There are different cycles in the life of a dater. Sometimes, your interest in the sport waxes, other times, it wanes. I’ll admit, often I prefer flirting to dating, especially when my enthusiasm for awkward cocktail hours is on the decline. Unless I’ve stumbled upon someone really, really amazing, which happens but a few times in one’s life, dating can be a time-consuming hassle fraught with anxiety, emotional ups and downs, and some long ass dinners with Mr. Meh. That sounded way more negative than I meant it to be. What I’m saying is this: If you’re not in the mood to date at the moment, save yourself the trouble and find yourself some fun guys to flirt with. Some reasons why it can be better, after the jump.
1. It’s convenient. You don’t have to set aside time in your busy schedule for a flirt session. It happens spontaneously. Do it over text or IM at your leisure — while you’re watching television, running errands, in a boring work meeting. No need to make plans or spend money on expensive dinners. And no big deal if you’re not in the mood. Just roll over and get back to watching “The Voice.”
2. No follow through necessary. No notches added to your bedpost. No fear of catching any STDs. No uncomfortable mornings after. Be as provocative as you want, wink at the guy who works at the health food store, you’ll never have to deliver.
3. It’s low pressure. Flirting is harmless as long as you’re choosing the right guys to flirt with. Unavailable men are best, but not the kind that are unavailable because they are married or in a relationship. I’m talking about guys who are in transition — just got out of a relationship, starting a new career, traveling. You can be romantic crutches for each other, providing exciting distractions and small adrenaline rushes during your mutual dry spells. You can come and go as you both please until the day one or both of you finds someone you’re really, really excited about.
4. It doesn’t matter what you look like while flirting. Wearing PJs, unwaxed, hair’s a mess, just came from the gym? Who cares. You don’t have to see each other.
5. Nobody gets hurt. Breathe a sigh of relief because you’ll never have to dump or be dumped by a flirter. Like I said before, eventually you’ll probably stop flirting. You or your flirter may quietly fade away. But it won’t be a big deal. You’ll see him around, say hello and smile to yourself, remembering all those great times you shared making him guess the color of your panties. Not that he ever saw them.
6. It’s so much better for your ego. You don’t get tied up in the daily ins and outs of the “relationship” and can just concentrate on the attention you’re getting and how nice it feels to have someone compliment you on your naughty puns.
7. It’s good practice. The end goal is to meet someone you’re wild about and flirt with him. In the meantime, you’re just keeping yourself from getting rusty. Just think of how much better of a flirter you’ll be if you’ve been practicing.
8. It’s fun! Um, maybe this is a duh, but it’s worth mentioning. Your love life should be fun, even if there’s no one of interest at the moment. You should enjoy yourself. Flirting can be a harmless way to bring the element of fun back.