By Lindy Earl
Have you ever read something, in passing, but you find yourself dwelling on it, even hours later? That happened to me today. Being a writer, I’m embracing it. The FB post said something like, If you’re in a committed relationship but continue to chat up and flirt with others, then you are cheating.
I agree with that. It makes sense. I know people who think flirting is just recreational. I see it more as a prelude . . . to what is unknown. Maybe it is harmless. Maybe it’s a precursor to more. One of my lines in the business world is that You never know where a lead may lead. Is it any different in your social world? You never know where you might meet someone, and where it may lead.
I do believe that flirting is fun. Done well, it can make you feel great, being on either side of it. Maybe somebody is flirting with you, which can make you feel attractive and desirable. Maybe you start the flirtation, which can be a rush – how will they respond? Are they really interested? Will this go anywhere? Flirting can be a fun game.
I have many friends, male and female, who date around. Some of them sleep around, which is a whole other topic I’ll address in a future column. But if I know someone is seeing five different people, I figure they aren’t too serious about any of them. If they tell me that they are serious about one, or committed to one, or even acting like a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship to one, then why are they seeing the other four?
I’d like to consider that question. First, it may just be for kicks. It’s fun to flirt, even if you aren’t very good at it. I’m better at face to face flirting, but I don’t consider myself a good flirt. Oh well. I’m not a good pool player but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying the game.
Also, on a sad note, I think some people need the attention that multiple partners (just dating partners, don’t misunderstand me here) offers. In some cases it’s just who they are. In other cases, such as post-divorce, they need the validation that they are attractive and desirable, and chatting up several people simultaneously affirms them.
On an even sadder note, it might be some extreme sport for some people. They need the thrill of chasing and dating several relationships, even at the expense, maybe because of the expense, of that one real relationship. The thrill is in the chase, and chasing several is more exhilarating than chasing one.
The one point I question, though, is whether anyone who is chatting with and dating several people simultaneously, whether or not they are in a committed relationship or not, is whether that person is truly ready for a serious significant other. Maybe these people are flirting with several people because that’s one way to not get too serious about any one of them.
If you enjoy flirting, but say that you want to be in a serious, committed relationship, shouldn’t you limit your flirting to your one Significant Other? Spend your time and attention flirting with them! You can send a flirty text or leave a written note where they will find it when you aren’t together. I used to slip notes into a boyfriend’s brief case. He found one in the middle of a meeting and told me he smiled and put it in his pocket, not letting on to others in the room what had just happened. That just tickled me. You can flirt physically when you’re together – grab their hand, caress their arm. There are so many ways to flirt, but you don’t need to use them with a bunch of different people once you find your SO.
So, the conclusion is . . . wait until you’re ready. If you’re single, go ahead and flirt at a party, but don’t allow it to go anywhere. Have a fun chat with someone, but let it gently be known that nothing is going to happen. Enjoy your verbal diversions, but be assured that that is all it is. Then, in time, rather than dating half a dozen people, you can find that one special person, and put all your attention there. All your experience flirting can now be channeled on the one versus the many. So, enjoy yourself, but don’t tie yourself down until you’re ready. When the time is right, when the person is right before you, you’ll know, and you will be ready.
That’s Dating After Divorce.
Lindy is a Speaker, Columnist, Author, and Consultant. Contact her at LMEarl@EarlMarketing.com or find her on Face Book.