Harmless flirtation

| May 11, 2012

Staff Writer - Katrin Callender

With a bit of insomnia and the desire for company at 1 am, I walked into my living room and turned on the television. I was thrilled to see a familiar face and I was amused by the narrative.

There was Patricia Heaton’s Debra in the supermarket, seeking the acknowledgement of the male shoppers in the vicinity as Raymond (Ray Romano) spies from a nearby aisle. She is not as lucky as he had been in attracting the opposite sex. She feels dejected. I was mildly disturbed as I went about my business. The comedic potential of such a situation was not lost on me but it begged the question, why must we prove that we ‘still have it’?

I am always a little surprised by the individuals who flirt with everyone despite their being in a so-called committed relationship.  They are not always past their prime and worried that their time worn faces and bodies do not possess the same powers they did in youth. Some people want to keep their options open or are excited by the attention. But does either reason justify playing with the feelings of another?

Granted, we enter no contract by smiling or tossing our hair, mirroring or peacocking, bending over to pick up an item or using any other clichéd or proven flirtation maneuver. But we can find ourselves hurting strangers- which may not mean much- or worse, hurting the ones we love when we flirt outside the relationship.

With regards to the strangers, we may corrode their hopes by leading them on and pretending to be interested.  Such a negative event may deter their efforts and rob them of the chance to find happiness.

Photo courtesy tipsaboutdating.com

Sometimes they may buy into the idea of flirting for the fun of it and wind up hurting someone else in the same way. The vicious cycle of negative emotions and faulty belief systems regarding the opposite (or same) sex results in a skewed view of relationships and further miscommunication and heartache as persons interact.

And, we do not necessarily have to be caught doing flirting to cause our loved ones pain. If we are successful in our efforts and grow aloof, we can make them feel inferior. If we fail to spend quality time with our loved ones as we go out to have our egos or more, stroked, we leave them feeling abandoned.

Is it truly worth it to hurt those around us, whether strangers or those with whom we are intimate, for the sake of our vanity? I hope you join me in uttering a forceful ‘no’.

Even if we are unfamiliar with heartache, which is unlikely in this world, we are familiar with concepts of sympathy and empathy and if we employ these, we will see that those around us whether we are acquainted with them or not, must be valued and treated with respect.

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Category: Culture & Society, Sunshine Corner

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