Ask anyone who knows me, and they'll tell you I am a flirt.
I can't help it and I wholeheartedly admit it, too, because it is healthy. Flirting is a natural form of communication embedded into who we are.
In a relationship, you (both) should be actively flirting, and here are the main reasons it's OK.
1. Flirting eliminates boredom.
Think about how many of your relationships ended because one (or both) of you was bored. Nothing kills attraction and a relationship faster than being stuck in a monotonous rut.
Dinner, drinks, rinse and repeat -- it's all too easy to fall into a routine you can set your watch to.
Studies show lack of excitement leads to a lack of satisfaction.
One way to inject some new energy into your relationship is to be the attractive person you were at the beginning.
Remember when the two of you first met?
Things were exciting, questionable and your status was up in the air. Flirting played a key role in the dance that got you to where you are now.
Soon a more rational approach to your relationship formed; with it, the ability to decide whether to love and commit to that person flourished.
Next, you established a routine, and soon enough, boredom set in.
We can't escape some level of consistency entirely, but penciling in what night is "sex night" ain't gonna cut it.
2. Flirting ignites passion (and a tinge of jealousy).
A little bit of jealousy can go a long way in keeping things passionate in your relationship.
Not the insecure, needy, checking her texts over the shoulder and stealing her phone type of jealousy. That's toxic.
The "healthy jealousy" we often hear about refers to our evolution and ability to eliminate our rivals. When we sense a threat to someone we care about, we tend to act on it.
If you see the bartender flip her hair back, laugh and lightly brush his arm, it triggers that natural fight or flight response.
Mate guarding in humans is a strategy to both protect the ones we love as well as prevent them from peace-ing out when a shiny new object of affection appears.
We all want to know the choice we made in our partner was the right one. An easy way to establish that is to know that person is attractive in the eyes of others.
Ever introduced your SO to your friends or family for "approval" or to get their opinion?
We tend to want what others want.
It's the "men want to be him and women want to be with him" phenomenon.
3. Flirting conveys interest.
Flirting doesn't always equate to sexual interest, but it can very much be flattering.
We exchange verbal and non-verbal information with others every day.
Fun and witty back-and-forth between two people is a great way to communicate your interest in them or what they do.
For the most part, we want to feel good, and we want others to feel good. An attractive person is on both the giving and receiving ends of flirtation.
The same attractive qualities we find in a partner we also find in our close friends. A healthy dose of teasing from a bro at her gym can give her a quick shot of well-deserved esteem.
The big confusion comes when we're not able to decipher the difference between general interest and flirting with intent.
At the end of the day, it's perfectly OK to flirt with the knowledge that it isn't going anywhere further than that.
Flirting when you're in a relationship is not representative or indicative of infidelity. Just because you're flirting does not mean you're investing your emotions, time or self in a way that would betray your partner.
The key to flirting outside of your relationship is knowing what your boundaries are and when someone breaks them.