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Is harmless flirting harmless?

(40 Posts)
tobbay Sun 10-Jan-16 09:36:02

I have met a new man and we have been dating about a month so still getting yo know each other but all the signs look good.

However, a friend of his is cheating so we got on to that subject and he said "I harmless flirt all the time". I don't really believe in that if you are with someone so asked him about it.

He said if he sees an attractive girl he will have a look and think "nice are etc" and he says there is a woman (among others) who he "harmless flirts" with at work. She is very attractive and they are going out to dinner with another college soon. She is married but this doesn't seem to mean much nowadays.

Should I have red flags up about getting any deeper with this guy or is all this perfectly natural?

RiceCrispieTreats Sun 10-Jan-16 09:39:51

I wouldn't like it.

Btw, you've posted your thread twice: report one of them and ask MNHQ to delete it.

FluffyPersian Sun 10-Jan-16 09:42:15

For me, personally.. it sounds like he is setting the scene so that you can't complain later on.

If he starts texting attractive women... You shouldn't moan, as he TOLD you he 'harmlessly' flirted at the beginning.

If he goes out to dinner with an attractive woman, whether with other colleagues or not... You need to accept it, as he TOLD you, he 'harmlessly' flirted at the beginning.

For me, this would not be what I would want in a relationship. However I guess it's up to you to decide whether you also think it's 'harmless' or not.

12purpleapples Sun 10-Jan-16 09:42:29

I think it depends - some flirting I think is harmless eg I know someone who flirts with absolutely everyone, and so I don't think it means anything. More targeted or serious flirting though I wouldn't be keen on in a relationship.

tobbay Sun 10-Jan-16 09:45:55

I want to broach the subject more with him but don't want to come across as a controlling, jealous weirdo... or do you think I should delve more into it?

timelytess Sun 10-Jan-16 09:50:18

No, I think you should leave him to it, and find someone else.

Flirting is flirting. None of it is harmless.

RiceCrispieTreats Sun 10-Jan-16 09:51:32

How is it being a controlling, jealous weirdo to tell your bf that you don't like them flirting with other women?

If that's your position, you are free to state it.

If he wants to paint that as controlling and jealous, he is free to think that as well.

Whatever you do, don't contort yourself against your own feelings and values in an attempt to fit someone else's image of what you should be. You are you. If you don't like having a bf who flirts with others, then be that person.

Threefishys Sun 10-Jan-16 09:57:03

I think you should ignore it tbh and not give it air, maybe he was being very honest (a very good thing even when they say things we might not like) or he has had jealous gf in the past and was gauging where you sit on the scale . I think flirting can be harmless and most people with healthy levels of self esteem can accept that it won't cause any issues if your relationship is the right one. flirting of course doesn't extend to acting on any attraction -.that's cheating and the distinction is very clear I think. However it's also ok for you to have your boundaries in place. If youre boundary is that no flirting is ok/reasonable/normal then the good thing is he's flagged it up early days so you can get out of there.

RiceCrispieTreats Sun 10-Jan-16 10:01:08

It's not controlling to tell people what you want and need from them.

It is controlling to want to change someone's behaviour.

Basically, you are never wrong to say "I am uncomfortable with such-and-such", but then you need to give the other person the freedom to do as they please, even if it means they disregard your wishes: they are also free to have their own wants and needs.

It's at that stage, though, that you assess whether you want to stay with them, or walk away, since they are clearly happy to knowingly do something that hurts you (or are just plain old incompatible with you).

Kacie123 Sun 10-Jan-16 10:04:48

Posted on other thread! Will copy it here...

Kacie123 Sun 10-Jan-16 10:04:58

It all depends on who you are and what you're comfortable with. Some people wouldn't mind a level of overt flirtatiousness and might respond that way, but that doesn't matter in this case because you do.

It's hard enough at the start of a relationship to suss out who your partner's been involved with or wanted to be involved with. You don't know how to read them yet. Even if you've been together a while, it can be hard to tell the difference between "flirting as a social thing" and "flirting because of attraction". This means that even if he never ever cheated, you could end up feeling insecure and paranoid. So I agree with pink.

If I were you, I'd probably try to discuss my feelings about it with him first, reiterate how important it is and how uncomfortable it makes you, and see if he'd change his behaviour (few people do mind you, and it might take a while - but worth a shot if you really feel that this guy is The One). After that I'd probably let the relationship go.

A month is nothing in the grand scheme of things and so much better than years of self-esteem being eroded away...

abbsismyhero Sun 10-Jan-16 10:06:25

my dad was apparently a harmless flirt he cheated on my mother mercilessly

flirting is really only harmless if you're all single or you all know where you stand for example i was friends with a married couple for years we were close friends her husband made a few close to the mark comments over the years i dismissed them every time it was like a horse swatting flies he didn't mean them he was just being him and as far as im aware he never strayed im not saying he was perfect im saying we all knew where our boundaries were

Manopaws Sun 10-Jan-16 10:07:02

Is this how all paranoid women think.
O look his flirting there must be something going on. Well let me tell you something it is jut flirting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I had years of it to the point that even if I said hello to a woman that was flirting..... It wasn't it was being friendly and to be honest if you women can understand that then there's something wrong.

Sorry but i got to the stage with my ex that I just reclused and didn't speak to anybody in case I was accused of having an affair. Then I got called antisocial.

If you don't like it then leave him even if he doesn't thing it at the time he's had a lucky escape.

RedMapleLeaf Sun 10-Jan-16 10:10:53

I flirt; it's on the same continuum of paying compliments and being friendly as far as I'm concerned. I wouldn't tone this down in the early days of seeing someone new either.

However, I wouldn't do it in front of him and I wouldn't warn him about my "harmless flirting". If it's harmless then it doesn't need pointing out.

I too think he's telling you who he is but it's a bit too close to the setting you up that Persian described.

Kelsoooo Sun 10-Jan-16 10:13:41

I think there is "harmless" flirting.

That's the type of flirting where you do so with everything and everyone.

But that's probably because I'm labelled as a flirt. I prefer friendly but hey ho.
I've never ever strayed from DH and never will. But I'll have a laugh.

E.g all of us sat having a games night at ours I'll flirt with male and female friends. Everyone knows it's a giggle.

But then again, it's not sexualised flirting. There's no "oh you're so fit, I'd love to lick jaeger off you" it's more like "oh if you take my piece again I'll take you over my knee" iyswim? Hard to explain.

Seeyounearertime Sun 10-Jan-16 10:14:53


Sounds to me ike your ex watched you flirt, became uncomfortable, told you about it and you dismissed her feelings and continued acting in a way that made her uncomfortable, brushing it off with,
"It's only harmless flirting"
Maybe, if the first time she voiced concern, you apologise and stopped it then she wouldn't have become 'Paranoid' and 'accusatory'
Just a thought.

Personally, harmless flirting is a myth. If flirting was ever harmless then it wouldn't lead to cheating, emotional affairs and the pain it causes.
IMO I would not expect my partner to say anything to someone else that they wouldn't happily say if I were stood there and that the se for me.

Pidapie Sun 10-Jan-16 10:18:04

I think flirting can be harmless, up to a point. Sexting and going out alone with 1 person is taking it to far imo,

ChicagoMD Sun 10-Jan-16 10:18:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LionHearty Sun 10-Jan-16 10:19:54

Posted on other thread:

Too early on in the budding relationship to be discussing how his behaviour makes you feel etc and expecting him to make changes. He's told you who he is. Are you happy with him as he is/says he is? If not then you are not compatible.

Kacie123 Sun 10-Jan-16 10:19:55

"you women" manopaws? Nice! hmm

Your ex sounds like a controlling nightmare and you're projecting your issues from her onto a different thing entirely.

Her accusing you of flirting for being friendly is a VASTLY different situation from reacting to an early dating proclamation akin to, "Oh, I like to flirt, who doesn't? That girl over there is well fit isn't she!"

abbsismyhero Sun 10-Jan-16 10:21:17

Manopaws sorry you had that experience as i have already said if you have good boundaries it's fine sounds like you didn't and the OP needs to establish hers with a new relationship

Kacie123 Sun 10-Jan-16 10:21:51

Lion, I wasn't meaning sit him down and get him to sign a contract. But it's not too early to make boundaries clear - "that kind of thing makes me uncomfortable and I would prefer not to date someone who does it", is it?

Having said that ... I've just realised I haven't been on a first date in almost 9 years so you're probably right. Dear god, how time flies...

LionHearty Sun 10-Jan-16 10:22:11

What is his view/opinion of his friend the cheat and flirt? This would give an indication of his moral boundaries.

LionHearty Sun 10-Jan-16 10:28:04

Kacie yy, ideally said during the conversation they were having about flirting and cheating friend!

antimatter Sun 10-Jan-16 10:30:03

My ex boss used to flirt. Iy was a way ti boost his overinflated ego at the cost of junior employees. He wouldn't dare with his equals or directors.

I don't think he was cheeting on his gf but thought of himself as very clever and attractive man but he wasn't.

It was almost a way to show his power and position in our company.
Very unpleasant.

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