Do you flirt?
I think you should.
In fact, I think flirting can be good for your marriage (or other long-term relationship). No, seriously.
My favorite person to flirt with is my husband, of course. And I most definitely advocate flirting with your spouse every chance you get!
But, I also see the fun and benefits of a bit of innocent flirting with other people, as well.
Now, let me say, right up front, that there IS a line where "innocent" flirting becomes something else. And that's bad. I can't tell you where that line is - it's going to be a little different for every couple. But, I think, deep down, you know where it is, anyway.
But, for me, personally, giving myself permission to flirt again has improved my marriage and our love life.
The fabulous ZenHusband tells me and shows me all the time that I am beautiful and sexy and desired - and that is a WONDERFUL thing. But, at the same time, I know that he is my husband and, really, it's kind of his job to say and do that - to love me even when I'm not at my most attractive.
But, when someone else flirts with you, well that can be just that little bit of external validation you need to boost your confidence - and your libido.
After my sons were born, I was feeling just about as un-sexy as you can feel. I don't care how "easy" a pregnancy was, getting used to your post-partum body is not easy for anybody. Throw in a breastfeeding baby, a growing toddler, perpetual lack of sleep, and re-balancing hormones and you've got an anti-libido cocktail with a fatigue chaser that can pretty much kill even the best sex life.
But, then a funny thing happened when I went back to work after Minion 2 was born: My work brought me into occasional contact with a very handsome man who consistently flirted with me. Nothing overt or inappropriate: Just a little extended eye contact here, an extra smile there, a casual touch, a compliment, some light banter ... and that little bit of attention and attraction - from someone who was not my husband - was just the ego boost I needed to start feeling like an attractive woman again - and not just somebody's mom.
I used to flirt when I was single. But, after I got married ... if a man started flirting with me, I would feel a uncomfortable or guilty - like I must be doing something wrong to acknowledge or encourage it because OMG-I'm-married!
But, somewhere along the way, I've realized married does not equal dead ... and that flirting does not equal infidelity.
Now, when a man flirts with me, I take it as a compliment. It makes me feel attractive and appreciated. And when I flirt back, I feel confident and invigorated.
Ladies: Do you ever put on that perfect pair of jeans or wear those sexy shoes or have that great hair day, and you just walk around feeling like a million bucks all day? I think flirting is like that. It makes you feel good about yourself.
And when that bit of innocent flirting is over - I take those feelings of confidence and attractiveness home with me. To my husband. Who is also very appreciative of the resultant energy and enthusiasm.
The very important caveat is, of course, that you have to be sensitive to your partner's feelings. You have to make sure your level of flirting is within your partner's comfort zone - if your flirting is pushing buttons of jealousy or insecurity - time to stop or dial back!
And, you have to be comfortable with the quid pro quo - don't think that you get a free pass to flash some cleavage to the UPS guy and then turn around and scold your partner for winking at your local barista.
But ... if you are both secure and comfortable - go ahead and flirt a little! You might find that it's good for both of you!
But, hey, that's just my opinion. What do you think?
1 week ago