Can I still flirt?

If you’re in a relationship, is it okay to bat your eyes at someone else?

It's just your typical Friday night when a handsome stranger walks past and crosses your eye line. He catches your sneak peek and shoots over a devilish smile to which you bashfully reciprocate.

You bend, you snap and suddenly, a force called liquid courage takes over producing a chemical reaction that gravitates you towards each other.

He opens conversation with the perfect line; complimentary and yet, not too cheesy. You giggle uncontrollably. "You're so funny Ryan So-and-so!" Saying his name out loud helps envision the now very possible future together.

He leans in a little closer, the perfect opportunity to caress his bulging bicep. You tilt your head to the side a little and pull out the big guns before sealing the deal with the unprecedented hair flip.

Sound familiar?

  
Touching, flattery and bedroom eyes. You don't need moves like Jagger to master the art of successful flirting, especially since half the work has already been done for you.

What we forget is that everybody likes attention, no matter how much they try and deny it particularly when it comes from a member of the opposite sex.

Blatant, subtle or simply from a distance, flirting is the condom of human attraction; safe and 97% effective. The outcome can be anything you want from a quickie or one night stand to an actual real-life date.

It provides instant gratification to the low in self-esteem and life-long purpose to the bold and the brainless who probably rely way too much on charm and mindless banter to get them through life.

Whatever the case, flirting is fun, fun, fun especially when you're single and pretty much free to mingle with whoever you like.

But what happens to those flirtatious instincts when we finally decide to trade it all in for the comfort of a long term relationship? Do we relinquish our right to covet and cavort out of respect for our current partner or does flirting just become less and more controlled?

Commitment is a beautiful journey on its own, but it does come with certain amount of sacrifice and decorum.

Are we ready to accept that things like flattery, first kisses and pretty much all modes of complimentary conversation are now restricted to one human being only? Was there perhaps a loop hole, a way of being flirty without being dirty or are we just flirting with disaster?

Before Mindi became the loyal girlfriend she is today, she was a natural flirt, a loose woman whose morals and inhibitions were pretty much non-existent thanks to her rock bottom self-esteem.

She was blessed to find a man like Jerry who loved her unconditionally, but as she entered the fourth year of her relationship, she noticed that something was missing. She felt this sudden need to reconnect with her former self.

Perhaps the idea of forever and "one love" had finally dawned on her or maybe she just wanted a quick dose of male attention from someone other than her boyfriend. Either way, Mindi was clearly bored.

A few weeks ago, Mindi decided to go out without her boyfriend which is when she met Tyler, the blue eyed hunk of a stranger from another state who just so happened to be passing by. For the next three hours, Mindi had subconsciously forgotten about her relationship and made no effort to conceal her desire for this perfect stranger.

Sparks were flying. Everything from their body language to the actual conversation was screaming "touch me", and even though Mindi would never physically act upon her urges no matter how pissed she was, her shameless flirting was clearly a desperate cry for attention.

Was Mindi really looking to sabotage her four year relationship or was she just looking for an affirmation, a sign that said "I still got it!?"

Mindi's flirtation continued sporadically over the next three weeks. She received a number of racy texts from the gorgeous blue-eyed man as well as naughty picture or two which she automatically deleted.

It was then and there that Mindi realized a line had been crossed. Although she never reciprocated, she didn't stop it and certainly entertained it.

Were her actions or lack thereof bordering on innocent flirtation or had that rush of newness clouded her judgement? There's certainly nothing innocent about giving your phone number to another guy or even hiding your cell phone from your boyfriend out of fear of what he might find.

She didn't know whether it was the guilt or the excitement of something new, but Mindi did what any brave girl would do in her situation...she deleted him and came clean to Jerry.

Flirting is a wonderful but extremely dangerous game to play especially when you're involved with someone you love.

It's probably best to steer clear from all urges and temptations that come your way no matter how mundane the routine of relationship may be. It's just a phase and it will pass. Instead of going on a smear campaign to destroy the best thing you ever had, take charge and spruce things up or better yet, talk to your partner about it before it's too late.

There's a very fine line between flirting and having a mental affair. If it feels wrong, then it probably is.

*For more, visit Manni Bradshaw’s blog and Facebook pages.

When it comes to the novelty of complimentary conversation, do relationships mark the end of our flirtatiousness?

 

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