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To Flirt or Not To Flirt
Can flirting be good for your relationship? Dr. Read gives you the scoop on how a little flirting with someone else other than your spouse can surprisingly make your relationship stronger.

A little wink here, a little smile there and you and your spouse are on your way to a really fun night.

You are at a friend’s party having a great time. You look over and see your significant other laughing, kibitzing—and could that be flirting?—with someone else at the party. Do you:

(a) March over, wedging yourself in between your partner and the other person as you introduce yourself.
(b) Trust your partner will not take it past innocent flirting, but keep one eye on the situation anyway.
(c) Catch the eye of your partner, give them a smile, a wink and a toast and hope they are having fun.

The reason I ask? The fine art of innocent flirting has created many an after-party fight.

But, what is flirting? The best definition I have heard is: Flirting is the art of making the other person feel beautiful.

Theoretically nice, how does one put that into practice? For those natural and unconscious flirts, they flirt equally with men and women. They smile, make eye contact, unabashedly laugh at jokes and appropriately touch. They, of course, do not feel this is flirting.

Some people feel their partner should be giving that attention exclusively to them instead of someone else. What would happen if this viewpoint was expanded to flirting and creates an abundance of good couple energy? The more positive feelings you share with other people, the more you will get back.

One afternoon while having coffee with a friend I explained how I not only encourage my husband to flirt, I teach him the fine art of flirting. Perplexed, she asked why on earth would I teach my husband to flirt. Fair question with a super easy answer: I trust him 110 percent.

More important, ever since my husband has emerged out his I-can’t-look-at-any-other-woman box and flirts, he feels better about himself. He feels and acts sexy. He is more fun to be around. The end result is our relationship is stronger and healthier because he brings that positive energy home to me (yeah for me!). The irony is he does not really even flirt. It’s simply that he has been given a pass-card to flirt that has made all of the difference.

I could see my friend nodding her head agreeing. She has known my husband for many years and has seen a definite change in him. Seeing a shift in her belief systems, I went in for the jugular and asked, “Why don’t you try flirting?”

A tiny look of terror crossed her face. She then uttered the words that many people say when I broach the topic of flirting, “My husband wouldn’t like it.”

Undaunted I press the issue, “Why?” She started squirming, as if she was to divulge dark bedroom secrets and replied, “He’s just not that secure and quite frankly neither am I. I wouldn’t like it if I saw another woman flirting with him.” The conversation was uncomfortably dropped.

Which brings me back to my question: Are you allowed to openly have a little innocent flirt in front of your partner? Is your partner allowed to openly flirt in front of you?

Innocent flirting to me is like window shopping for those in a committed relationship. It is the catalyst to get a spark going in a relationship. To successfully take a healthy relationship over the long term, I strongly believe everyone should flirt. Flirt with each other, flirt with other people, allow other people flirt with them. It creates such great happy couple energy.

If flirting is so great, why do people not do it more often? Probably the green-eyed monster—jealously—would pop to mind first. Well, let us turn this idea of jealousy on its head. Believe it or not, a little jealousy is not only great, it affirms the affection within your relationship. Jealousy indicates there is excitement. That said, a well-balanced individual in a healthy relationship will not twist their jealously into a full-blown fight.

However, a big part of successful flirting is having a mutual agreement of what is acceptable and unacceptable in your relationship. Which means you must decide what flirting means to you. It is (here’s that word again) communicating with your partner.

It is best to start out with baby steps. For example, at a party only flirt while your partner is present. Next level, your partner is across the room but in eyes-view. You know you have reached the flirting pinnacle when you can look at your partner flirting and having a wonderful time with someone else and feel happy for them.

Finally, flirting stays at the door when you two go home together and—the best part about flirting—hopefully all that positive, sexy energy you have created from the flirting will take you into a fabulous, fun night together.

Dr. Trina Read has a doctorate in human sexuality. Dr. Read is also an international speaker and offers free sex tips on her website www.bestsextipsever.com.

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Over 1 million couples turn to Hitched for expert marital advice every year. Sign up now for our newsletter & get exclusive weekly content that will entertain, educate and inspire your marriage.

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