Whatever happened to the fine art of flirting?
To flirt with someone is simply to make them feel beautiful. Natural and unconscious flirts do it equally with men and women. They smile, make eye contact, unabashedly laugh at jokes, and appropriately touch. How in heaven’s name could that be construed as anything but wonderful?
Yet a small (albeit powerful) group of uptight, politically-correct people have knocked the little bit of fun we had left out of us. They’re the grinches who stole flirting.
I was at a corporate function having a wonderful time. As I came off the dance floor, arm-and-arm with a fellow when—while wiping the sweat off my brow because I had been dancing non-stop with a few different guys—a co-worker approached me and said, “You’re acting like a slut.” I stood there stunned, watching her skulk back to her corner to resume her solitary mope.
Her flirting value-judgment slapped the smile clean off my face. And I suppose her jealous words would have stopped most people from ever having that kind of flirty fun again.
With all the sexual harassment suits of yonder years, hyper-vigilant managers are on constant guard to snuff out any lawsuit before it happens. Consequently, we now live in sterile offices where only the “appropriate” level of laughing, kibitzing and foolishness will be tolerated. Certainly no innocent flirting will be seen down antiseptic hallways, by water coolers, or while photocopying documents.
This sterilized sensibility has spread like a virus outside of our offices and into our daily lives. One afternoon, while having coffee with a friend, I explained how I not only encourage my husband to flirt, I teach him the fine art of flirting. Perplexed, she asked why on earth I would teach my husband to flirt. Fair question. With an easy answer: I trust him 110%.
More importantly, ever since my husband emerged out of his I-can’t-look-at-any-other-woman box and began to flirt, he has felt better about himself. He feels and acts sexy. He is more fun to be around. The end result is that our relationship is stronger and healthier because he brings that positive energy home to me (yeah for me!).
The irony is he does not really even flirt. It’s simply that he has been given a pass-card to flirt that has made all the difference.
I could see my friend nodding her head in agreement. Seeing a tiny shift in her belief system, I went in for the jugular and asked, “Why don’t you try flirting?”
A tiny look of terror crossed her face. She then uttered the words that many people admit when I broach the topic of flirting, “My husband wouldn’t like it.” Undaunted, I pressed the issue, “Why?”
She started squirming as if about to divulge deep, dark bedroom secrets and replied, “He’s just not that secure and, quite frankly, neither am I. I wouldn’t like it if I saw another woman flirting with him.” I walked away from the conversation musing on how her relationship and her sexuality could open vastly by the simple act of flirting.