Do you flirt?
I think we all do. Do you feel guilty? You shouldn't. Flirting is part of our nature, something that makes us feel attractive and liked.
I was putting groceries on the counter when I noticed the man behind me only had two items so I let him go ahead of me. He smiled at me warmly and thanked me. Later when I was struggling to haul a large box of water bottles in the back of my SUV, the same man came to my rescue.
“One favor deserves another,” he said, again with that warm smile, and proceeded to load all of my groceries for me.
We chatted for a few minutes, he said something funny and we both laughed. As he shut the tailgate, I said,
“Well, thank you so much. That was very nice of you!”
“Not at all. It was my pleasure. Have a good day and don’t lift those bottles out alone. You don’t want to ruin that pretty manicure”, he said pointing to my hands. “Get someone to help you, okay?”
I said I most definitely would. Getting in my car, and giving him a wave, I drove away. I popped in a CD and sang along with it, turning the volume up high.
At a stop light I glanced in the mirror and saw that my face was slightly flushed and I was smiling. I felt pleasantly attractive; I felt sexy.
Then, a bit guiltily, I realized why I felt so good.
I had been flirting.
While it was true that the entire encounter had only lasted fifteen minutes tops, I was flirting and being flirted with by a good-looking man. I had to admit that the flirting had made me feel sexy.
Later, I tried to analyze the reaction a little bit of harmless flirting had gotten from me. I also wondered if any type of flirting with a man, not "your own", can really ever be called harmless.
I certainly wouldn’t want my guy to flirt with a strange woman and yet hadn’t I seen him flirt with a hostess at a pricey restaurant to get a better table? Or flirt with female airline gate personnel to get a flight upgrade? Granted he was with me at those times, so could it still be called flirting? Does he flirt when we’re not together?
It didn’t help that, as I was pondering all this flirting stuff, my own lovable flirt called me on my cell.
"Hey, baby, what’re doing?”
Talk about guilt! But, seriously, guilt about what?
That night I made a meal he particularly likes. I watched an entire baseball game with him instead of using part of that time to read like I usually do. After the game I suggested we go for ice cream, my treat.
“Wow! What’d I do to deserve all this?” he joked as we went out the door.
Ooooo, guilty as hell!
The next day I had lunch with a good friend and mentioned the flirting incident. I also told her about being extra sweet to my husband.
She laughed and said, “You’re compensating for being naughty!”
“Naughty? I didn’t do anything wrong……did I?”
“No, not really. But don’t you know that when people are having affairs, they treat their partners extra nice? I treated Steven like gold when I had my affair. Gourmet meals, spending extra time doing what he liked, great sex, everything. I even bought him that new professional grade camera that he’d been wanting. Those twelve months I was cheating he was treated better than he’d ever been in our entire marriage!”
I had known about her year-long fling, but had no idea she’d assuaged her guilt by being the perfect wife.
“So, did you have great sex last night?” she asked with a wicked grin as we sipped our wine.
Right on target there, but... was it because we just really enjoy each other or because I felt a twinge of guilt?
During lunch, she assured me over and over again that I hadn’t done anything wrong.
“Listen, Kristen, the flirting was probably good for you. A stranger made you feel pretty and sexy, something the men in our lives don’t always make us feel on a daily basis. It made you feel good to know someone else found you attractive. Be real. Everyone flirts, not everyone has an affair.”
At home late in the afternoon, I felt better. It had made me feel good to have an attractive man pay attention to me. I wasn’t a “naughty” girl for feeling that; I was human. It certainly didn’t mean I was going to cheat on someone I love! Sometimes, we get so caught up in the everyday hassle of life that we forget to flirt with each other! A little flirting is fun and harmless.
Two days later, as we're entering a restaurant, my husband holds open the door for a woman coming in behind us. He smiles and they exchange a few words. The woman blushes and I can see it's a harmless flirt. As he puts his arm around me, I laugh.
Nothing like a little flirt now and then to make someone feel good.
© 2011 Copyright Kristen Houghton
Kristen Houghton is a Lifestyle writer and the author of the book ranked in the top-selling 100 book of 2011: And Then I'll Be Happy! Stop Sabotaging Your Happiness and Put Your Own Life First
Her new book, ©2011 No Woman Diets Alone is due December, 2011.
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