Flirting for Fun

Flirting is a social art as old as Aristotle, and the upcoming holiday season is the perfect time to play the coquette.

It’s fun, it’s intellectual and it’s a bit of a thrill. Done correctly, a flirtation is a light, admiring, slightly sexy interaction that’s conducted purely for the pleasure of the moment.

In France, flirting is a way of life and every woman—regardless of her age or marital status—is considered fair game. Not to flirt is practically considered an insult. Here in the Midwest, single women can flirt their derrieres off, but women in relationships are more conflicted.

Tammy from Wilmette feels flirting is disloyal. “I don’t think it’s right to flirt with someone else’s husband,” she says.

“I’m in a relationship and I flirt all the time—with men and women both,” says Jackie of Chicago. “I don’t view this as wrong or as being a cheater, I see it as fun and harmless. Flirting makes people feel good.”

Tammy’s husband Max thinks a little flirting is fine, as long as boundaries are respected. ”There’s a line between a man and a woman of what’s considered an acceptable level of intimacy,” he says. “Flirting is the dance of brushing up against that line, but not crossing it.” And if someone’s spouse is getting offended, it’s probably time to back off.

Regina Thomashauer, author of “Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts,” says women owe it to themselves to flirt. “Flirtation is a woman’s access to the life force,” she writes. “Flirtation is nothing more or less than enthusiastic self-love and experiencing it in every fiber of your being, and allowing that love to overflow to others.”

My skills are rusty, but I confess I’ve dabbled in extra-marital flirting. For example, when I meet my friend Joe wearing one of his trademark cashmere sweaters, I’ll stroke his luxurious sleeve, look up at him and say teasingly, “You always feel so good.” He smiles, we laugh, and I move toward the crab dip. In that moment, I’m not coming on to Joe, I’m simply communicating:  I appreciate you, dude, in a man-woman way. Have a nice day.

The ideal occasion for flirting is a party, since the whole purpose is to connect and celebrate. So in the coming months, be inspired by the glow from jack ‘o lanterns to holiday lights, and send a twinkle someone else’s way. If you need a refresher, start by flirting with your mate. For tips, check out “How to Flirt with Finesse.”

How to Flirt with Finesse

Flirting is:

  • Relaxed
  • Reciprocal
  • Respectful
  • Playful
  • Brief
  • Complimentary
  • Sexy
  • Uplifting
  • Humorous
  • Generous

Flirting is Not:

  • Awkward
  • One-sided
  • Demeaning
  • Serious
  • Sexual
  • Sleazy
  • Persuasive
  • Inconsiderate
  • A Come on
  • An obligation

Ways Women Flirt Physically:

  • Eye Contact
  • Smile, Laugh, Giggle
  • Stand close, lean in
  • Play with hair, caress own face, neck, bare shoulder
  • Slowly cross and uncross legs
  • Mirror body language
  • Touch man’s arm or shoulder


  • Compliments
  • Personal Disclosure
  • Joke or Funny Story
  • Low, intimate voice or whisper
  • Teasing
  • Active Listening

Watch Outs – Signs that you’re making someone uncomfortable:

  • Forced smiles
  • Feet or body turning away
  • Fidgeting
  • Curt responses
  • Lack of eye contact


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