Flirting is one of the most fun ways to interact with another person, but it doesn’t always mean we want something serious. Sometimes it’s one-sided, but every now and then we find someone whose method of flirting goes perfectly with ours and before we know it, we’ve found ourselves in a “flirtationship”: a slightly-more-than-platonic relationship defined by two people flirting with each other on a regular basis but never hooking up or dating. If you’ve never been a part of one of these fun non-partnerships, here are some reasons why you should let your flirty flag fly:
- It’s great while it lasts but not a big deal when it ends. What makes a flirtationship different from a traditional crush is that most of the time, flirtationships have no potential of turning into relationships. They might develop between you and a much older coworker, your personal trainer or anyone else with whom you share a mutual attraction but would never actually date. Once it’s in your mind that nothing more than flirting will ever happen between you two, it won’t be a big deal if you and your not-boyfriend have to go your separate ways or make your relationship truly platonic. It might be a bummer to have to end a flirtationship, but it’s nowhere near the heartache that comes with ending a real relationship or finding out your serious crush just got a new girlfriend.
- You always have those “new crush” feelings. One of the best things about a flirtationship is that things don’t get old. Yeah, you get a little bit of a rush every time your “partner’s” name pops up on your phone, but you also don’t spend your nights wondering if their delayed responses are caused by them spending their time texting someone else. Flirtationships give you all the good feelings that come with having a crush without all the bad feelings and potential heartbreak.
- You’re free to pursue other romantic interests. As nice as it is to have a steady relationship with someone you really care about, let’s be honest here: all of us occasionally get the itch to make out with someone else. You’re not exactly free to do so when we’re in an exclusive relationship, but when you’re in a flirtationship, you can do anything with anyone and not feel guilty about it. Flirting does not equal any sort of commitment, so if you want to have a steady flirtationship with your college classmate and then stick your tongue in another person’s mouth later that night, more power to you.
- You can have multiple flirtationships at the same time. While there are plenty of people out there who are in happy polyamorous relationships, sharing significant others is admittedly not for everyone. Having multiple flirtationships at once, though, is much easier. If you want, you can have one with a coworker, the barista who works every Tuesday and Thursday and your Friday bartender. It’s totally innocent, and best of all, there’s no drama involved.
- It’s easy to cut things off. Ending a relationship is hard and possibly expensive if you need to get a divorce, but when it comes to ending a flirtationship, all you have to do is stop flirting. Really! That’s it! No possessions to give back, no Facebook relationship status to change, no angry (but spectacular) breakup sex.
- There are no unrealistic expectations for the future. The key to a successful flirtationship is knowing that it will not go beyond flirting. Once you establish that what you’re in is indeed a flirtationship and not a bona fide crush, you can sleep easy knowing that you’ll never have to wonder if he’ll give you your dream proposal or if he’d really be a good person to have kids with. Being in a flirtationship allows you to live in the here and now; save all that “moving in together” stuff for people who are tied down in real relationships.
- It’s not time-consuming. You CAN stay up all night texting your flirtationship partner, but you don’t HAVE to. You CAN hang out with them over the weekend if the urge strikes, but what are they going to do if you decide to hang out with your gal pals instead? Break up with you? Complain that you aren’t making enough time for the flirtationship? These types of non-relationships are super low maintenance, and many of them don’t even extend beyond the physical location where you see your not-significant-other. Simply get your flirt on and go about your day without even having to think about them again until you see them next.
- There is little to no drama. Unless one of you two already has a significant other (in which case you really should reconsider your flirtationship anyway), there aren’t a whole lot of problems that can arise from being in a flirtationship. It’s one of the most innocent types of relationships you could have with another person, so feelings of jealousy or competition with another person is extremely unlikely to happen.