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"Harmless flirting"— does such a thing exist?

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Tue Sep 27, 2011 6:14 pm
Rosey Unicorn says...



This was a class discussion we started having, but didn't have time to finish.

"Harmless" and "flirting" were not defined, so when you answer please give some idea of what each is to you.

The opinions went like so:

Girls in class: It's fine if everybody knows the expectation and it's just for fun, to show friendship.

The one guy who spoke up: It sends mixed messages, is confusing and distracting.

For me, "flirting" is defined as attraction beyond friendship, such as pet names, love notes ("I love you", other romanticly-slanted sayings) and cuddling. "Harmless" is when it doesn't lead anybody on and just builds friendship.

I do think such a thing exists, mostly because I've had a few friends do it. While it can take me a long time to get used to this, once I do I tend to be just fine. That doesn't mean sometimes feelings don't develop, but they're easier to act out if there's a certain amount of allowance for flirting acts. So it actually helps ease crushes into submission. And, to me, shows a very loving person/friendship, which I enjoy.

I do think it can go too far, however. If somebody randomly flirts with no previous expectation, and there's no clear signal after being confused/asking what they were doing, then I stop considering it harmless. What makes flirting harmless to me is respect and a mutual understanding it's just for fun.

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Tue Sep 27, 2011 6:34 pm
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Dreamwalker says...



You posted this as a discussion, eh? Well, the Walker's serious boots are on ;).

Now, what I define flirting as is when conversation takes a turn for the playfully personal. Such as pet-names, as you stated, or where there is that connection that is rather amusing in its tone. Flirting doesn't usually happen unless you're comfortable with the person, after all, or are really confident with your intuitive nature.

In any case, in the basis of what my thoughts are on this one, I think harmless flirting is absolutely fine. In fact, kind of fun. If you both know exactly what it means then nothing really will come of it, and if something does come of it, that might not always be such a bad thing. After all, you were flirting with that person so there has to be some level of personal attraction, albeit small.

In any case, if you're in a relationship already, I wouldn't recommend it. If you're single, though, why not?

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Tue Sep 27, 2011 6:46 pm
Rosey Unicorn says...



The interesting part is— most of the girls I know how flirt are in relationships. They actually tend to flirt more with everybody than the single girls.
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Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:42 pm
Dreamwalker says...



Rosey Unicorn wrote:The interesting part is— most of the girls I know how flirt are in relationships. They actually tend to flirt more with everybody than the single girls.


Its a matter of being content. Girls like that will end up in bad relationships, complaining about why no one stays with them.
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Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:12 pm
Rosey Unicorn says...



Their relationships are rather fantastic from the sounds of it. I think the key thing is they are straight taken girls flirting with other straight taken girls, from what I've seen anyway. And the amount of flirting drastically goes down when faced with a straight single girl (Ie- me).
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Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:10 am
Fishr says...



This situation is one where the individual has to be in control of their gut instincts or the end result can very well have negative results such as rape or worse. I'm speaking in hypothetical terms in the worse case senerio in the result of conversing with a stranger or 'some creep off the street.'

For me, my circle of friends these days are around my age or a few decades older and the majority are guys since I relate to them better. My guy friends might throw the odd 'flirt' joke at me but because I'm naturally sarcastic and witty, I can toss a nice comeback in their face. Ha!

On nights of more serious one-on-one convos there are some situations where I learn more about one's love life and what their perception on sex is with women. This of course takes great control on my part in not laughing out loud. However, I'm an oddball myself...
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Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:08 am
Jas says...



Depends on what you consider flirting.

I am pretty touchy with all my guy friends, meaning I hug them, jump on them, get piggyback rides from them, occasionally wrestle or get randomly picked up by them. This is just the way we act with each other. It's not considered flirting to us, while other people have asked me several times whether or not, me and so-and-so are dating. Now, when I'm flirting with a guy, we're normally alone and it's more intense and one-on-one then the playful sort of banter it is with my guy friends. I don't consider the way that me and my friends act as flirty because it's not, now it is 'harmless flirting' because it's just the way we act with each other.

I don't really think a thing like 'harmless flirting' really exists. The only reason I would think anyone would flirt is because at some point in time, they wanted to date or hook-up with or do something romantic with the person their flirting with. Yeah, you can flirt with a random guy at an away football game or your barista at Starbucks, but even for a half-second, you subconsciously think 'this person is attractive to me, I would date him/her'.

So overall, no. There is no 'harmless flirting'.
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Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:08 am
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Attolia says...



Hmm. To disagree with the general consensus, I think flirting is harmless. Like, all flirting. Flirting to me is just the way you interact with any guy who is mildly attractive, given you are in the right setting. It's a way of kinda playfully insulting someone and like playing off each other verbally, or just about the way you look and smile at them and how much enthusiasm you put in. And then always helpful to add the subtlest dose of apathy to whether you'll talk to them again, or how soon you'll talk again or whatever.

For me, pet names are only for dating, unless it's like a nickname used to tease someone, and "'I love you's" are for like 6 months of being in a serious relationship, minimum.
I think the key thing is they are straight taken girls flirting with other straight taken guys(?), from what I've seen anyway.

^I think that's mostly just because then they can flirt all they want with no expectations on either side - they know where the other person is at and don't have to worry about leading anybody on.

The only reason I would think anyone would flirt is because at some point in time, they wanted to date or hook-up with or do something romantic with the person their flirting with.

Hmm. I agree with this mostly, but for me it's a little different. I think flirting is for when you wouldn't mind if the other person wanted to hook up with you. For example, I flirt with a lot of people I wouldn't hook up with, but I wouldn't mind if they wanted to hook up with me. If that makes sense. But I wouldn't flirt with someone who I would be grossed out/uncomfortable with the thought that they want to hook up with me. And it can work on both sides - two people who wouldn't want to necessarily want to hook up with each other, but they have enough mutual attraction/respect to flirt.

I dunno. I'm finding this hard to articulate, but to me "harmless" is part of the definition of flirting. It only crosses the line into harmful when one person is inhibiting the other's game with no intention of dating them. Like when girls cockily want to guys to be in love with only them and stop them from talking to other girls, but they have no intention of it going anywhere. That's leading someone on, which I think is very different from flirting. I find that it's kind of implied in flirting that you're not just doing it with that one person.


Please respond, especially if you disagree; I find it interesting to discuss this intelligently.
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Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:34 pm
Fizz says...



I totally agree, flirting is harmless. I think it's how we create easy going rapport with somebody, it's basically what friendships are made of! I don't think it means you want some kind of romantic involvement at all, not just flirting. There are lots of messages that men and women send each other when they do want something from one another, and it involves more than a bit of flirting in my opinion.

Also, just as an aside, if you're going to say that flirting without intention is harmful enough to potentially lead to rape, than walking on your own even in the day time and being in the wrong place at the wrong time is harmful. So is drinking in a bar. You know what I'm saying?

Having said all of that, I can see how in a high school (or middle school...or...whatever you call it wherever you're from) flirting is a bit different than between older people, because hormones are having party time, and brains go on holiday, and messages get mixed and there is overall confusion. So in that case, flirting is a little different, I suppose that everybody has different ideas of what flirting is, and I think mine has changed over the course of my life. Probably quite a few times.




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Sat Dec 10, 2011 11:34 pm
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Justagirl says...



I think that flirting can be harmless. It's fun for you, it's fun for the one you're flirting with (that is, if they're flirting back) and it doesn't have to lead to anything.
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Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:53 am
Flower~Child says...



I'm bad about flirting with people, I don't mean to I just do. It can end badly if people get the wrong imression or it could backfire on you if you get the wrong imrpession. I'm not really sure how to not flirt with people though...sighs.
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Kit says...



http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... -back.html

Banker sends 1615 word email to a girl he went on one date with demanding an apology/second date because she didn't return his many calls and messages. He felt entitled to a second date because she "played with her hair" and "made eye contact". Which of course means he owns her.

Ever since I was in highschool, in every workplace I've ever been in, and especially at uni/around musicians, I find people flirt to make each other feel good and included. It was almost a jargon thing, sexual language and physical affection a fundamental part of our interactions. Everyone understood it as such, if you wanted to be involved with someone, you were direct about it. My partner is part of that crowd, so it's never been an issue with us.

Flirting does not provoke assault no more than swearing provokes murder. If you curse at someone and they kill you, they were homocidally inclined to begin with. Please, let none of you think you can't say no to someone because you think you lead them on. It is not your fault. Wow, do we ever need to be taught consent laws in schools.
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Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:42 am
JustDance says...



Does it sound bad to say I basically flirt when I'm talking to any guy, as long as they're even a bit good-looking?
It's flirting, and as long as you're not going so far as to where they get the message that you genuinely like them in enough to consider a date or relationship, I don't see the harm in it. My guy friends and I flirt all the time, and it's understandable why. I mean flirting is fun and gives you a boost of confidence, and a lot of times it just comes naturally. I don't need to TRY, it happens, and I know a lot of my friends who are in the same position. So flirt away? ;)




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Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:56 am
Jas says...



I'm re-reading what I wrote and I don't think I made it clear that I don't think harmless flirting exists because all flirting is harmless. There is no law that forces you to date anyone you flirt with and people are generally flirtatious.

So overall, no, it doesn't exist because all flirting is harmless.
I am nothing
but a mouthful of 'sorry's, half-hearted
apologies that roll of my tongue, smoothquick, like 'r's
or maybe like pocket candy
that's just a bit too sweet.

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Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:21 am
KevinMckie says...



Flirting = Flirting
Cheating = Cheating
Flirting is not Cheating

If you are in a relationship and your partner asks you not to flirt with other people however, depending on how much you like/love that person maybe you should stop. Flirting is harmless in itself however it can sometimes lead to not so harmless situations if you like or not.

"Harmless flirting" in a term makes no sense to me, unless your idea of flirting with someone is stabbing them or something of course its harmless. It's what happens from the result of flirting afterwards that can be.

My opinion.