I didn’t realize how many flirtationships I had until I started seeing someone

Urban dictionary defines a flirtationship as a relationship where you “regularly flirt with an acquaintance or friend but do no more.” It’s sort of a weird in between space that you can’t put your finger on, but you know the vibe is flirty. I always knew I was a flirt, but starting to see someone seriously put the spotlight on just how flirty I am with those around me.

1. Being into all genders complicates relationships a bit.

I just have to say off the bat: I’m not straight. I love men, women, non-binary folk, trans people, and um, everyone. This is totally great except that it means the pool of people I flirt with is larger. It also means that I have female friends that I’m touchy-feely with. Some of these friends I’m not interested in romantically or sexually, we’re just very affectionate. I think my love for all genders does complicate boundaries a bit!

2. Can I blame it on my zodiac sign?

Geminis are known for being ridiculously flirty. According to every astrological website I’ve seen, my air sign is an indication of being a chronic flirt. According to Astromatcha, I also mean absolutely no harm to anyone when I’m flirting. I’m just kind of a super fun person to flirt with and be around!

3. Flirting can be a mood booster for me.

If I’m having a rough day and I bump into someone at a coffee shop, some harmless flirting is fun. It can boost my confidence and my mood for the day. I usually don’t mean anything by it and don’t want to pursue anything further, it’s just banter.

4. I do some blatant flirting.

Sometimes I’m more obvious with my flirting. It’s not always a good thing. Being a flirt can be light-hearted and fun, but it also sends mixed messages to people. I think it’s not a big deal, but the other person could feel totally different. I’m working on not using people for my own entertainment.

5. Some people think I’m dating certain friends.

Again, this is where my sexuality comes in. If I am really close with other queer female friends, people raise their eyebrows at us. We may be snuggly or flirty, so there are rumors that I’m dating them. Those rumors are most definitely false.

6. I’ve thought about sleeping with flirtationship people but probably wouldn’t do it.

I flirt with most of my flirtationship friends just because it’s fun and silly, but there are a few people I’ve pictured sleeping with more than once. I mean, I flirt with them because they’re total babes. I haven’t done the deed though for a variety of reasons, the most important of which are that I really try not to sleep with people unless I’m dating them and sex would totally complicate the lighthearted friendship!

7. Exes sometimes creep their way back into my life when I’m single.

It’s debatable whether having exes back in my life is good for me or not, but I know it’s definitely not cool if I’m seeing someone. I enjoy some lighthearted banter with exes every once in awhile, but when I’m seeing someone else, I just feel totally weird about talking to them. I’m not sure what this means, to be honest!

8. Flirtationships are pretty harmless… until I’m seeing someone.

All of this flirtationship stuff is such a small part of my life, but when I started seeing someone recently, it was like a giant spotlight was placed on these interactions. I began to question why I flirt with the people I do and I had to think about what I was going to do moving forward if the relationship gets serious.

9. Being in a relationship means I have to consider someone else’s feelings.

I’d been single for so long that I didn’t realize how little I had to consider other people. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t just flirt with everyone without considering the impact. I mostly flirt with other people who are also single. Once I started dating someone, I put myself in his shoes. I thought about what he’d feel like if he knew or witnessed how I acted. I also considered what it would be like it the roles were reversed. I knew I’d be livid and really hurt, so I started to adjust how I was acting.

10. I had to ask myself what to do with my flirtationships if I’m not single.

What I came to terms with was that a slow fade was best for most of my flirtationships. I slowly started avoiding them a bit, being less friendly, and not flirting. The slow fade works most of the time, but there were some people that required an explicit line drawn. Like with exes, they had to get a clear boot. There’s too much history for the slow fade.

11. Are these flirtationships innately wrong? I don’t know.

If this whole article seems a bit unsure, that’s because it is. Uncertainty is my truth around flirtationships right now. I’m starting to question if they’re even a good idea ever because they might just be attention-seeking. I think I may have fooled myself into thinking that others don’t take it the wrong way. I may be doing more harm than I thought, so I’m grateful for a new relationship helping me shed light on all of these thoughts.

Ginelle Testa is a wordsmith by trade and hobby. She’s a queer gal whose passions include recovery/sobriety, social justice, body positivity, and intersectional feminism. In the rare moments she isn’t writing, you can find her holding her own in a recreational street hockey league, thrifting eclectic attire, and imperfectly practicing Buddhism. Check out her blog!

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