Flirting Is the Same Thing as Cheating, But Only If You’re Doing It Right


FlirtingIt was my birthday, and The Man, our girls, and I were awaiting our appetizers at TGI Fridays, my fav chain restaurant. (I’d scale a wall of fire ants to get to that Jack Daniels sauce.) I guess our waiter, who kept randomly coming over to make chit chat, kept directing most of his conversation at me, but I thought that was because I was the birthday girl. I was wearing a tiara and a pin on my shirt collar that said so, just in case anybody missed my beaming declarations. (Yeah, I’m one of those people.) 

After some time, I noticed that The Man had kind of lost his spunk so I playfully jabbed him in the ribs and asked him if the cook had sprinkled a dash of attitude in his chicken parm. He raised his eyebrow and verbalized his sourness. 

“You were flirting with that dude right in front of my face.” 

“Who?” I frowned, all caught off guard. 

“Our waiter,” he frowned back, face all balled up in irritation.

My name is Janelle Harris, and I’m a recovering flirtaholic. I used to be the grand dame of the art of effective flirtation. I’m not hot or sexy or even altogether fetching, honestly. I just know how to hit on that just right combination of mystique and flattery that seems to bring the boys to the yard. You know — do the Daisy Duck eyes, switch the hips like Jessica Rabbit. (Apparently I get instruction for how to employ my womanly wiles from animated characters.) And sometimes, even without my express permission, it still seeps out.

I didn’t even realize I was flirting with the dude and in all honesty, I still don’t think I was. It sure wasn’t intentional. I couldn’t even fully enjoy dousing my food in that sticky, sweet Jack Daniels sauce because The Man thought I had purposefully disrespected him. My little inner birthday banner sagged in dismay.

From that point, I really had to put my churning flirt machine in check, not because he’s insecure but because I have consideration for his feelings. Besides, if hardcore flirting is an ends to a means to get to know somebody, then it doesn’t make sense to invest that kind of energy if I’m already off the market.

You ever run into some dude you haven’t seen in a long time or have a conversation with a stranger, walk away, pause, and wonder, “was he just flirting with me?” That’s the kind of flirting I do now, that subtle, under-the-radar, harmless flirting that’s just as casual as talking about the weather or commenting on the ridiculousness of traffic. I never did the whole suggestive remarks, draping-myself-over-a-guy physical kind of flirting, anyway.

 That behavior is too overt and besides that, it’ll give a gal a bad reputation quicker than you can say “easy lay.” It’s just been little compliments and sassy remarks that lead to playful teasing. The you-little-rascal taps on the shoulder or arm. That kind of thing that seems to resonate with the opposite sex — until The Man hit the scene and let me know, in very clear and explicit terms, that he wasn’t digging my inadvertent projecting. 

Everybody has their personal determination between innocent flirting that’s not worth mentioning and the kind of in-your-face flirting that crosses the line into cheating. Just to be on the safe side, I think I have it scaled back to a harmless friendliness, though it hasn’t been re-tested on Friday’s waiters as of yet.
What’s your flirting style? How far is too far when it comes to flirting?

Image via cliff1066â„¢/Flickr

cheating, dating, love, sexuality


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Kritika Kritika

You should go into sales and make something positive of your charm.

Katie Griffin

I used  to work for Fridays and if you ever saw how some of that stuff is prepared you would not eat the sauce.....

Cara Leigh

I think we flirt because we are insecure and it makes us feel good to get flirted back with... but that's just me.  My guy always says I'm flirting too, but I just roll my eyes.  I'm outgoing and he's not.... get over it.

2love 2love

Me and SO were hardcore flirters when we met... Of course in the past 3 years both of us had to dumb it down because a flirting couple is a little strange lol

lulab... lulabellalula

did The Man have any specific examples of how you were actually flirting? Sometimes men (AND WOMEN!) are just having off moments and get insecure over little mundane things. I know my hubby has & i know i have too. Talking to an old friend about catching up or "its been so long, how you been?" is a lot different than "you look great! what's your number, i'd LOOOOVE to catch up sometime *wink wink*" 

nonmember avatar Denise

Or...flirting can lead to an emotional affair, which can lead to a physical affair. My hubs of 30 years had a female "friend" at work; their friendship escalated to flirting, going for walks, texting, and many long phone convos. He said the flirting was really just "goofing"...I say if there is a sexual component, it's flirting, which is telling someone that you're interested and available. (BTW, she was also married.) What is the difference between a friendship and an emotional affair? If the spouse does not know about it (or part of it is secret) and would not be OK with it, it's an affair. Couples need to be clear on what they are and are not comfortable with, and, like you said, have consideration for one another's feelings. Flirting is a slippery slope that can lead to destruction of a marriage.

Miz Kizzy

When it's purely aimed at a member of the sex *you* are attracted to, it's flirting. When the same attention is extended to all people, it's called 'charisma'.
Flirting is as natural and normal for some people as breathing.

Jesi Pierson Strub

you can buy the jack daniels sauce at walmart!


Kyla Rose Fey

Flirting is apart of the business. He's trying to make you feel good on your big, special day, and so he wants a big, special tip. It's their job to make you feel good and let you have a wonderful time. Because there's a payout for them.
Me on the other hand? I work graveyards at 7/11, so the flirting that I get is usually rude, drunken and rumbunctious. Not sexy.

nonmember avatar Joyce

Your man sounds a bit insecure. If he wants to have a say in how you speak to men, maybe he should put a ring on it, then he'd have a right to. Does he have similar rules for himself and talking to women? Shame on him putting a downer on your special day!

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