Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

flirting, how bad is it and what constitutes it ?

(36 Posts)
curlycathy Mon 14-Jul-08 13:05:37

on behalf of a friend, i want to ask you all your opinions on this.

by flirting i am talking about nice compliments, playfullness (like ruffling hair, play fighting , practical joking , that kind of thing) and being quite tactile in conversation (like touching arm or back or whatever ). chatting on msn and using huggy or kissy emoticons and signing off with xxxx

if it's two people who both have partners? whose partners are ususally there??

talk to me !!

micci25 Mon 14-Jul-08 13:10:02

i personally dont mind flirting. i can remember being in a takeaway with my friend when a guy we didnt know said "have you seen my gf throwing herself at that guy? dont you think she is out of order?"

my answer was "ah dont worry about it, that guy is coming home with me tonight as its him who is getting up with our baby in the morning!" i found the whole thing rather funny actually! i trust dp 100% and if he wants to have a laugh and a flirt he can im confident he will still be coming home with me!

it is a problem though if the other person is upset by it! but then id say they have problems anyway in their relationship wrt to trust

girlnextdoor Mon 14-Jul-08 13:10:22

It's what makes the world go round- unless it gets serious and people get hurt, flirt away, imo.

Kewcumber Mon 14-Jul-08 13:13:11

My definition of flirting isn;t quite the same as your's eg I would say that play fighting is past flirting.

Some of it depends on volume/seriousness. Don;t use MSN but I can imagine a pvery personal long conversation on MSN goes past the bounds of flirting where a differnt conversation wouldn't.

Flirting is just more proactive charm!

HOwver there is a fine line - if it bothers a partner then it isn't flirting, its harmful.

I think the definition of flirting is any interaction with another person they wouldn't feel comfortable doing with their partner in the room watching.

curlycathy Mon 14-Jul-08 13:17:10

i don't think pervey conversations really. more like , i think your really cute and you look lovely on your profile pic or 'awww o.k my lil care bear ' was one .


curlycathy Mon 14-Jul-08 13:18:15

the play fighting and conversation touching all done in front of partner i think

BibiThree Mon 14-Jul-08 13:19:49

Context plays a big part, how long you've known the person, what your face-to-face relationship is like, how you behave when your partners are there etc. If you're only like that, use those phrases when alone, then it's a bit past flirting.

curlycathy Mon 14-Jul-08 13:22:09

so, saying those things privately, what would you take that as? that they really fancy the person ? what if the relationship the person saying these things is in , is a bit up and down ?
would they be using you just for fun or what ?

Kewcumber Mon 14-Jul-08 13:22:33

'awww o.k my lil care bear ' - I don't know if that sounds liek flirting it sounds like 22 year olds with stunted emotional development!!

Monkeytrousers Mon 14-Jul-08 13:25:00

I wouldn't feel comfortable with that. I don;t know many people who would -'cpet swingers maybe grin

Theres a line of intimacy, emotuional and physical.

curlycathy Mon 14-Jul-08 13:32:26

well were talkin 28 year olds ere! and it's a man sayin that and they never grow up do they lol

monkeytrousers..what swingers ??

BibiThree Mon 14-Jul-08 13:38:25

I'd take saying things you wouldn't say if your partners were there implies an intention/wish for something more. Be that flirting back or whatever, if your partner wouldn't be happy about it, it's past harmless flirting.

micci25 Mon 14-Jul-08 13:39:40

i dont know i had a convo on msn with my ex where he told me id always had a nice figure and that loads of men would find me sexy! i dont know if my dp saw that particular message but i dont think i was doing anything wrong!

unless they were messaging about meeting up for sex then i think things were more than likely innocent! unless there is more to it than just msn?

curlycathy, tell your friend to go on her instinct. If it's screaming at her that her fella is flirting/cheating, then believe it. Women's instincts on these things are rarely wrong.

Sometimes it's nothing you can quite put your finger on, but it niggles and niggles at you until you find you were right. Not a very politically correct answer, but an honest one!

And at the very least, the guy sounds over friendly and the body language sounds like an open invitation. I'd want to curb that straight away.

Monkeytrousers Mon 14-Jul-08 14:05:59

oh mucci, lol - sorry but you do sound naive - that's not an insult. I wish I was still so innocent to the ways of the sexual world grin

whatdayisit Mon 14-Jul-08 14:26:22

I would say play fighting and ruffling hair is beyond flirting TBH, no idea about MSN [old] Practical jokes and arm touching OK IMO - things you might do with/to a close friend of the same sex.

I think it depends of the invividuals too though. Some people are very touchy with everyone. If a person who is not normally tacile, started touching one other person, that would raise questions.

OverMyDeadBody Mon 14-Jul-08 14:32:34

If it's all done with partners around then it's pretty harmless isn't it?

It really does depend on the individual circumstances though, how long have they known each other? How physical is the person generally? how close is the friendship?

Gizmo Mon 14-Jul-08 14:42:28

TBH I don't think it's possible to draw up universal rules on flirting - it's one of those things that have to be agreed between partners. If what you're doing is making your partner feel crap, and you value them, you stop. End of.

I don't flirt much, but when I do, DH finds my rather ponderous attempts wryly amusing. He was deeply tickled when, a few years ago, I got very drunk at a New Years Eve Party and ended up snogging the host: I got my leg pulled about that for months. I'd like to think this is because he is extremely secure in our relationship, rather than because secretly, he fancies the idea of a spot of wife-swapping shock

madamez Mon 14-Jul-08 14:46:09

Gizmo is right, you can't set a list of absolute rules for everyone. What you can do is negotiate with a partner if and when your relationship becomes monogamous, where the boundaries should lie in this relationship. The majority of people who get into trouble over 'flirting' issues are people who have made assumptions without actually asking their partners what constitutes an exclusive relationship and if they are having one.

Monkeytrousers Mon 14-Jul-08 14:47:24

Not really OMBD - unless you don;t mind being a prize chump

whatdayisit Mon 14-Jul-08 14:48:56

I think most trouble from flirting comes from the person you are flirting with thinking there is more to it than you intended, rather than upsetting your partner tbh, esp if you are in a secure relationship.

curlycathy Mon 14-Jul-08 16:15:14

o.k i'll have to fess up here and give you the proper story.

my friend has been seeing her boyfriend for about a year, perhaps less.
On friday nights myself and her sister often go around to hers for a drink and a chat, and we also meet up in the pub some weeks. so , since she has had the boyfriend he has been joining us some of the times.

right from the get go he has been a very friendly touchy flirty type of guy, not behind my friends back at all. think it's the way he's always been tbh.he is quite childish in some ways but he has us all laughing and messing about like big kids which i hardly ever do.

he's really nice actually and we have all got along brilliantly.

my friend and the boyfriend go on msn at nights quite alot, often all of us in the one conversation. but sometimes i sign in and he's on and so we chat.

i have made a point of mentioning to my friend that i've spoke to him on msn, to be sure that thats o.k with her.

thing is what was friendly at the start has become a bit flirty more so recently, and we really get on , because he's a bit that way anyway i suppose i didn't really question it until he started calling me a little care bear and things ! i have had to really restrain myself from saying things back.

they have had a few problems recently , he hasn't been paying her the attention he once was and not wanted to come and see her as much, so i feel really bad now when he is all nice to me.

at her house this weekend he did put his arm around me at one point and was very friendly as usual and my friend wasn't bothered .

trouble is, and i am soo ashamed ,i really am, i actually really enjoy his attention and i get on better with him than dh, we are in a pretty unhappy relationship really.

i can't stop turning all of this stuff over in my mind.

Leave well alone, you'll hurt a lot of people if you continue. You know this guy is flirting. He's being sneaky, and your friend is probably too bloody insecure or perhaps naive to see it. If you care about your friendship, and your dp, the next time he acts too friendly just say "steady on, SHE'S your girlfriend, not me. Go give HER a cuddle"

You might want to give her a heads up that her man is a bit of a rat, before he cheats and brings home a nice dose of chlamydia for her.

There are millions of men out there you could have if you're unhappy in your relationship. Don't steal your friends man, it's so hurtful.

micci25 Mon 14-Jul-08 16:30:32

my friend and my dp chat on msn at times! he also drinks with my sister at times when i am not there doesnt bother me in the slighest!

dp likes festivals i dont. he is considering going to glastanbury with said friend! my friend openly admits that she used fancy dp before we get together. if they want to go to glastunbury togther fine. so long as they dont expect me to go! my friend is also the flirty touchy type and i expect there will be flirting and dancing etc if they do go!

i trust them both and it wont be an issue for me! i trust that dp wants me not my friend!! they can flirt till the cows come home so long as it goes no further than flirting/dancing/hugging!

PMSL at innocent and niave!! ive been described as a lot of things before but never that grin! im confident in my relationship and im trusting! dp often says he would like me to get jelous as it would show that i care but im just not that sort of person! if some one wants to throw themselves at him in a takeaway and he reacts by flirting back thats fine with me as i trust he will still come home to me!!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now