To Flirt or Not To Flirt…

Just the other day I happened to be chatting with a college mate of mine and we had a very interesting exchange that led to a train of thoughts in my already overpopulated mind. This girl has known me for the past 18 years and we have kept in touch over all these years despite being in different cities, and sometimes even different countries. During our undergraduate years in college we have been part of a group of 6 girls and we have all been pretty close. I have attended her wedding, visited her home in another city and met her on several occasions over these years. We have shared our life stories each time and bonded over our various similarities and milestones.


So this is a close friend of mine. And she was back in town and had called me to plan a rendezvous soon. Somehow our conversation touched upon her recent indulgence in spiritual activities and we ended up talking about astrology and zodiac signs. This is a strong interest area of mine and I have been following zodiacs and astrology linked to that over several years, starting right from my school days. So I was keen to know whether she believed in it too and that’s how I brought up the topic during our spirituality discussion. She immediately told me that she was not too keen on zodiacs and the little that she knew about them was based on her early readings of Linda Goodman’s love compatibility series. I was highly amused as I had also browsed through Linda’s books and had never been impressed by them much. It was later on that I found some interesting and accurate interpretations on the internet and started my focused personal research on this area. Keeping this in mind, I asked her what she knew based on her reading of Linda Goodman, and she laughed saying she also felt they were not too accurate. Curious to know why, I asked her to explain. 


She started off by asking me what my zodiac sign was. When I told her that I was a Gemini she told me that the only thing she remembered reading about the zodiac sign Gemini was that Geminis are supposed to be big Flirts! And she told me that she did not think I was a Flirt. “You are not really into flirting, are you?” she asked. Now this took me completely by surprise because I have been told by other close friends of mine that I am a big Flirt! And perhaps I have always believed myself to be one. And so I told her that I thought I was a hopeless flirt. Then we moved on to other topics.


Truth is when my friend asked me this question in this manner, I was suddenly consumed by doubt. It was like my own “Pandora’s box” had been opened. Was I really a Flirt? How can someone who has known me for so long, seem so sure about me not being one? And why would the others call me one? Did I really know myself? What is flirting? Who is a flirt? I ended up doing what I usually do when in doubt – ‘Googled’ for an answer! And this is what I found.

“flirtING <present participle of flirt (Verb)>

  1. Behave as though attracted to or trying to attract someone, but without serious intentions: “it amused him to flirt with her”.
  2. Experiment with or show a superficial interest in (an idea, activity, or movement) without committing oneself to it seriously.”

Wikipedia gave me this –

Flirting or coquetry is a social and sometimes sexual activity involving verbal or written communication as well as body language by one person to another, suggesting an interest in a deeper relationship with the other person. On the other hand, some people flirt playfully, for amusement. 

Flirting usually involves speaking and behaving in a way that suggests a mildly greater intimacy than the actual relationship between the parties would justify, though within the rules of social etiquette, which generally disapproves of a direct expression of sexual interest. This may be accomplished by communicating a sense of playfulness or irony. Double entendres, with one meaning more formally appropriate and another more suggestive, may be used. Body language can include flicking the hair, eye contact, brief touching, open stances, proximity etc. Verbal communication of interest can include the vocal tone, such as pace, volume, intonation. Challenges (teasing, questions, qualifying, feigned disinterest) serve to increase tension, test intention and congruity.”

The Free Dictionary gave me this –

” flirt  (flûrt)

v. flirt·ed, flirt·ing, flirts

1. To make playfully romantic or sexual overtures.
2. To deal playfully, triflingly, or superficially with: flirt with danger.
3. To move abruptly or jerkily.

1. To toss or flip suddenly.
2. To move quickly.

1. One given to flirting.
2. An abrupt jerking movement.”

After reading all this, I began to realize that perhaps my college mate was right! I believe I am a friendly person and sometimes this combined with my playfulness can be mistaken for flirting. I like to see smiling faces and often tend to go out of the way to make people happy! Not that I achieve it all the time, but then again mostly it seems to work. And yes I feel instantly connected with some people whereas with some others, there is always a kind of barrier that prevents us from getting closer. I think that’s a common thing. Right? I know that not everyone wants to go around making new friends but I like to spend my time with people I can connect with in some way rather than with people who don’t vibe well with me. So coming back to our topic, maybe I come across as a ‘flirt’ to those close to me and this would be because I’m trying to keep things ‘light’. And though this college mate of mine seemed to not know me well at first, maybe she is the one who knows me best 🙂


3 thoughts on “To Flirt or Not To Flirt…

  1. I really like this denotation: “Behave as though attracted to or trying to attract someone, but without serious intentions.” As far as I can tell, at least for me, the intention is always there. If I am flirting, that is, but then when I am truly attracted to someone, there’s nothing flirtatious about my behavior because I am a nervous wreck; I am usually very quiet and observant. And so while the definition alludes to playfulness, I can see why there might not be serious intentions and if so, why have we always assumed that flirtation was about sexual preening?

    • I always thought flirting required serious intentions. The intention to be playful or casual could be serious enough, right? And this could change over a period of time based on various factors. What I mean to say is that flirting could be a precursor to something more serious. It could just be how some people try to convey their interest to another person. Perhaps like a first date or something. How do you get to know a person unless someone makes the attempt in the first place? This could be a way to ensure that the blow of a possible rejection is rendered less harmful to the person facing it! And then again, maybe not…

      • I think I used to agree with your statement that it could lead to something more, at least in my perspective it wants to lead to something more, but either doesn’t really want it to or sees no hope in having that expectation. I don’t know, I guess some people, who flirt, actually think they are getting somewhere.

        I am basically such a pushover that a woman has to help me. I am pretty much a dullard and when I really like someone, I don’t know what to say.

        I do agree with you that someone has to make the effort. It’s just sad that often the effort is wasted where girls, for example, seem to like a man and that man often treats them badly or practically ignores them and this type of psychology really works for the men. I know it worked on me when girls treated me that way. One in particular still has me pinning for her.

        Anyway, it’s all too complicated. I’ve kind of given up.

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