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What's So Bad About Flirting Anyway?
By Susie and Otto Collins

Are you a flirt? Maybe you've been a flirt for as long as you remember and it simply feels like a part of who you are and how you interact with others.

You might wonder what's so bad about flirting anyway? As long as nothing comes of it, it's perfectly harmless-- right?

Well, we don't think that flirting is "bad" and we also don't think that it's necessarily "good." Instead, we ask you to look at the effects of flirting on your relationship.

When you flirt with people you aren't in a love relationship or marriage with, even if it's perfectly "innocent," does it bring you closer to your partner or move you further away from him or her? Does your flirting contribute to feelings of mistrust and insecurity in your mate?

These are key questions to ask yourself if you tend to flirt and you want to have a close connection between yourself and your partner.

Corey has pretty much always been a flirt. She remembers being a young girl and seeming to have a natural "gift" for charming the boys in her class.

Now, as an adult, Corey continues to flirt with men, even though she's in a serious and committed relationship with Hal. Corey knows she would never ever cheat on Hal or betray him. But she also thinks that it's fun to flirt and doesn't want to stop.

To Corey, flirting is totally harmless and it's the best way she knows how to socialize. The trouble is, Hal doesn't see Corey's flirting as harmless. He never felt jealous before in his life-- until now. It's almost torturous for him to watch Corey flirt with other men and her reassurances that it's "no big deal" don't help his jealousy.

He's considered refusing to go out to clubs with
her, but then Hal worries that Corey would take the flirting too far and get into trouble that isn't so innocent.

Try to understand why you flirt.
If you are a flirt, tune in to yourself to gain a better understanding of why you tend to interact with others in this way. If you don't consider yourself a flirt but your partner does, just for a few moments, ask yourself if there is any truth to what he or she says.

We aren't asking you to judge yourself or your behavior as bad or wrong. But we do want you to be more aware of how you tend to act and gauge whether your habits are helping to point your relationship in a direction you want to go.

Because Corey has identified herself as a flirt from an early age, it seems to be part of who she is. Yes, she likes the attention and she also feels sort of powerful when she perceives she is charming and appealing to other men. On the other hand, she sees flirting as a way to be friendly and outgoing which are qualities she values.

Of course, Corey does not want to hurt Hal. It is also not her intention to make him jealous. She truly does see flirting as "her" way to socialize and she doesn't really know how to do it differently.

When you get a fuller picture of how you often interact with others and possible reasons why you flirt, you will probably find some reasons that you consider positive and others that you may not view positively.

Try not to get caught in judging; instead, do your best to observe and understand.

How can you meet your needs in other ways?
Corey realizes that, for her, flirting feels like part of her identity when it comes to socializing. It is how she likes to be friendly and outgoing. But Corey also sees that her flirting is contributing to the distance and disconnection that is forming between herself and Hal. She loves him and does not want this to happen.

As you now have a better understanding of why you flirt, see if you can think of other ways that you might meet the needs that flirting has satisfied in the past.

If deep down inside you realize that you enjoy the attention you get when you flirt, focus your flirting and charm on your partner instead. You can certainly spark passion between the two of you when you flirt with your mate.

If, like Corey, flirting seems like it's always been the way you've socialized, play around with different ways to interact with others. Perhaps you and your mate could talk about which specific behaviors you each associate with flirting and then come up with alternative ways to be social with friends and acquaintances.

Experiment with these possibilities and find what will help you meet your need to be friendly and charming without stepping over into what your mate (or you) consider flirting.

Flirting often looks different to different people. This is why keeping the lines of communication open and honest are essential. Tune into yourself and get to know what you want and what feels good to you.

Listen to your mate and find the places where what you both want overlaps. Keep talking about how you want your relationship to be and continue to point yourselves in that direction.







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Contact Info
Relationship Coaches Susie and Otto Collins
PO Box 14544, Columbus, OH 43214
Contact Susie or Otto about Relationship Coaching by calling 614-459-8121.
For all other inquiries, contact us by email

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