I am going to explain this the same way I would explain this to a teenager for two reasons: I know a few teenage readers who will get this link from me and appreciate the relativity, and also, because those normal people (whatever ‘normal’ is) learn this around that age. You have your reasons as to why you didn’t, and I know them. Just bear with me, okay?
Remember that in as little as a few hours to a few months, we will be laughing at this moment and how you’re freaking out. Boy, times fly when you’re having fun, and sooner than later, you will be having fun once more.
(Hah. I should make that a column / thing.)
There are a lot of things that have changed for you in the past 6 months, hell the past YEAR of your life. While last year, if you flirted with someone (because of the habit you and I have of doing so), you had the safety net of ‘I’m married, so it doesn’t mean anything, it won’t go anywhere, and if someone bothers me about it or gets too strong, well fuck them I’m married!’ – I don’t have to tell you that this is not the case any more, because as we both know, you found that out. (And it sucks.)
So now, I am going to give you advice. This is basically how I feel, personally, or what I do if it were me. Remember, I am not a doctor, psychologist, or expert in any way. Take this with a grain of salt, or drink it up like a fresh pot of coffee after your hell-of-a-hang-over.
When You’re Single, You Get to Give No Fucks
A little down the post (or in another one entirely), I will explain why flirting was a bad idea the best way I know how, but for now, I am going to address the issue at hand: Repercussions of the flirting that’s already happened, whether it was a bad idea or not.
You’re single. You wanted to flirt around because, HEY-O, you’re single and don’t feel guilty about it because you have no one you’re betraying, you get to test the waters, you get to be casually sleezy with your comments because, again, HEY-O, you’re single. And might I add, for the first time in… forever.
But then you flirt a little too far, or in a certain way, or break the barrier with someone you’re flirting with and allow them to know intimate details of your life because you’re hurting and it is SO much easier to talk to someone you DON’T know, over the internet, about your problems because they don’t know you, they can’t judge you as hard, or whatever. I get it. I do.
Let’s be honest. You’re not going to stop flirting any time soon. It’s going to be a thing you do, because you’re single. That’s how you fish for someone who’s sexy, whether you’re interested in casual or the real thing right now. So, for now, let’s focus on things you can do when these inevitable scenarios come up:
Boy meets girl, girl meets boy. Whichever.
Girl casually flirts because, hey, she has a thing for blondes (or whatever characteristic this person has that she finds appealing on whatever level.) She highlights it in her flirtations, he receives the message as ‘Hey-o, I’m doing something right.’
Boy realizes he things she’s pretty banging too. They’ve been flirting back and forth, it’s all fun and games.
Girl spills the beans of past relationship and how she’s recently single and doesn’t have a clue what she’s doing with her life, obviously needs time to heal, and has no interest in dating for the foreseeable future. She’s even given it a minimum due date of 9 months and counting.
I don’t give a fuck what else happens after this point, and neither should you.
Wait what? Exactly.
At this point, you’ve given the clear message of, “NOPENOPENOPE. We’re just messing around, I’m just flirtatious, this is NOT going anywhere.” At this point, if anything develops on the Boy’s side, that is their loss. They probably knew going in that A) Girl wouldn’t be interested, or B) They were taking a risk in that she MAY be interested, but if she finds out between now and the 9 month minimum that it’s gonna be a bad time.
However, this is not the Girl’s problem. At the point she finds out about the Boy (because, she WILL find out. They always do), that is the moment that all flirting should stop. I don’t care if Boy or Girl thinks one or the other is going to be okay with the flirting. STOP IT. Just STOP. It’s already hurt someone and confused the other, and it needs to stop. If you can’t STOP, then you need to unfriend and move on for a bit. Come back to them later when you can muster it.
If Girl continues to flirt with Boy, it’s leading him on, intentional or not. If Boy continues flirting with Girl, he’s being a dick and not respecting her boundaries. I don’t care if she said it was okay, He needs to respect her and know better. And she had better not be a cunt and flirt with him after saying No. That’s just mean.
Boy meets girl, girl meets boy. Whichever. Girl casually flirts because, hey, she has a thing for blondes (or whatever characteristic this person has that she finds appealing on whatever level.) She highlights it in her flirtations, he receives the message as ‘Hey-o, I’m doing something right.’ Boy realizes he things she’s pretty banging too. They’ve been flirting back and forth, it’s all fun and games. Girl spills the beans of past relationship and how she’s recently single and doesn’t have a clue what she’s doing with her life, obviously needs time to heal, and has no interest in dating for the foreseeable future. She’s even given it a minimum due date of 9 months and counting.
Yes, I just C&P’d, so you don’t have to reread it. In your case, it started out like this for all times. Again, I repeat:
I don’t give a fuck what else happens after this point, and neither should you.
So, let’s say nothing happens. Boy is cool with it and chills with you. You flirt casually because you’re both cynical yet dirty people. That’s cool and all, no one’s getting their feelings hurt. You both know it’s NBD.
Except then Boy or Girl says something and Boy or Girl takes it the wrong way. Oops.
Yeah. It’s awkward. And it needs to be made perfectly clear that nothing was intended to come off that way, and you’re sorry. (You being Boy or Girl who said whatever it was, or for taking it the other way.) Obviously, a miscommunication happened somewhere, and you need to clear it up.
From this point, though, it’s tricky. Without trusting that the other person seriously didn’t mean whatever it was they said, a person begins to doubt. Did they mean what they said? Did they not? If they’re lying, are they lying about other things? Is Boy interested in Girl even though she said LOLNOPE?
Who knows? Move on. Act like it didn’t happen. Don’t let it fester.
Oh, wait, Boy has a problem with Girl. Whatever it is is undetermined, but it’s clear when Girl suddenly gets unfriended. Should Girl feel guilty? Maybe she shouldn’t have flirted. She warned him, but something obviously was missed.
No fucks were given on that day. Girl is fine. She made it clear. If he needs to fuck off, let him fuck off.
I know what you’re thinking Catie:
It’s going to be okay. No matter what the scenario is, you seriously need to let them have the blame for now. My next piece of advice has a lot to do with Flirting, why we do it, and why we need to NOT do it without boundaries, rules, and things like that, but it’s a LONG book that I’ve written and erased a million times. But for these two scenarios, the flirting has already been done. All you have to do now is breathe, and just let it go. Boy 1 and Boy 2 are grown men, and can take care of themselves. You need to take care of yourself. How do you do that going on?
- Give no fucks. Seriously. You are not in a relationship with either boy. You don’t need to give fucks about them on this day, nor the next. Not even on Sunday. No fucks were given.
- Remember, you are not responsible for what other people do. If you did what you could, and told them the ground rules of ‘I’m not interested’ and things persisted, that’s not in your court of fault. Don’t feel guilty about it. That’s their problem. Give no fucks.
- Also, if someone up and gets angry over nothing and unfriends you, they aren’t worth your time. Give no fucks for them as well.
- Seriously. Stop giving fucks. You’re single.
I’m pausing before I die because I have written and re-written this post a million times trying to find the right words. I’m still not satisfied with it, but I need to post this and move on to flirting before I freak out about how unorganized my thoughts are right now. I apologize for any errors and if anything is unclear, please comment and I’ll elaborate. A lot of what I want to post is based on so many possible variables that I am having to pick and choose what I say on the assumption of what happened, and I could be completely off-base. Don’t hate me.
Oh, and stop giving fucks. And breathe.