Try to include your partner in fun conversations or activities, and back off when the conversation gets rough. If you're the non-flirting partner, don't indulge in “revenge flirting” – you won't enjoy it, and it won't get the response you want from your partner.

Flirting in the office?
One of the most common places for people to flirt is at work. There you are, surrounded by people with whom you have at least one thing in common, away from your partner, and probably bored or stressed at least some of the time. Yet, flirting at work can be a career-ending move, especially in the age of sexual harassment lawsuits.

Never, ever flirt with your boss or someone who reports to you.

Keep your flirting private, or confined to trusted people. Even those who aren't involved can claim that your behaviour created a “hostile work environment.”

Never, ever flirt with someone who has asked you to stop.

Don't flirt with the college-age interns. They may be cute, but they're there to learn, and your actions may hurt their future careers.

You're there to work, too. Don't flirt with someone who's obviously trying to get a job done, or when there's work piled up on your desk.

Remember to set boundaries:
If flirting is a relationship problem – or even if it isn't yet an issue – it's a good idea to try together to set some ground rules. The important thing is to make these decisions together in consensus, as equal partners. Or if you are single, remember to set boundaries for yourself.

Some questions to consider:
What does flirting mean to you? Is your partner going to understand you when you do it with other people? Do you have intentions to get serious with that person? Don't forget online flirting. Is it OK for your partner to have a profile on a social networking site?

Is it OK for your partner to chat or e-mail with online acquaintances? What about meeting them in person? Just remember that if you want to flirt and don’t intend to get serious, remind yourself and your victim verbally that it’s never going to get serious.

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