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mX Column: Innocent Flirtations?

I was at a cocktail party with my man the other week when I turned to see a very attractive, very leggy brunette launching herself at him (she was more than a little tipsy) and planting kisses on his face.

I don’t know what you would’ve done, but I laughed and turned back to my own conversation, leaving him to fend for himself.

Once he managed to disentangle himself, he appeared by my side demanding to know why I didn’t go help him.

Because it was funnier to sit back and watch. And P.S.? I trust him.

I trust him so much that I’ve sent him out on a boy’s night on the town before with strict instructions to flirt with some hot chicks while I sit at home on the couch watching Sex and the City in my trackies.

With any other man – certainly, with particular ex-boyfriends – I’m not usually so blindly trusting.

First, it’s important that I define this flirting for you, because this is a polarising subject.

I’m not talking about kissing, sex, or heavy petting. Flirting, according to the dictionary is: to court triflingly or act amorously without serious intentions.

The Golden Rule here? Look, but don’t touch. Keep it brief, then walk away. Leave them wanting more.

Flirting in this context, then, can be a healthy component of a relationship. After years with the same person, a harmless interaction and the batting of eyelids can be a much-needed ego boost and even reignite sexual desire between partners, without any hearts being broken in the process.

Some people are born flirts. These people don’t discriminate between sexes, nor times of day.

My friend N is a prime example. A natural arm-toucher, very complimentary and can make you feel a million dollars in an instant. She is like that with everyone. Her husband thinks nothing of it.

One key component of this trust is that she’s constant. Exactly the same whether she’s sober or if she’s had a few glasses of wine. Because it’s the people who change when they’re drunk, and then blame the alcohol, that you want to watch.
Too many innocent flirtations have been turbo-charged under the fuel of a few drinks. Which is why it’s a dangerous habit to get into if you think you’ll slide further.

There are the people that dig a little flirting here and there, are adamant that it means nothing and that it does wonders for the soul.

Then there are others horrified at the thought, saying it shows a lack of respect for your own partner and is quite clearly danger territory for a relationship.

Of course the most important thing is that both partners are on the same page. It’s only disrespectful if your partner doesn’t like it. If it makes them insanely jealous, it’s not okay.

If they, like you, enjoy a bit of a flirt but are trustworthy then feel free to indulge every now and again.

But remember – look, don’t touch. If you have a very clear boundary line, it’s harder to cross it in the heat of the moment.

I realise this is a very personal issue and not everyone will have the same view I do. How do you feel about flirting outside of your relationship? Is it okay or not okay by you?

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Author |

Writer, dating columnist, wife, coffee addict, foodie, fashionista... Melburnian through and through. Muser, dancer, blogger, tweeter. Likes to get her head on telly now and again. Sleeper, dreamer, a sucker for romance. And of course... a cheap date.

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