I’m going to try to define a word that people may have differing opinions on: flirt.  Dictionary.com defines it as “to court triflingly or act amorously without serious intentions; play at love; coquet.”  But how accurate is a depiction such as that?

I am a flirt.  I play with people using words.  I tease and use quasi seductive language, banter and repartee (sometimes more witty than others).  When I do this, I have absolutely no intentions, sexual or otherwise. (seriously- just ask my husband)  I do not flirt with intent: I just think it’s fun.  When I write fiction, I am drawn to (attempting)  writing clever dialogue and interchanges between characters.  I am a huge fan of 30’s and 40’s movies starring Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant, and of course, The Thin Man series.

But do other people see it as “fun”?

When someone flirts with you, do you automatically assume their attentions are amorous?

What’s the line between playful and intrusive behavior?

See, once a week I need you all to write my blog for me.  What’s your personal definition of a flirt and flirting?  Do you like to flirt, or be on the receiving end?  Is flirting bad?  Should flirting be only between two people who are single and interested in one another?  Or: Is flirting just another form of communication between two people?

Do you consider yourself a flirt?  Why, or why not?

Ok.  Opinions please.  What do we think?

68 thoughts on “To Flirt or Not to Flirt

  1. I love The Thin Man movies. I flirt for the fun of it, and I never think anyone who flirts back is being romantic. It’s just a style of communication that demonstrates intelligence. And the ability to not take yourself too seriously.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I’m a flirt and I know it. I know when to draw the line though and not be intrusive or put others in awkward situations. As someone who dabbles in burlesque, I’ve learned to embrace my playful, flirty side. For me it’s fun and just another side of my personality. There doesn’t always have to be an “end result.” I don’t think people necessarily flirt when they are trying to win someone over, sometimes it’s just to feel good and have fun.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. That’s a good question. If someone’s significant other is right there I’ll probably tone it down or avoid the situation. I’d hate to cause a fight or something. You never know when other people are going to get jealous.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I tend to err on the not really being jealous side, but I do get annoyed if I think someone is aggressively targeting my husband …which is where I got idea for post from a situation I blogged about a few weeks ago

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I enjoy flirting in a safe environment with someone who knows that we’re just having a lively conversation that’s not going anywhere, but there’s not a lot of people who I trust to do that with anymore. And being divorced makes it more difficult. I flirted with my husband when I was married and it was fun. But I’m more shy now about flirting because I haven’t found anyone I want to flirt with who’s single and I don’t cross the line with friends’ husbands. I miss flirting.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I usually flirt for fun. I’m like you I do it as a language game and being witty. I think I can usually tell the difference between non-serious flirting and actual (romantic) flirting. I do it as a way to show off in a lighthearted, not so serious, clever way. But there is also the issue of someone not reading the situation correctly and taking it the wrong way. I am currently experiencing that with a casual acquaintance of mine I thought knew we teased and were sarcastic for fun. I guess it depends on people’s perceptions….

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Does the phrase, “playing with fire” ring any bells? I think it is dangerous for everyone involved especially married people. It is not harmless. One day you may flirt with the wrong person and end up regretting it because it could lead to a stalker, an attack, a broken friendship, gossip, people not inviting you to parties because all the other woman do not like your flirting with their men. Plus, it makes me think you have self-esteem issues. I can’t imagine a woman who is self- assured resorting to being coy and needing the attention that her flirting gives her.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s not the attention. It’s the cleverness of the wordplay. It’s the back and forth that’s not idle chit chat. And I flirt with women too. It’s not sexual in nature, it’s more playful. When I’m talking to someone I like to relate to them. If I’m in line waiting to pay, it’s more saying things with a slight edge to them instead of saying, wow it’s snowy out. See, that’s what I mean about definitions. What I call flirting may not be really flirting. I thought about this a few weeks ago when a woman was aggressively hitting on my husband. That’s when I thought about there being a difference between harmless and harmful

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What a wonderful post! Now, I used to flirt, but I was newly divorced and was seen as a threat, so that didn’t go down awfully well. Now however, I’m happily married and prefer a little witty banter with a twinkle in my eye rather than actually flirting. If however my husband is flirted with by another woman, I become a demon (which he finds both flattering and hilarious). My marriage and life is too precious to be trifled with. I think because I had a horrible first marriage and then about 12 years on my own trying to find ‘the one’, that when I did eventually find him, I treat my marriage like Dresden china – along with my children, my marriage is sacrosanct! ❤️😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m writing a character in my novel who is a horrible flirt but it’s obvious she’s going after something. Where is the line between being witty and playful and being a tiger?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ooh I like the question! …. I think less coquettish and lighthearted behaviour and more of a thrusting bosom and assertive stance. One can be (at a push) witty and playful to a man with his wife beside him …. although she might not be too impressed, but it takes a fairly bullish tiger to actually flirt with intention with him in front of her. Perhaps ‘the line’ relates to what the intention is…? Great thought provoking post – love it!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think that I am somewhat over sensitive and definitively take things literally and at face value, others however are perhaps more fortunate and have the sensitivity of a brick and don’t read too much into things. I’d love to be like that!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. It’s funny, but though I totally overthink everything, I don’t overthink casual conversation. I just think that at the end of the day, we all want to forge human connections and be liked

        Liked by 1 person

  7. This is something I haven’t thought about in over a decade. So, I guess I need to to write my comment for me😉: am I that happy in my relationship with Sunshine, or am I just old and lazy? My ears are seriously too stopped up to ponder on this (or anything weighty) right now, but I will likely be digging into this later, thereby cooking my noodle proper🤔

    Liked by 1 person

    1. See, I don’t flirt with sexual intent, like I consider it flirting when I tease you about something and we’re being playful. That’s my thing…are the levels to flirting? But…on another note, feel better!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think so. I don’t think everything is a come on. And like I told someone else, I may smile at the fish monger, but all I want is a nice piece of fish….

        Liked by 1 person

  8. We have friends whose every sentence has some sexual connotation to it. “The sky is blue” becomes something sexual. I find it very difficult to have a conversation with them. Is that flirting? When my husband is standing in line at the grocery store he doesn’t talk about the weather but may make comments about what the person is buying or talk about something they are wearing, etc. Is that flirting or being friendly or intrusive? I wouldn’t have been able to sit by if someone was flirting with my guy as you did in your situation, but that may be because my guy might have flirted back. That’s his personality and he sees nothing wrong with it. Interpretation is the key I think.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It was that exact situation with my husband that got me thinking about this topic (also showing you how far in advance I have topics slated) plus I’m writing a character in my novel who is a blatant sexual flirt. I will say that someone has a nice blouse or something, but I wouldn’t say nice shirt, I’d like to see you out of it. I think there’s a difference between being friendly and being overt, but am I wrong? That’s what I’m trying to explore today. What is said, how it’s said, etc

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Hubs and I have been discussing this very thing since the #metoo movement has arisen. I think whether or not you define something as “flirting” is most likely defined by the TOPIC of the banter. If it is of serious sexual intent, then YIKES – that is dangerous ground! But I think that perhaps what you are describing as “flirting” might be more accurately be defined as being “charming.” The joking, lighthearted banter with words that is intended to make both parties smile and feel good. There is no intent of harm, sex or anything else. I know that I have engaged in this type of banter for a lifetime. And men have done the same with me. Hell, I made good money honing those skills as a bartender, chatting up people of both sexes. Might have even told a dirty joke or two. It’s the very essence of having “charisma.” Was it ever anyone’s intent to “harass?” I hardly think so. I think as women, we need to be very careful about pointing a finger in the #metoo movement without being very, very careful to analyse our own behaviors. It will be a sad and lonely world if ultimately harmless conversations suddenly become stilted because of the fear of being identified as “harassment.” OK —- I didn’t mean for that to turn out to be quite so much of a rant. Thanks for letting me vent on an important topic! ~ Lynn

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I like the idea of considering it as charm rather than flirting, but however you look at it, everyone is going to have an interpretation. And I definitely smile at the fish monger in hopes of getting a slightly better piece of cod, but that’s about all I want from him….and yup….totally agree that the majority of conversations out there are totally harmless. I think we all just have a wish to be charming to others, an innate desire to want to be liked. Great comments.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Two rhetorical questions here; Do you “flirt” with ugly people? Do you like it when ugly people flirt with you? Attention is flattering when there is some remote interest and kind of creepy when there is none, or so that is my perception. Thus, it would be difficult to do it without some intent. I, too, think it’s fire and one that can get out of hand and consume everything in its path.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I flirt with people who would be considered unattractive by normal social standards. But I don’t flirt with people who creep me out. And it beckons to my question of defining flirting. One commenter said that my definition more closely resembles charm. It’s the way we socially interact why trying not to be too stuffy. Yes, I smile at the fish guy when placing my order in hopes of getting a better piece of fish. I tease my doorman. There’s nothing behind it other than being pleasant and engaging with someone I see on a regular basis. I think it’s sort of like what someone said would be charming. I don’t think every guy who talks to me wants to get in my pants. I think they just want to interact

      Liked by 2 people

      1. There isn’t much charm in my day to day. I live in a building with over 100 apartments. Conversational or acknowledgement is rarely seen in the elevators or lobby. Different world

        Like

      2. It is a much different world. I shouldn’t tell you this but when we go on vacation, no matter where, and someone is less than overtly charming (which we okies see as rude) my husband always says; “Must be from the North East.” My son-in-law is from Philly and he tells us of a different world as well. He and my daughter have discussions about this very thing. Where he is from it is rude to look at someone when walking down the street. I’d never make it there. He thinks trying to overtly charming is ridiculous.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I think certain people view charm differently as well. As a New Yorker I find it odd the way people interact when I visit different parts of the country. No one is overtly friendly where I live, we just have little moments of humanity

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I believe you should be cautious about who you flirt with. Some people can cross the line and take your flirting as a show of interest. I only flirt to reciprocate a friendly gesture.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think there are levels and definitions of flirting, and it’s a word impossible to define. I think it’s more a way of being charming, and less a way of hitting on someone

      Like

    1. I think some people think flirt and hitting on are the same thing. Hence why I asked how we define it, cause I think people see the word and have wildly different views on its meaning

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I won’t flirt if I think someone can misconstrue it, but one of my commenters used charm as a better word. But, more to my point, flirt is a word we’re traditional definitions can’t apply because people bring interpretations to it

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I am not flirty, although I don’t mind silly innuendos from gay friends who are not looking for my type. In the old days I was so sincere that it just never happened, and I expected people to either show sincere interest in me or not try to fool me somehow. I hate the hubbahubba innuendo, though, when it is done without humour or charm.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Charming banter a la Noel Coward or someone can be fun. I think the goal is so important, and if it is to be an egomaniac and hold forth tediously, then it can be off-putting. If it’s to score some–any–sex in a crass way, then it comes across as yuck to me. If it’s an exchange of life energy in cheerful ways, then yay–

        Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s how I was looking at it, which is why I wanted to find out if it was an undefinable word, which apparently it is, because everyone has their own unique definition to the word

      Like

    1. I think there’s a difference between charm and come on. That’s sort of why I wrote this. I’ve been looking at words that have different meanings and different interpretations. No matter how you look at it, I hit a nerve

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s