Friday, April 22, 2005

I found a post at a blog about casual dating. The post consisted of only a few words, something to the effect of ‘casual dating = bad’. I found in response to the comments left by his readers, the author said he really thought casual flirting was fine, saying something to the effect of “I like to be friendly.” Friendliness is one thing, but flirting is another.
If you don’t want the guy at the grocery store to make inappropriate comments, don’t look at him the way you just did. We speak not only with our tongues, but with our eyes, our faces, and even with the way we position our bodies.
Does it really matter if I smile at him like that? Will it hurt it I wink at her? Come on! This isn’t going to harm anyone. If you say “I’m different, the looks I give don’t mean anything”, then it’s probably a good idea to re-check your intent. You know what you are saying with your eyes, your smile, etc.
Some of us might say, I’m not really acting without intent. People nowadays pick up people anywhere. Your future husband/wife could just be walking down the street. Although possible, this is highlyunlikely.
The Bible says to flee temptation. If you are flirting with a non believer, you are asking for temptation to come right to your doorstep, perhaps literally in some cases. Some people are not acting with such innocent intentions. Instead of flirting with every attractive looking person you meet, believer or non-believer, in hopes that they might be the one, cast your eyes down (figuratively), until God shows you someone very special who He has made for you. That doesn’t mean to ignore all men until you are engaged! It simply means to save that expression of love, the amorous attention so often expressed in ‘casual flirting‘, until you are sure you are giving it to the right person.
The more we give away our special kindnesses to strangers - or friends for that matter - the less meaningful it is to our husband or wife. How will your husband respond to your looks after he’s watched you give those looks away to other men, simply out of habit, for an entire evening? There’s nothing wrong with being kind and showing love to others, but there’s a place and time for everything. There are lines that cross being kind. I’m generally not good at making analogies, but try this one: If you picked flowers and gave them out to everyone, they would be rather commonplace. But if you saved a big bouquet for one special person, the flowers would be so much more meaningful. [Side note: I can just imagine a comment saying something like “By the time you have saved up that bouquet saved up, the flowers will have wilted”. Do yourself a favor and just leave the flowers in the garden, uncut, until you’re ready :D]
I can’t draw a line on this. I don’t think it’s wrong to be especially kind to friends, but I can see the benefits of saving something special of your personality for that special someone. The more you do, within reason, the sweeter it will be. Even if he’s not even on the radar yet!
Remember that old habits die hard. Don’t be surprised when you find yourself flirting with someone else after you’ve met Mr. Right (and he‘s upset by it!) if you haven’t made an effort to keep a strong hold on your amorous affection in your single years, serious or not. The longer you keep flirting with the wrong people, the more of a habit it will become, and the more difficult it will be to stop.

This is all easier said than done. I will be the first to admit I have done a very poor job of this at times. Perhaps that’s why I feel so strongly about writing about it. Sometimes the things I write are written expressly to me as a lesson; I know I need to change, as I write I find concrete examples of exactly why what I’m doing is wrong. It helps me think of it in a different way, sometimes in ways that I have never thought of it before. I have written more or less from the viewpoint of a girl. Comments and critiques welcome.

After I had written this, I felt I was rather in the middle of the road. Some of my conservative readers may open their eyes wide, and think I’m totally out of place for discussing this like that. Others - who are my good friends despite being a bit more liberal J - will shake their heads and think that I have a problem being so conservative. I know I can’t please everyone, and I won’t try to. Part of this blog is what I’ve experienced, part of it is what I speculate, and part of it is what I’m struggling with. This probably falls under all three, as most of my writing does. I make speculations based on past experience, and I generally struggle with what I come up with. I need a big toothy grin emoticon right there :D

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