I was asked to write a post by @Sexyminxxx regarding friends and flirting. The topic of flirting gets me heated because so many people have their own perceptions of what it means, so what may be harmless or fun to some, may be seen as a signal or hint of a crush to the person being flirted with.
So is it OK to flirt with a friend? It really and truly depends on the friend in question. I am a key example of someone who likes to dabble in a bit of harmless flirting, which has caused problems for me in the past in terms of people mistaking it for advances towards them or jealousy from my current partner at that time. I have always automatically assumed that because I have no hidden agenda, and am just having fun or a laugh, that others would view it in the same way, and some do but not all. Your circumstance of how you came upon your particular friendship is vital as to whether it is appropriate or not to flirt. An example would be someone that you know initially liked you or had a crush on you before settling into the friend zone because you were not into them in that way, they may not be comfortable within that zone and therefore looking for an escape route, if you flirt with them it could cause them to re-evaluate and think that there is a chance of turning their unrequited love into a relationship. In comparison to that you will have friends who know you so well that they can understand whether you are being serious or cracking jokes.
This topic relates to the idea of whether opposite sexes can be friends (not trying to exclude those that are gay). A lot of people believe that both genders cannot be friends without any kind of sexual tension, which in a lot of cases is true but does not apply to every unisex friendship. As I stated before some friendships are based on an admirer not getting the reaction they wanted but being accepted as a friend rather than a partner, in these cases it’s hard to rule out sexual tension as there will always be that initial thought in the admirer’s mind, especially when you let them know about your current relationships. If you like someone and being forward did not help your advances then you will wait for signals and this is where flirting could cause problems. You also have the friendships which were not based on a crush or lust and were built around getting along with the person and understanding them. Both parties understand that nothing could ever happen between them and would never dream of it happening. In these cases I don’t believe flirting can be misunderstood as there is no hidden intent behind it.
I don’t want to be biased but I think that females are accused of teasing with flirting more than guys. I was once asked how many of my male friends had never tried to make advances on me and I actually had to think long and hard and this in itself made me rethink how I control my flirtatious nature with friends. Males do not like to embrace the friendzone at all and for that reason alone they are more prone to hope there is passion behind flirtatious acts or things said to them. It doesn’t necessarily mean they believe it but they are happy to go along with it as long there is a glimmer of a chance of igniting what they first wanted. Funny hey, seeing as females are meant to be the emotional ones and what not…
In conclusion just be careful who’s feelings you are playing with when just having a ‘laugh’.