That title is a quote I found online that summed up pretty much everything I am trying to say. It was the title of my presentation to the girls, and it is completely accurate. Flirtation is giving and taking attention without any serious motivation behind it.
“Yo! Phylicia! You are AWESOME!” It was my sixteenth summer, and I was working as a retail clerk in a greenhouse/gift store. Being a greenhouse, the landscaping staff were also present — and Billy happened to be one of them. “Why, exactly, am I ‘awesome’, Billy?” I asked absently, attempting to continue my work. He considered a moment, and coming up with nothing, he shrugged and said, “You have an AWESOME purse.” The theme of my summer were Billy’s attempts to gain my attention. “Yo! Phylicia! Gimme a hug!” “Yo! Phylicia! Check this out –” He would tote bags and boxes conventiently past the retail desk, groaning with the strain. While some of this can be attributed to the typical male ego, most was due to Billy’s desire for momentary attention. Would he have dated me? Maybe. But he never would have meant anything by it. It was all in ‘fun’.
What do you do when a guy starts flirting with you? And what does it look like? For many girls it can be hard to define what is flirting and what is friendly. Some girls want to think a guy is flirting with them, when really he is just being polite and pleasant. Others assume a flirtatious guy is ‘just friendly’ and go along with his overly-pleasant tactics.
Guys who flirt generally are first, not Christians, and second, not close friends with you. By close I mean family friends, or church aquaintances. In my own experience, the men who flirted with me were almost always co-workers, customers, or employees at various stores I would stop in. Want to know why? Because these men have no relationship with you, aren’t looking for a relationship with you, and are only hoping for a momentary thrill. The reason any decent guy friends you may have don’t flirt with you is because if they did, it would be taken as with serious intent. They have a friendship with you — so if he says, “Wow, I like you hair!” You’re thinking, “Whoa, where did that come from? I thought we were just friends!” Guys in the world flirt because they want female attention without the commitment of a relationship.
Guys flirt in many ways, and almost any situation can be manipulated to fit the bill they want. Your responsibility is to determine your reaction to these situations. The key is to keep yourself collected and pleasant. There are three common reactions girls have when a guy flirts with them:
1) A girl will return the favor, flattering the guy or laughing at his attempt to gain her attention (he succeeded, as you can see).
2) The girl will cower, unduly embarrassed by the attention, and her over-sensitivity will encourage him to tease her even more. This girl needs to learn to collect her emotions and respond with pleasant coolness. She has no need to be embarrassed by what the other person said, unless it is very crude (this will be addressed in later posts).
3) The girl will respond haughtily. This is a defense mechanism some girls form to quell their embarrassment or surprise, but it is often only effective in making the young man angry unnecessarily and sullying her own witness.
There is one response that can be taken with almost every flirtatious situation instigated by the guy. What he wants is attention, so instead of giving it to him wholeheartedly, smile and walk away. In some instances, this can’t be done, so what then? I call it ‘maintaining the air of the absent’. Look like you are busy, in thought, or on your way to doing something. Do NOT be unpleasant, but don’t be overly friendly.
This post, as you can see, covers our responses to guy-instigated flirtation. In my next posts I will be covering methods of female flirtation and the Great Question: can I have guys as friends?