Thursday, January 14, 2010

Inadvertently Flirting When You’re Taken

There’s been a lot of blogging about the article Gawker did on flirting while in a relationship and the (way more hilarious) follow up.

Since this article was first posted, the morality of flirting-while-taken has been blogged to death, but one of our readers sent in a different take on this situation.

Recently, while visiting my girlfriend, I was in an awkward situation that I was reminded of while reading these articles. We were hanging out with my girlfriend's group of friends, most of whom I hadn't met yet. One of the guys was gay, but I figured that he knew I was straight since I was visiting this girl, so I didn't even consider the possibility of accidentally flirting with him. However, later in the night, once we had left the place where we were hanging out, my girlfriend got texts from this guy saying "hey is your friend gay?" and "is your friend coming back to hang out with us?" Then, the next day, once I had left, the guy told her that I was "raping him with [my] eyes" and flirting with him the whole time. Now, I did talk to him a little bit, and maybe he took my eye contact for something much more than it was, but I certainly didn't even think of the possibility that I was flirting with him. This particular situation is complicated due to the differing sexual preferences of the parties involved, but it still made me wonder about an age old question: what exactly is flirting and how do you know when you're doing it?

I'd really like to hear your two cents on innocently flirting, or even innocently talking to, someone who might be interested in you, even though you are off-limits due to a monogamous relationship. Obviously every situation is different, but are there certain things that one can do to avoid leading on someone you're just trying to have a simple conversation with?

We think this sums up the other side of the problem. Yes, there are guys who feel the need to mention the fact that they have a girlfriend even if you’re only interacting with them because they rear-ended you at a stoplight (“Sorry I hit you, bythewayIhaveagirlfriend.”)

But what about when you smile at someone for two seconds and he follows you around the bar for the rest of the night?

We see this more of a question of etiquette than anything else. Yes, it sucks to feel like you accidentally led someone on (or, even worse, to feel like you were the one led on), but, at the end of the day, it’s not really that big of a deal.

If someone’s coming on too strong, drop the g-bomb (or b-bomb, depending on your gender/sexual preference). If the person still doesn’t get the hint, walk away.

But if he’s not letting on that he thinks you’re flirting and only texts someone afterwards (like in the situation above), is it really an issue? You’ll probably never see the guy again, and, even if you did, he doesn’t need to know that you saw those messages.

There’s no need to make him feel bad by rubbing your relationship in his face—especially if he isn’t coming on to you at all. Some people are just going to see things that they want to believe are true, and even if you invited them to your heterosexual wedding, they’d still tell their friends that you were making eyes at them during the first dance.

We’re taking off early for the weekend and heading to LA. See you Tuesday (no pun intended).

1 comment:

  1. I always try to find a way to casually drop it into conversation... it's just easier that way.

    However, if there's no conversation, there's also no need. See: car-rear-ending example above...