Okay, so I get the theory of the whys of flirting.

  • It’s a low pressure way to express interest.
  • It’s a low pressure way to suss out return interest or lack thereof.
  • It’s fun.
  • It’s a way to develop skills in appropriate interaction with those you like.
  • It provides opportunities to communicate in subtext, which is also considered an important skill.

But here’s the thing: FLIRTING IS NONE OF THESE!

1) It’s a low pressure way to express interest.  Since WHEN?!  (I seem to be enjoying interrobangs quite a lot these days.  Hmmm. Oh, well!)  These days, flirting has become the primary means of communication that subject A likes subject B and we are thrown into a right ol’ MISERY if subject B is ignorant of subject A’s efforts.  This does not make flirting low pressure in the least.  HEAVEN FORBID WE SAY THINGS DIRECTLY EVER. If flirting were to go back to functioning along the lines of a precursor to directness and clarity, I might appreciate this reasoning, but I doubt it.

2)  It’s a low pressure way to suss out return interest or lack thereof. BWAH HAH HAH HAH HAHHAHHAHHAHHAHHAH!!!  So, after we put in all that effort to make it completely, perfectly clear-but-not-clear that we like a person, we spend hours upon anxious hours trying to figure out if they like us back.  We read into words, body language, Vaguebook posts, cryptic tweets, the RANDOM stuff we hear about them or from them in the halls, THE LENGTH OF THE HUGS THEY GIVE US AS COMPARED TO THEIR OTHER PLATONIC FRIENDS.  My goodness, how is this low pressure?  Again, if flirting were no longer the primary method of relationship establishment, I might be okay with this.  Probably not.  I love directness.  I hate nonsense.

3) It’s fun.  Only if you never want to be in a relationship ever.  People who tend to flirt for fun become known for it.  By the time they start flirting for purpose, their reputation is set in stone.  They are seen as incorrigible and untrustworthy, because they’ll flirt with anyone.  For those who use flirting as a tool (see one and two) to kickstart relationships, how is the performance of a lifetime fun?  It’s make or break!

4) It’s a way to develop skills in appropriate interaction with those you like.  I wish this were true.  I wish this actually worked.  But I know too many young men who only know how to engage with the opposite gender via flirting.  And some of these young men are gay–so clearly they aren’t flirting with me for purpose.  However, I would hands down rather that than the straight young men who DO NOT KNOW ANY BETTER.  These are the boys who were painfully shy (or socially ostracized for any number of reasons) and then hit puberty.  With it came a desire for interaction and some hormone-caused confidence.  So, they learned to flirt with girls, because that was the socially acceptable mode of communication.  And they never learned differently.  So, when they become adult young men, they give bad impressions left and right.  I was engaged to a young man like this (and have since had a couple friends like this).  He would flirt with anything breathing that had the right set of glands (sorry to be crude).  And, honestly, he didn’t realize he was doing it.  He knew no other way to communicate in public.  One of the young men I know who is like this is SO CRIPPLED in his development that he flirts with EVERYONE, men and women, not because of interest in both genders, but because of a total lack of education in communication.

5) It provides opportunities to communicate in subtext, which is also considered an important skill.  Okay.  This one is total BS (just like the others, I guess).  If we understood the subtext of those we flirted with, would we be stuck spending obsessive hours trying to figure out if the person we were flirting with was sending signals back?  Also, even if this is an effective teaching tool, it teaches ONE way of reading subtext: sexually.  There are many other kinds of subtext, far more useful ones, to learn than the flirting subtext.  Sorry, but when it comes to the languages of subtext, I am going to call it and say flirting is the least useful or applicable of them all.

So, yeah.  I’m annoyed with flirting (non-specifically, nothing and no one in particular).  I’m annoyed with the uncertainty and emotional turmoil that comes with it.  And I really just DON’T understand it.  I am a social cues idiot.  So, general announcement to boys who might be interested in me at any point, ever: just say something.  Because I am NEVER going to get it.  I’ll do my best to return the favor.

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