Flirting doesn’t stop just because you’re in a committed relationship.
It seems obvious, right?
After all, flirting is how you fell in love in the first place.
But unfortunately, a lot of couples stop flirting and go on autopilot.
Dinner dates that used to be filled with anticipation become, well, boring.
Once you’re in a stable, secure place, it’s common to lose some of the playfulness that brought you together.
However, you should never let that energy slip away.
This short article explains why flirting keeps your relationship alive.
How Do You Define Flirting
Believe it or not, flirting doesn’t necessarily have to do with sex. (1)
Flirting can be a playful tease that boosts self-esteem and makes you laugh.
At the same time, flirting can be a sincere compliment or a tender hug.
If it inspires joy and brings you closer together at the moment, it’s flirting.
With that said, flirting ultimately serves a purpose…
Flirting Serves a Purpose
According to David Dryden Henningsen, a lead researcher on flirting from Northern Illinois University, flirting is a goal-motivated behavior.
In one of his recent studies, Henningsen identified six specific flirting motivations. (2)
Here’s what he found:
1. Relationally Motivated
You guessed it…one of the main flirting motivations is to intensify relationships.
Henningsen found that healthy couples flirt to deepen intimacy.
2. Playfully Motivated
Playful teasing at parties, home, or in the park doesn’t have to have romantic undertones.
Instead, it can warm you up for more intense flirting later on.
3. Sexually Motivated
Sexually-motivated flirting is what first comes to mind when you think of flirting.
More often than not, it follows other “lighter” types of flirting.
4. Exploring Motivated
Exploring-motivated flirting is used to test the waters of a new romance, so it isn’t as applicable to existing relationships.
However, if you’re recovering from a fight, you might do some light flirting to decide when it’s time to make up.
Flirting can boost your partner’s self-esteem.
Use it to complement their intelligence and beauty or simply brighten their day.
Instrumental flirting is used to get a very specific outcome.
Want your partner to cook you dinner?
Done right, instrumental flirting can help you get what you want, empower your partner, and strengthen your relationship, all in one fell swoop.
Why Flirting Keeps Your Relationship Alive
We’ve all seen it…
Those couples who’ve been together for six months or longer and start “going through the motions.”
Each date night gets a little less exciting than the last.
Luckily, that’s where flirting comes in to save the day.
Here’s why flirting keeps your relationship alive after the honeymoon phase ends:
1. It Reminds You of What You Love Most About Your Partner
In the beginning, flirting is how you feel each other out. (3)
You’re both taking a risk by putting yourself out there, and the emotions (and hormones) are running high.
It’s scary, it’s exciting, and it feels like it will never get old.
Then something changes…
When the sparks die out, it’s usually because the flirting stopped a while ago.
Set it back on fire!
Flirting can remind you of what you love most about your partner.
2. It Makes You Both Feel Attractive
Flirting makes you both feel desired.
When you’re in a long-term relationship, flirting is the ultimate compliment.
3. It Prevents You from Getting Stuck In the ‘Companion’ Zone
Long-term relationships often develop into deep friendships.
As beautiful as this is, it can also evolve into something less than romantic.
At a point, you’ve already had every type of sex there is to have, gone on all the wild adventures there are to go on, and it’s easy to get stuck in the “companion zone.”
Flirting, however, can keep the X-factor up.
To make it easy on yourselves, set aside time for date nights.
Your home is a battleground for chores, errands, alarm clocks, and the stress of life.
That’s why a little change of scenery can help bring out the flirt in you.
In fact, a 2018 study found that, “Individuals are likely to flirt for pleasure if they’re in a committed romantic relationship compared with those not in a committed relationship.” (4)
You see, science is on your side!
5 Types of Flirting
Has it been a while since you got your flirt on?
Even if you aren’t the most flirtatious person in the world, you’ll still fall into one of the below categories.
According to a study conducted at the University of Kansas by professor Jeffrey Hall, there are five main styles of flirting: (5)
Understanding which style fits your personality can make flirting a breeze.
Let’s find out what type of flirt you are!
“Traditional” flirts tend to follow old-school gender roles.
In other words, the masculine partner initiates most of the flirting.
The problem with this approach, though, is that it’s hard for the feminine energy to take control.
Instead, it’s best to take a more proactive approach to flirting with one of the styles below.
“Sincere” flirts go straight for an emotional connection.
If you’re an intellectual or deep-thinker, then this type of flirting is right up your alley.
It’s also most effective for maintaining a long-term romance.
“Playful” flirts enjoy flirting for flirting’s sake.
It’s one of the best ways to spike arousal and crank up the HOT level to 10.
However, it can also come across as game-playing, and may not be the best for strengthening deep bonds.
Body language is the means by which “physical flirts” communicate with strong sexual undertones.
When it’s time to be seductive, physical flirting is the way to go.
“Polite” flirts are cautious.
Oftentimes, they care more about being respectful than igniting a spark.
However, the downside is that it can take forever to get a message across.
Most people embrace a mix of flirting styles, but one style is usually more dominant.
If you have any more questions about how flirting can keep your relationship alive, feel free to contact us at Complete Care Health Centers.
We’re happy to answer any questions you may have.