My friend Gloria flirts with everyone—even her cat. Seriously. Almost every time I see her she's cozying up to someone new, even though she isn't a perpetual dater and doesn't sleep around. At my birthday dinner a few weeks ago, she asked my friend Sira if he wanted to lick some buttercream frosting off her chest. He busted out his cell phone and said, "Have you seen my boyfriend?" But it didn't matter to her that he's gay; she was flirting for the sake of flirting.
Another time, we were at a party, and all night long she was huddled up with a guy. I thought for sure they were going to go home together, but when I mentioned it to her, she looked shocked. "I don't like him like that," she said, as if what I'd said was the silliest thing she'd ever heard.
At first I was confused, because when I flirt, it's for real. Don't get me wrong, I love flirting, but I don't bother if I wouldn't want my flirting to at least result in a makeout session. Right now, I'm in a relationship, but that doesn't mean I don't have crushes. I'm more of a strategic flirt, so recently when I hung out with a guy friend, on what would have otherwise been a date if I didn't have a boyfriend, I couldn't help emailing my guy friend afterward to say that he looked cute eating his ice cream. That was definitely flirting, even though right now it's not really going anywhere. I did restrain myself from telling a guy friend I've had a crush on for a while that his new girlfriend is a lucky woman. Because why bother telling him that I think he's cute, when we're both taken?
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