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The butterflies in your belly … racing heart … sweaty palms … Is that how you feel when flirting or being flirted with? When you first meet someone or see them across a room … Do you enjoy the batting of the eyelashes and tossing of the hair? How do you feel when you catch someone looking at you a little longer than just a quick glance?
What about that “accidental” touch as someone walks by? Personally, I love “The Flirt” and feel wildly alive when engaging in it. It is usually (smile) harmless, and when done well makes others feel good, too. Are you a flirt? Can flirting be innocent or does it always have an ulterior motive?
Flirting be a fun, lighthearted way of communicating friendliness. Smiling at someone actually changes the brain. The pleasure center in the brain lights up when you smile and when someone smiles at you. Simply put, the very act of smiling and being smiled at makes you happier.
Have you lost your ability or desire to flirt? I’d love to hear from you!
What does seem to be changing is our willingness to get into each others’ personal space. Is physical connection becoming less accessible? The Internet has made real-live flirting a social dinosaur. Cyber chatting in lieu of meeting for a drink or coffee is the now the norm. Has cyber dating become like Amazon.com … where you can go to buy anything and everything? Now we just “shop” for a mate online?
Before you smack me down about being out of touch, let me say I am a huge proponent of the Internet … I love Facebook and I.M.ing; I have even been known to tweet on Twitter. I prefer email and texting because it is efficient.
Yet when it comes to human connection, can we really get a feel for someone based on a photograph and bio? What about being able to look into someone’s eyes, sniff their scent, hear their voice and watch their facial expressions and body language? It is said that more than 50% (some resources say 85%) of our communication is non-verbal. So how can we really expect to communicate without being able to experience someone up close and personal? How important is that first impression? Do you realize that chemical attraction is decided by: 55% body language, 38% the tone and speed of your voice and 7% through what you say? How do we know if we have chemistry through just our written words? Is there more to attraction than chemistry? Are we getting our “flirting” needs satisfied via cyberspace?
This brings me to my next question;
Is loneliness at an all-time high? Protected in the safety of our homes, tapping away on the keys of our computers, iPhones or maybe taking a chance and Skyping, we are disconnecting from humanity. Or are we? Do you feel you can be more or less revealing online? Does it feel safer? More convenient? Are you finding the satisfaction you are seeking? I’d love to hear your voice on this subject.
If loneliness and lack of intimacy are on your list, there are ways to climb out of these protective cyber cocoons and actually reach out and touch someone!
First you have to be willing to step out of your comfort zone and be uncomfortable. It might help to know that everyone else is probably a little uncomfortable too. Being face to face is real and revealing. That can be scary; but the risk will be outweighed by the benefits.
Second, you need to remember that PHYSICAL TOUCH is the most basic of human needs. Without it, we die … Really. We die. So there is a good chance that if you gently touch the arm of a stranger or the shoulder of your date they will like it and not reject you. If they are startled or seem uncomfortable you can always ask, “Are you comfortable with me touching you?” (Asking permission to touch someone may feel awkward, but can open the door to some great communication.) For those who are out of practice with physical touch, it can take patience to regain comfort with it. Practice, practice, practice! I highly recommend frequent professional massages during times you are not receiving enough touch to maintain a healthy dose of human contact. It will leave you open and receptive to safe and loving touch instead of leaving you starved and vulnerable.
Third, it’s important to create situations where you’ll find people with interests similar to yours; such as clubs and organizations with mission statements. Having mutual goals, common interests and ideals create great bonding opportunities. Yes, it takes effort to make new friends, and the payoff for that effort is joyfulness and life satisfaction. Being around like-minded people will inspire you and motivate you. You are much more likely to find a compatible partner (or playmate) in a group of your choosing than at a neutral place like a bar or nightclub.
So when exactly does flirting go too far? We all know there are lines … sometimes they are easier to see when we are not the ones doing the flirting. It’s fair to say that if you are in a relationship and you still enjoy the art of flirting the line would be if you are willing to do the flirt in the presence of your partner or not. And if you enjoy and are good at the art of flirting, does your flirting create problems for others? When does it go from “Art” to “Tart”? I’d love to hear your “flirt” stories and concerns!
Counteracting loneliness and finding fun in life can all start with flirting. Be willing to put yourself out there and watch the world open up. The art of flirting can be applied to friendships and love interests. It’s all about communicating the desire to get to know someone; saying “Hey, you’re interesting and I’m drawn to you.” Whatever your motives, be willing to step off that ledge and let someone know when you find them fascinating, brilliant, sexy or desirable. If you are feeling it and thinking it, please express it. It can be subtle; pay attention and remember something personal about them or create an opportunity to spend time with them doing something you both enjoy. The sadness comes when we discover there was a mutual admiration and interest but we were both too afraid to take that risk and express it. What is the worst thing that can happen? You might be rejected? Have you ever survived rejection before? Notice the word “survived”? I’ll bet you have. I know I have.
Nora Roberts said, “If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.”
My theory is that we regret what we have not done more often than what we have.
Do you enjoy kissing? Watch for a lip-smacking episode of As You Desire next month!
Nancy Sutton Pierce RN, Health Educator is the Founding director of Nancy Sutton’s House of Yoga and Radio Talk Show Host on The Conscious Living Show LIVE every Saturday 11a-12noon on KCNR 1460am You can reach Nancy at firstname.lastname@example.org with your comment or questions.
As You Desire is proudly sponsored by Body Logic MD; helping both men and women restore their libido and vitality through hormone therapy, fitness and nutrition counseling. www.bodylogicmd.com
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