Monday, April 18, 2011

Flirting, Friends & Faux Pas


Seems there is a bit of confusion out there in the dating marketplace about flirting and friendships. It has been a wonderful week and angelfish has had some fascinating conversations and feedback on dates & blossoming romances across the city.
Conversations and deeper thought has arisen from some areas of conjecture. Areas of discussion are inter-related but for the purpose of this blog and your understanding I will cover them separately.
The first – flirting. Okay so we know that it feels good to flirt – and be flirted with. Provided you actually like that person and they don’t creep you out. I actually put in my wedding vows that “I promise to flirt with you and be silly” as we often forget to do this with our partners. But that is a whole other area of discussion. At the moment we are talking early dating. So what came up this week was that one party (happens to be female) expressed the desire for the other party (male) to flirt. This was feedback given to me –and to be passed on the man. Now it seems that not much flirting went on from both sides on the date but somehow it was made known that there was interest. Flirting is an art but it comes naturally to some people, and not to others. I suppose it is always difficult for men to know when to flirt, to get the green light so to speak. My advice would be to be a bit game guys. If in doubt – and you are attracted to and like the woman – make her feel good. Put yourself out there a bit. What’s the worst that can happen? She doesn’t flutter her eye lashes back at you? She doesn’t play with her hair or laugh at your bad joke? In all seriousness the worst that really can happen is that she thinks you are not interested on anything other than a platonic level and puts you in the “friends box”. That’s not a box you really want to be in believe me as it’s really hard to climb out of.

Which leads me to the second conundrum for some this week. When is a date a date and how do you know if you're a friend or potential partner? Now I am all for men & women being friends. The friendships I have with men are so treasured and very insightful. It is also essential to be friends with your partner –and hold out for the physical relationship for a bit (again this is a topic for another blog) but I’m talking about if the lines are blurred and you just don’t know yet. My husband was totally across this subject last night when talking to one of our friends. We were talking about the subject of men and women talking to other men and women about men and women. Are you with me? Stay there – you will get it. I’ll paint the picture and make some names up for you. Okay so Leo asks Elizabeth over for dinner. Elizabeth doesn’t know whether this is for a date or just as friends. Leo’s casual nature is confusing and, whilst she is excited and really looking forward to the date, she just doesn’t know how to classify it or how to act entirely. How should she dress? Should she bring wine? Is it really okay to talk in depth about exes? Leo is a charming and engaging man. Conversation is rich and easy. But he seems to answer her questions by telling Elizabeth about his recent (the night before in fact) dates and questions arising from that. So Elizabeth (herself extremely attractive and intelligent & quite a catch) sees it as quite a blatant fact that she is a friend so then puts Leo in the friend’s box. S’s point last night is that men should, in the company of attractive women, never relegate them to counsellor role if they are single. If they are single and attractive and in your company then to be asked about other women is kind of…. Insulting and confusing. No one likes to feel ignored, is S’s point.

On the other side of the flirting fest though - if you ladies want a man to flirt - then flirt first! It's 2011 and no one is going to condemn you for a subtly suggestive compliment.

Seems to me that people (both sexes) are so afraid of going out on a limb that they are missing vital clues and suggestions that could lead to a very happy and sustainable relationship. There is nothing wrong with flirting or asking questions. Or being the first to say something. It’s the old adage – never regret what you do (unless it’s a crime of course) but what you don’t do.
Carpe diem! And seize it with gusto. Probably best to start with hand holding first though...

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