Life After Divorce . . . A Conversation About Flirting

By Lindy Earl

I used to think that if flirting was a class we had to pass, I would remain in High School to this day.  I never felt like I understood the art of flirting.  I recently posted a question about flirting in our Single Again FB group, and, overwhelmingly, responses suggest that none of us think we know how to flirt – so maybe I’m okay, or at least in good company.

So I’ve cogitated on the concept for a while and hope that I have something useful to contribute to a conversation on flirting.

What is flirting?

Flirting is simply being playful.  Being sexy. It’s not necessarily a promise of things to come – it’s a game that’s simply fun to play.

What is the point of flirting?

It can vary.  Sometimes it’s just innocent fun.  You’re unattached and it’s nice to feel desirable and make someone else feel attractive.  Sometimes it’s a dance to see how the other responds – will they follow or leave the dance floor? Sometimes it’s to add some electricity to the evening.  Sometimes it’s to kick the relationship up a notch.

Does it have to be done in person?

Definitely not.  You can be just as playful in writing as you are in person. Emojis are useful in written flirting.  You can send a kiss, or a fun comment with a winky face to show you’re being playful.  Verbally, double entendres can offer opportunities to flirt.  A little bit easier, just sincere compliments are a great way to begin a flirtation.  Extreme compliments, that both of you know aren’t real, can be very flirty because they are fun to hear and humor is there, so it’s playful.

What is a good written flirt?

Anything that makes someone smile and think of you in a romantic way.  If they have a favorite sport or hobby, sending them information on the topic, with a line of “This made me think of you,” can be a flirt.

What misses the mark as a flirt?

It can depend.  Some people think that using endearments, such as honey or baby, is flirting.  For others, those words are just a nickname or to be used when you don’t know a name.  So if you think you’re flirting by using the word Sweetheart, you may be missing it.

Anything too graphic is not a good flirt.  Anything that is too obvious and suggestive is not a good flirt. Never send any questionable pictures or jokes early in a relationship.  What you do after your romance is established is up to the two of you, and flirting should continue throughout a relationship, including into and throughout marriage.  If anything, flirting should increase with the length of a relationship.

What about flirting in person?

Well, in person flirting has the joy of five senses.  A look alone can be a fabulous flirt.  Look them in the eye (don’t stare them down) and silently tell them you missed them and are happy to be together.  They will understand your look.

Simple manners can be a flirt, especially if coupled with a look.  So when a gentleman opens a door for a lady, and makes great eye contact as she passes him, it can be a great flirt.  You can add a seductive smile or huge grin, depending on your mood. It all works.

Some people are very aware of scent, so using a great aftershave or perfume can be a wonderful flirt.  You’re wearing it for the other person’s pleasure.

Whispering is sexy, because it requires proximity.  So while a gentleman could ask a question aloud, even something as simple as whether she prefers to sit across from him or next to him, whispering the question becomes a flirt.

I think touch is the greatest flirt in the world.  Again, it needs to be appropriate. I believe the woman should always be the first to break the touch barrier.  A simple touch on the arm would suffice.  As you find yourself more interested, maybe sit closer.  A woman’s head on his shoulder is an obvious flirt.   When walking, taking his arm is not necessarily a flirt, but leaning in close makes it flirtatious.  A guy holding a girl’s hand is a mild flirt. Any light kiss – on the forehead, a palm – is more of a flirt than it is foreplay.  Kissing the inside of a wrist – that’s serious flirting with a goal in mind.

Are there dangers in flirting?

It’s important to read your date’s responses as you flirt.  If they are standoffish, then your flirts are not being well received and you should back off.  If they are being received, and especially if they are being returned, be happy.

Can flirting go awry?

Sadly, yes.  Men and women often fail to notice the flirt. So while a woman is smiling big and twirling her hair, things she sees as flirting, he may be unaware that she’s interested.  I’m sure men send signals that women miss as well.

What the best flirt you ever heard?

I once worked with a guy who was an awesome flirt.  I told him that he should give classes on how to flirt.  Without missing a beat, he responded, “Let’s find a hot tub and discuss that.”

Other thoughts?

There are personal flirts that work with an individual person, based on their likes and desires.  For instance, a guy showing up with a box of chocolates for a girl who loves chocolate is a lovely flirt.  Bringing a bottle of wine to dinner when neither of you drink wine, is a flirt, or nice manners, gone awry.

Flirting can be being playful with the hopes of a romantic interlude.  It probably shouldn’t be taken too seriously, because sometimes it is just for fun.  Within a relationship, whether you’ve just begun dating or been together for a while, flirting should be enjoyed and never stop.  It adds excitement to a romantic relationship.

            Lindy is a Speaker, Columnist, Author, and Consultant.  Contact her to speak at your church, organization, event, or corporation at  You can find her on Face Book and join her Single Support Network – Single Again: From Devastation to Dating.

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