Reader Question: Is flirting okay?
In order to address that question, we really need to look at all aspects of flirting—what it is, what it is not, how it affects us—as well as if there are any Biblical principles that speak to it.
Is Flirting Natural?
Remember being ten years old and being attracted to that little boy or girl in your elementary school? You don’t really know them and they don’t know you. What could you possibly do to get his/her attention?
If you were a boy, do you remember maybe doing cartwheels or something to impress that cute little girl who caught your eye? And isn’t it common knowledge that if a little boy hits a little girl, often it is a display of his affection for her because it is against the “boy code” to actually say he likes her?
If you were a little girl, do you remember giving that special little a wink or your best smile because you liked him—even though you didn’t know him—and you thought he was cute?
Flirting at an early age seems to be a natural occurrence, and because of that, it seems that such flirting may be construed as innocent as well.
What Is Flirting?
Flirting appears to be verbal and non-verbal communication with someone to whom you are attracted but may not know very well or at all. Our flirting is often motivated by our desire to develop a romantic relationship. I haven’t heard of people relating flirting to developing a friendship.
For some, flirting could include touching, but I strongly suggest being extremely careful because touching is a deeper emotional level with the possibility of deeper emotional wounding.
If you have a friend and your feelings have changed to wanting a romantic relationship instead of just a friendship, touching ups the ante. It definitely takes the relationship to a new level.
Flirting as Adults
As a single man, never did I ask myself if flirting was okay. The question of flirting was only concerned with whom I would flirt. But one size doesn’t fit all. For some of you, flirting just isn’t your style, and you need to be okay with that and not feel like something is wrong with you.
Whether I was an elementary student or an adult, my flirting was always motivated by a girl to whom I was physically attracted. Flirting was a quick way to see if she was interested in me. Eye contact and the ensuing response were often quicker and better than words. A wink with a smile can work wonders!
I believe there should be some flirting boundaries, also. For example, flirting with a known married woman was crossing the line. Single and age-appropriate women were okay.
Flirting should be a concern for a future relationship. Complimenting people’s eyes and smiles are fine, but I’ve heard men and women make what I would consider inappropriate comments regarding the opposite gender’s body. Inappropriate comments may reflect the character and behavior of the person flirting with you. You can’t change people.
Are there any Biblical principles for flirting?
The Bible seems to provide as much instruction on flirting as it does about dating. King Solomon flirts with his wife in a style appropriate for married couples. But one principle singles can learn from Solomon and his bride, seeking to touch the heart of the other person before touching his or her body.
So is flirting okay?
Well, we are attracted by what we see and most flirting is a response to what we see. Trust your heart as God leads you, don’t violate your conscience, and your flirting should be fine.
What are your thoughts on flirting? Do you flirt? Why or why not?
Photo credit: Olivier Engel