I was originally going to title this post: Did the "F" word kill my imaginary future grandbabies?
While he's nursing a broken heart with "righteous" indignation, anger, and sadness I can't help think that being caught committing this particular "F" word is an inadequate reason for a break-up... unless they actually wanted to break up.
Having been once married to a cheater one might think I have a no tolerance policy on flirting but you'd be wrong.
Why Flirting is Good For You
According to Psychology Today
Image created in Photoshop.
Scientists have proven that flirting releases adrenaline, dopamine, seratonin, and endorphins. These are the natural chemicals your body creates for happiness and euphoria.
Some people argue that flirting is the gateway to cheating especially if you're in a committed relationship. Perhaps. I suppose it's good or bad dependent on one's motive and how solid the relationship is to begin with.
Motive 1: Flirting to have fun and boost self-esteem
There is no other motive beyond tapping into those feel good chemicals to boost one's self-esteem and have a little fun. Whether you're the flirter or the flirtee, the back and forth banter affirms our ability to be playful and witty; it allows us to relax, feel sexy and appreciated while basking in someone's attention.
If you're in a committed relationship, bringing positive energy from back home after a little flirty fun can make us feel a little more amorous toward our loved one. For single people it's a great way to gauge their chances in the dating scene. Flirt first. Better your chances for a yes when you ask them on a date.
Motive 2: Flirting as a tool
We all use flirting as a tool as a means of getting our way.
The retail world is full of serial flirters. Bartenders, waitresses, car salesman...
They flirt to get the sale, a better tip, or developing a repeat customer.
An older lady walked into my store. She was obviously having a bad morning. You could see by the look on her face that she was not happy. As we put together her order I said, "Come here a second."
She gave me a sidelong scowl but stepped a little closer to the counter.
"A little bit closer," I said.
And just as she was saying, "What are you..." I pulled a price sticker off of her blazer.
With a wink I said, "Ooh, you're only 99 cents? What a bargain!"
She blushed, then laughed. Maybe it turned her day around. I don't know. But I felt good about making her smile.
OUTCOME: Repeat customer and word of mouth advertising.
The pretty pout is another form of flirtation. It emotes vulnerability, sadness or displeasure while still being cute and approachable. And who could resist saying no to this?
Motive 3: Flirting to get to the next level
Flirting can be a gateway to the next level in any relationship: strangers to acquaintances, acquaintances to friends, friends to BFFs, friends to lovers...
If one is in a committed relationship and flirting with someone else with the intent to build a nest elsewhere then yes, flirting is the beginning of the end. In such cases flirting did not kill the relationship, it's just one tool in the heartbreak arsenal.
Motive 4: Flirting to keep things fresh
Flirting can be a powerful tool in keeping a long-term relationship fresh too.
I give my husband a wolf whistle when he's getting ready for work, or try to grab his towel after he gets out of the shower. After knowing him for over 30 years and being married for over a decade, I can still make him blush.
And he uses this line on me all the time:
It's silly and ridiculous especially when I creep out of bed looking like I put my finger in a light socket but it still puts love in my heart.
Motive 5: Flirting to make life a little easier
There was a point in time when I was working 7 days a week. I saw my co-workers a lot more than I saw my family and developed a great relationship with a man I worked with. We laughed. We commiserated. We flirted all the time. He made me coffee. I brought donuts or snacks. We talked candidly about our lives outside of work: the frustrations and the joys.
To this day I still refer to him as my work husband and I love that man - but our relationship was never about sex. It was more like two survivors in a life boat looking out for one another. It made a stressful job and the hours we put in bearable.
Coincidentally, my husband has a couple of work wives (and a few work ex-wives) to keep things spicy.
The pitfall of flirting
Yes, there are pitfalls to flirting too.
As mentioned above, if you do not trust your partner implicitly then flirting might be on the NO-NO list. Communication is key.
Other hazards might include being tazed for being a creepy stalker or flat-out rejection.
Some final thoughts...
Going back to the death of my imaginary future grandbabies...
What's a mama to do? I know I can't get involved because it's not my job or responsibility to salvage his relationship. All I can say is I like her. I personally don't think she did anything wrong but that's not my call. If it's over between them then I need to lay to rest the imaginary brown hair, brown-eyed grandchildren bouncing on my knee.
That's too bad... She makes a really awesome Pasticho Venezolano.
What are your thoughts?
Is flirting good or bad? Leave a comment below.
*All gifs and images from giphy.com or Pixabay unless otherwise noted.