“You look like Michelle Obama. Both of you!” was the crazy pickup line a guy decided to use on me and my best friend this past weekend. I was spending the night with her in Chicago before we took off to Vegas to celebrate her birthday, and for some reason, guys were being particularly bold. The winner who uttered that gem wasn’t someone I’d be interested in if I were single, so there certainly wasn’t any temptation there. But what about the actual eligible men? When one of them approached, the dilemma immediately became: To flirt or not to flirt? Here’s what I chose and why.
Theoretically, I think flirting while in a relationship is fine. When kept innocent without ulterior motives, it can ideally be a way to inject a little bit of excitement into everyday life, and even into your relationship by making you feel confident and desirable. But practically, I’m not into flirting with other guys when I have a boyfriend. For example, there was one guy, Eric, who came up to our table. We were chatting, and he started rubbing my back in a way that felt a tad too intimate. I moved his hand but then offered him some of my enormous fishbowl drink because I’d have to spend the week in bed if I drank the whole thing. We were passing my drink back and forth before I realized he was giving me that look, you know, the “let’s make this thing happen” one. I immediately realized that sharing a drink with Eric was a major flirting move that I’d mistakenly made out of convenience, so I pushed it over to him and told him it was all his. Better for both of us, really.
There’s such a fine line between being nice and truly being flirty, so I’m not saying I ward off every guy with the evil eye and harsh words just so I don’t seem like I’m interested. But there’s that extra touch of sassy interest that I make it a point not to include when talking to random guys, especially because I feel awkward blurting out “I have a boyfriend” unless the dude is being so forward the conversation warrants it, or he straight-up asks. There’s always the stealthy way to slip the boyfriend mention in, and I’ve gotten good at making it a pretty smooth inclusion into the conversation. That way, even if I’m being really nice, it’s obvious I’m not flirting.
When it comes to boyfriends flirting, it’s a little harder to figure out how I feel. If I were dating a naturally flirty guy who’s that way with everyone, I’d probably try to accept that facet of his personality even if it bugged me a bit. As long as it wasn’t overboard or coming from a place of wanting to actually have something with the woman, I think I could handle it. But if a guy isn’t normally flirty but did it sometimes when he was especially attracted to someone, he’d need to be extra trustworthy for me to deal.
Do you flirt when you’re in a relationship? Does your guy? Do you two have different definitions of flirting?