There are a lot of things you shouldn’t be doing outside your relationship. A lot of morally unforgivable things. But…what if some of them were scientifically and psychologically proven to be good for you? When it comes to most relationships, flirting is a big no-no. It is, as some might call it, the gateway to how innocent fun turns into something much more complicated and steamy.
But what is considered flirting, anyway?
Well, to put it in words, it is any social activity that may be provocative, and is projected in the form of verbal or body language; it usually suggests that one party member is interested in a deeper relationship with the other. However, flirting is much more complicated than a mere definition provided on Wikipedia. Because sometimes, flirting can be as subtle and vague as a half-smile, to a much bolder action as such as touching.
A half-smile, really? Isn’t that a bit ridiculous?
Maybe. But you’ll be surprised at how many people actually consider that flirting. In a survey conducted by Men’s Health online, it showed that on Facebook alone, more than 59 percent of couples get jealous over their partner’s interaction with someone else—and we’re just talking about having a conversation.
So the big question is: how is flirting good for you whilst you’re in a relationship?
1. Flirting as a drug
As chocolate is an aphrodisiac. And as laughter is a remedy, flirting…well. It’s a not really anything. But the act of associating with someone new outside your relationship, creates excitement that releases endorphins to keep stress levels down. It also helps to channel euphoria; the mental and emotional condition where one person experiences intense well-being and joy. All of which, in fact, are beneficial to health especially if you lead a highly-stressed work or social life.
So, did you get a headache from working overtime at the office today?
Well, ditch the Aspirin and Advil. Because although prescription drugs can effectively relieve your pain, they only provide a temporary solution to migraines and other stress related factors such as high blood pressure. Nearly 50 percent of couples polled by the Health and Wellness Association said that flirting made them feel younger and sexier. Another 36.8 percent said that the adrenalin rush from flirting gave them a natural ‘high’.
The most effective method of keeping your health at bay is to expose yourself to positive energy. And flirting as a stimulant allows your body to produce enzymes that are beneficial to you.
So try it.
When you are out getting groceries or just mingling with your friends, wink at someone cute. Or start a conversation with that girl across the street. And I guarantee you that whatever illness you had that morning, will disappear without you even knowing.
2. Flirting boosts your confidence
Confidence is sexy…confidence is key…confidence is the best accessory….
Call it what you will. It doesn’t matter which quote you live by, but I can assure you that a great personality is almost more important than just having a slender waist or a chiselled chest. Because both men and women are attracted to people who are sure about themselves. And I’m not talking about the obnoxious kind of sure. I am talking about the calm-collected-and-confident sure.
“Confidence […] really comes down to feeling good about your appearance and attractiveness,” says Craig Malkin, Ph.D., a Harvard psychologist. “Men and women both prefer a confident date.”
When you flirt with someone and he or she reciprocates, it makes you feel wanted. Flirting can make you feel sexier in your relationship because you are now aware that there are other people who find you attractive. This is an immediate self-esteem booster that makes you feel more confident in your own skin.
And when you start to feel better about yourself, you start feeling more secure and happy in your relationship. This new-found self-esteem will in turn allow you to have a more positive outlook in life. That means believing that you have situations under control whenever a hiccup arrises. Yet, you are proud of your accomplishments when you succeed in them.
It’s kind of surprising what flirting can do for you, apart from trouble.
3. Stimulates you to be (much) better
You sign up for a fitness program. And then you find out that your instructor is beyond cute.
So…what do you do?
Well, I can tell you that your trips to the gym would become more frequent. You look forward to running on that treadmill or even lifting those weights. You get excited by the thought of a sweaty body—something that would not have spun the slightest bit of interest in you just a few months ago.
But “why the sudden change in motivation?” You might ask.
It’s no surprise that when someone looks as good as your gym instructor, the first thing you’d want to do is to make a good impression. So you start hitting the gym everyday and it’s not long before you start to see a noticeable change; your arms are leaner, your stomach is flatter and hey, those squats that you do everyday for half an hour? They’re paying off because your butt is looking so damn good.
It might sound a little absurd that your motivation is no longer the person whom you’re in a relationship with…but that’s normal. When you’ve been in a relationship with your partner for that many years, things might become stagnant. The cute dress that you once wore is now being replaced with those baggy PJ’s and sweatpants.
And as for the guys…shaving? Damn, who needs to shave? Your girlfriend has seen you through the whole of Movember — and every other day!
So, understand that it is okay for other people to stimulate you to become a much better person. You still love your partner very much, but motivation does not need to be found in a solitary place.
And the best part is, when your partner starts to notice how good you’ve been looking of late, he/she might like the new change. This may re-establish the level of intimacy or excitement that had subsided between the two of you.
4. A Stronger Relationship
Whilst I have justified a lot of positive aspects about flirting, it just may not be for everyone.
It is normal to feel anxious, nervous or even perplexed at the thought of being okay with your partner flirting with someone else. There is a lot to worry about, and one of the main concerns is if your partner will get too carried away. And that is why knowing one’s boundaries are very important. As with anything in life, flirting has a limit; it doesn’t mean that you’re out to cheat on your partner, but it just shows that you enjoy innocent fun and you’re mature enough to make the right decisions.
“But…what if I get jealous of my partner flirting with someone else?” — it is okay. A little jealousy is an important aspect in every relationship because it is the only blatant sign that shouts: “I STILL CARE ABOUT YOU!”
Anything that provokes a negative emotion in you is the key to building trust in your relationship. It is a hard task to let your girlfriend go on a lunch date with a guy who is just ‘a friend from work’. So what should you do? Hire a Personal Investigator (PI) and get them to stalk their every move? You could do that. You could pull out that famous line and say: “I trust you baby…it’s him that I don’t trust.” But we all know that’s not the truth. Because if you trust your girlfriend 110 percent, you would trust that she would pick an un-secluded place to hang out, and she would keep a healthy distance from him.
So…feeling a little jealousy in your relationship is healthy. It is the only emotion that lets you know how much you still care about him/her. And when you see someone else taking an interest in your girlfriend or boyfriend, it makes you infinitely proud that they are yours.
5. You + Me
We have come to the conclusion that it is OK to flirt.
But just remember that the person you should be flirting the most with, is the person sharing your relationship.
You will be amazed at what excitement flirting can bring. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll find yourself blushing when your partner hits on you. Because it is hard to remember what it felt like, when both of you first started dating. You know it felt good, but you miss the feeling of it. And sometimes, holding on to memories just isn’t enough. It gets harder to remember and more difficult to maintain that spark as the years roll by.
So don’t give up; wink at him. Buy her roses. Tell him he looks handsome. Tell her she looks sexy. Nudge him with your feet under the dinner table. Tickle her waist when you hold her.
Because the best kind of relationships are those where partners do not stop chasing each other…even when they’ve got them.