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So - what is flirting to you?

(40 Posts)
TrafficJunkie Thu 28-Apr-16 23:57:09

I'm talking real life, not texts or online.
I want to know from all perspectives - I've been told I have a "flirty nature" or am a "natural flirt" and it's caused problems in relationships. I don't consciously flirt with anyone. I can't turn on the charm. I'm just me.

Things I do that are considered flirty by the people who've told me (ex boyfriends):

Twirling my hair around my finger
Flicking my hair back
Biting my finger
Laughing openly at a joke made by the opposite sex
Leaning forwards to talk to a person

I don't really pick up on those things as being flirty.

And from men, what do view as flirting? I'm useless at reading men. The only things I pick up on are obvious ones like asking for my number or asking to buy me a drink. But that's not really flirting is it?

Any input would be really useful! I'm just joining the dating scene so I'd love to be better at reading signals, and if my own behaviour needs to be checked for future relationships it would be nice to get a correct handle on it. Rather than opinions of jealous or possessive boyfriends.

SueTrinder Fri 29-Apr-16 00:03:57

There's acceptable flirting (all the things you have done) and unacceptable flirting (too much physical contact with someone when you are in a relationship with someone else). Think the issue is the boyfriends not your behaviour.

Cabrinha Fri 29-Apr-16 00:29:19

I think it helps to consider whether you have behaviour that only comes out with the opposite sex.
Laughing at jokes - I expect you do for women.
Leaning in - again, I expect you do for women.

Twirling and flicking your hair and putting your finger in your mouth? I wonder if you do that when speaking to female friend? If you do, fine. I play with my hair all the time, moving it off my face, touching it. Just be conscious of it for a couple of weeks, see if you do it to both sexes, all ages.

I'm a bit wary that you have had some possessive arses and I don't want to play into that.

But honestly I think I'd be uncomfortable if my girlfriend was all hair flicky finger sucky with men and men only.

DoesAnyoneReadTheseThings Fri 29-Apr-16 00:37:17

Biting your finger?

MarthaCliffYouCunt Fri 29-Apr-16 00:39:30

What you have listed sounds like a list of bad movie cliches or dating for dummies edition of sugar magazine. I think flirting is and can be so much more subtle than those things. If you are doing those things it doesnt necessarily mean you are flirting either. you need to look at the whole picture, the overall body language. Its not as simple as ticking off a list if physical actions. (Obviously licking someone's earlobe or sitting on their knee are pretty good indicators grin) their are different ways of flicking your hair or biting your finger that all may be done without realising and all mean nothing at all.

NickiFury Fri 29-Apr-16 00:41:24

What a nauseating OP.

GarlicShake Fri 29-Apr-16 01:58:53

I've often been told I "flirt" with both sexes. No, I'm not nibbling their earlobes or staring fixedly at their crotch!

If you only do these things with men, you need to look into yourself.
If you do them all the time, you need to pick less controlling boyfriends.
I'd ditch the finger-biting thing anyway, it makes you look like an idiot.

GarlicShake Fri 29-Apr-16 02:04:45

Is this you, OP?

TrafficJunkie Fri 29-Apr-16 06:50:28

Hahaha. No. I don't look like that. It's a nervous habit. It's been born from trying to stop nail biting - so now I bite my finger instead of chewing off my nails!!

Why is the list /am I nauseating fury?

I don't think I do these things with only men. I'll have to check. Although it's unlikely. I'm am fairly self conscious very very person, all those things I do because I'm uncomfortable whilst conversing. Which is why I've never understood the reaction from boyfriends.

Nobody has answered what flirting looks like in men. I'm interested to see if anyone will. I'd like to know what it looks like to be flirted with. As I said, I've not much idea about it.

TrafficJunkie Fri 29-Apr-16 06:52:50

martha this is what I think, and I also think the men I've been with were probably worse at reading people than I am.
If there's no flirty intent then it's the other person's interpretation isn't it?

I don't nibble people's earlobes. 😂😂
I don't tend to touch people either. I would feel like I'm invading their personal space!!

Some posters are really scathing I might add. Got to love the Internet for that.

snowted77 Fri 29-Apr-16 07:43:13

Touching, bring giggle, girly, cute

Trills Fri 29-Apr-16 07:49:43

All the things you have listed depend on HOW you do them, so will always be open to interpretation.

Leaning in - are you doing it in a way that suggest that the two of you are having a special private conversation? Or just because you need to hear?

Fiddling with hair could be absent-minded or could be drawing attention to yourself.

Apart from the finger biting. Stop that.

BolshierAryaStark Fri 29-Apr-16 08:21:32

The biting finger thing could be seen as quite a sexual thing tbh, I've just done it & can't think how this wouldn't look really flirty.
All the other things are nothing really & would depend on how you are doing them.
As for the men flirting thing I cant comment as I'm not one.

BolshierAryaStark Fri 29-Apr-16 08:26:48

Oh I see, you want to know what it's like to be flirted at?
Males that I know tend not to flirt with me as they are aware I'm happily married so tends to be more of a banter thing that means nothing.
Randoms when I'm out strike up conversation so that's quite obvious surely & something you must have experienced?

RudyMentary Fri 29-Apr-16 08:27:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TrafficJunkie Fri 29-Apr-16 09:02:10

Me neither rudy
Yeah more of an idea how men flirt. I guess I should have titled the thread better.

TrafficJunkie Fri 29-Apr-16 09:02:59

The stuff about me was to see if I've got a bad handle on how people flirt - opinion seems divided so far!

jumpjumpformylove Fri 29-Apr-16 09:06:48

Sounds like "Flirting 101" from "Babestation" late-night TV.

I can't imagine anyone having a conversation with someone while they twirled hair, bit finger, flicked hair would come across as fake (and a little bit desperate for attention) even if it's apparently done unconsciously.

DrMorbius Fri 29-Apr-16 09:25:03

Definition of flirting - behave as though sexually attracted to someone, but playfully rather than with serious intentions.

Drawing someone's attention to yourself is flirting. Twirling hair, sucking on your finger..... all say look at me wink wink

I guess it is also what you say. You can say look at me verbally. As an example recently my DW's friend told me (quietly) that she was not wearing any knickers.

SurferJet Fri 29-Apr-16 09:33:39

Sorry op, everything you've mentioned just seems a bit annoying rather than flirting ( apart from leaning forwards to talk to a person, which anyone would do if in a crowd/ noisy environment )

The only 100% guarantee that someone is flirting with you is eye contact - & holding that gaze for 3 delicious seconds.

Piemernator Fri 29-Apr-16 09:35:35

I have been told I'm very arsey if men attempt to flirt with me, really good at F off and leave me alone eyes and good at verbal rebuttals. Always done this and have found that men actually like the challenge of it. It wasn't until I was older I realised it was having the opposite effect.

I think people are finding it nauseating because it sounds very saccharine.

TrafficJunkie Fri 29-Apr-16 09:56:22

piemernator hahaha.

I twirl my hair because I'm fidgety. This seems the less invasive movement and less annoying. I could also drum my fingers, play with objects to guys are slating my personality traits here!

Flirting 101 from babestation. ...ugh, I'm not that tacky. dr I don't suck on my finger 😂😂😂😂😂
I bite my finger. Like, I bite at my skin. I think people don't get what I mean 😁

So eye contact is a good indicator then.
Can people focus more on the question I asked about men, rather than focusing on their opinion about my apparently "annoying, saccharine sweet, babestation personality" please? 😉

DrMorbius Fri 29-Apr-16 10:02:49

I can't speak for "men" but I can speak for myself. As I said above its the visual or verbal look at me. Long eye contact, the main thing is the non verbal pointers to sexuality.

shovetheholly Fri 29-Apr-16 10:08:29

Interesting question. I have friends who are male, and I interact with them in exactly the same way as I do with my female friends - as a person, not as a woman. I laugh at jokes, I lean forward, I might even push my hair back, but it's never interpreted by them (male or female) as 'flirting'. I think a certain gendered and sexualised dynamic, and a certain request for a particular kind of attention, and a certain kind of ambiguity has to be there for that to happen.

TrafficJunkie Fri 29-Apr-16 10:13:27

So you're saying that for someone to misinterpret that kind of behaviour they would have to be thinking along those lines in the first place? You mean, man would have to find that woman attractive in some way for him to misinterpret her actions as as flirting?

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