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Trying33 posted 8/15/2013 09:47 AM

Before the A, would you often find that other people identified you as "flirty"? Is being flirtatious and charming a character trait?

BS's, would you describe your WS as a "flirt"?

This is a boundary issue, I know, but I'm interested in personality traits and whether there's a correlation.

I can be flirtatious when I want to be. By nature, I'm friendly and people tend to comment on how "charming" I am.

OldCow18 posted 8/15/2013 10:34 AM

Yes, WH is very flirty. It's been an issue for me in the past, but since I trusted him (ha), I let it go. He had very inappropriate boundaries on FB, he would rather hang out with women than men, etc.

This is something we plan to discuss soon, new boundaries, but I fear that he will never understand the slippery slope that he continuously puts himself on by being this way.

Aubrie posted 8/15/2013 10:43 AM

Ok, I totally had to call QS and discuss this with him.

I think flirting is a tool not a personality trait.

Since childhood, I have heard a million times "Aubrie has such a cool personality. She's so outgoing. So friendly. So expressive. Doesn't meet a stranger. Great character." All my grade school report cards say that. Heard it all my life. Shoot, I still hear it. Heard it last night at the doctor's office.

As I got older, I realized that flirting tossed into the mix, would get me further in my wants and "needs". I would switch on that "vibe". I could turn it on or off, depending on the situation. I didn't flirt with women. And I didn't flirt with some men. Everyone else was fair game. Waiters, sales reps, customers, random men in the mall, the dude at Home Depot. I would adjust and engage my flirt-o-meter according to my "needs" at the time. (God that's sad eh?)

I'm still friendly. Still outgoing. Still a people person. But it's different from the flirt thing. BTW...now, the only person who gets the "vibe" or flirting from me is QS.

I don't need to flirt. I don't need to feel the spark. Because I'm ok with me. Who I am. What I am becoming. kwim? I fed off the attention from flirting. I relished the feelings when I sparked someone's attention with my "vibe". I don't need or even want that anymore. I'm not looking around for someone else with a hole in the bottom of their bucket too.

Some things I can change about me. Some I can't. I can't change, no matter how hard I try, the fact I'm not a morning person. I cannot change the fact that when I'm nervous, I shiver and my teeth chatter. I cannot change the fact I have highly addictive blood. All I can do is control my consumption. It's part of me. Part of who I am.

I made conscious efforts to flirt. I made conscious efforts to not flirt. It's not a trait. It's a tool. And when used incorrectly, has devastating effects.

ShockedErica11 posted 8/15/2013 11:10 AM

Flirtation, like sarcasm, is a second language, I'll admit. I flirt like a pro, but I always had a mantra to "use my powers for good, not evil"; "good" being getting discounts at tire places, getting out of tickets, work done on my car; things like that. "Evil" is flirting with the purpose to sexually attract and do the naughty. I don't really know if I got anything out of it though, like a sense of power or anything. I flirt with women or men, didn't matter which; I know I have a pretty face according to some, but then I also know that men respond to anything with a vagina and a moderately cute face. Maybe it was a power thing. I just knew how to turn it on and turn it off; especially in situations where I just didn't care about the person that I was flirting with. If I cared, then I was a giddy fool that got tongue-tied and nervous.

As for WH, he claims he doesn't know when he's flirting. Calls himself just being "friendly" and "nice"; but I call BS because he's frequently told me that he often tells women the things that they want to hear, which in essence gets him what he wants. I think he just tells himself certain things so as not to burst the "good guy" imagine he still wants to cling to. But yes, WH IS a flirt and has on at least one occassion described himself as "suave" and "charming" , but OF COURSE he's completely confused about what being a "flirt" is

silverhopes posted 8/15/2013 14:24 PM

Difficult topic for me. I don't know about flirtatious in that I didn't inject sexuality into conversations unless I were single and very much interested in the person I was talking to. But at the same time, I think "friendliness" was sending an open message to people, so somewhere in there I was conveying a lack of boundaries. It's a challenge for me because I want to be a "nice girl" to others and I've always had a problem with wanting to be liked by other people (because if other people liked me, then they weren't going to harm me, was my irrational fear). External validation, because I would find self-worth only if others liked me ("This means I'm not doing anything wrong, if they approve, so then I'm not being a bad guy. Then I'm being a good person."). Since my father told me he disapproved of my life decision to become a mother three years ago and said he would no be seeing me or meeting my son (up until the memorial service three days ago, actually), it really challenged me to let go of meeting others' expectations and let go of trying SO hard to be likable. It's been a good challenge and I've grown a lot (much further to go though). Anyway, where flirtatious comes in... Whether flirtatious or friendliness, it's important to still have a strong sense of boundaries. Right now it seems like respectful/polite and also somewhat detached is a good way of protecting boundaries without pissing a ton of people off needlessly. Where does the fear of pissing others off come from? Self-preservation. The experience in the past of pissing people off who then hurt me really bad, either physically or emotionally. But there's gotta be a line in there somewhere. You can't compromise your boundaries but at the same time gotta be safe. You don't have to be close to a dangerous person in order to be safe from them. And flirting tends to bring you closer to people in a specific context. If you're in a relationship, then any person within that context is "dangerous" and you want to stay away instead of get closer. So boundaries for the win. On my part, time to stop being afraid of being a *tch. If it means keeping my M, family, and self safe, then it's a good thing.

[This message edited by silverhopes at 2:27 PM, August 15th (Thursday)]

Completelybroken posted 8/15/2013 14:51 PM

Yep he has always been VERY flirty and touchy feely I ignored it bc it was "who he is". Stupid me

rachelc posted 8/15/2013 14:52 PM

Neither of us are flirty!

but do we put off a vulnerable vibe - yes...

JustDesserts posted 8/15/2013 16:01 PM

Aubrie, again, touches upon some of the "beneath the surface" components of a topic.

It's a tool. And when used incorrectly, has devastating effects.

My BS has always said my "strong silent type meets bad boy with wit and charm" was something her girlfriends commented on. And I have more clothes and shoes than most women, on top of that. At social events, I was always the guy holding court with the ladies, discussing bruschetta recipes, while the men with their beers gathered around the grill, or the large screen TV tuned to ESPN3. Whatever "tools" I had, I kept in my toolbox. Right up until the day I didn't. It thankfully wasn't with anyone in our social circles.

Now, my social world revolves around focusing any flirting on the only girl in the world who matters...my BS.

Since DDay there have been a few flirts received which I would have had to have been blind not to notice, and my strong silentness responded very strongly and very silently. Boundary patrol patrolling. I've had enough of devastating effects for, um, forever. They ain't fun. For me, or my BS.

Flirting is a slippery slope which ends in the ego kibble aisle at the supermarket of broken delusions. And maybe if I'd spent less time trying to be cool, I could actually have been cool. Whatever that is. Oh, yeah, being cool is being someone who doesn't need external validation from other broken souls in order to be...authentic.

I still wish I didn't care so much what other people thought of me, or spend so much energy trying to craft how I come across to the world. Working on that. I still like my shoes, though. Good topic.

JD

NoGoodUsername posted 8/15/2013 23:33 PM

JD, It's like you were standing in the next room listening to my BW and I talk for the last two hours.

Trying33 posted 8/16/2013 02:07 AM

Well, on many levels I agree flirting is a tool we pull out the bag to get what we want, but I also strongly believe a lot of people are flirty/friendly by nature.

My 4 year old daughter has a personality that draws people to her. The way she smiles and acts cute (because she is!), people swarm to her and she always gets a lot of attention. Now a 4 year old doesn't flirt but she has all the makings of it, I can see it. It's in her personality, she likes attention, she likes to be the one to sing happy birthday solo, she loves her ballet recitals. It's there. It's her nature. She likes to make people happy by her actions.

She's like her mother.

We are both Gemini's. I've always joked and put it down to my star sign. "haha, all Geminis' are flirty and creative, haha "

Being a natural flirt or a pull a tool out the box flirt, largely is irrelevant. Thing is most flirts enjoy making the OTHER person feel good too. Flirty people KNOW who will be receptive to their advances or eye fluttering and will act accordingly (consciously or unconsciously). I am very aware when it will work and when it won't but a lot of the time I enjoy it. It's fun and it's harmless...

until..

it gets out of hand. My initial texting back and forth with AP was absolutely harmless (or so I thought). I was enjoying the newness of a person in my life, the attention, the witty banter gave me an opportunity to showcase my intelligence, his instant responses and anticipation for what he had to say became more and more exciting.

I thought I was being friendly. I convinced myself it was only a bit of fun and an ego boost. I'd stop in a few days. I didn't.

It transpires that I was so obviously looking for some extramarital enjoyment and AP felt confident enough to pursue the relationship.

Was I flirting with him? Of course I was. I knew exactly what I was doing and I thought I had it under control. I wish.

When he initially added me to bbm I had no profile pic. We conversed sporadically. I wanted more interaction so I uploaded a photo of myself..

AP: "Wow, nice pic!"
Me: "Yeh, I thought I'd make myself apparent "

A natural born flirt knows what to say, when to say it and how to say it.

alphakitte posted 8/16/2013 08:37 AM

If being flirtatious is something that we can turn on, or turn off, then it isn't really a personality trait; it is a behavior. Anyone can learn to flirt, whether it be a four year old child watching their mother and imitating them, or somewhat later in life.

Up until I discovered my husband's adulteries I flirted some of the time. Not heavily, and only with people that stayed within certain boundaries and "didn't go there". Following my discoveries, and after much study of human behavior, and contemplation, I determined that flirtation is done primarily for external validation. Whether that external validation is derived from wanting to feel safe, or wanting to grease the wheels, or wanting to accomplish something, it is primarily to soothe one's self through an external means.

The urge to make someone else feel good still comes down to how doing that makes us feel about ourself.

Certainly, flirting is fun. It isn't harmless. It insinuates something about ourselves and in turn reflects back something about the person that responds to it. It tends to bring weak to weak.

Whether a person is an introvert, or an extravert, flirting is learned behavior.

wifeno2 posted 8/16/2013 10:44 AM

Yes, WH is a flirt. I don't know if he realizes when he is doing it-if I call him on it he denies it. But it's clear that he is doing it. It is also clear that he doesn't do it with everyone. And I have also noticed that if he does decide to flirt if the person doesn't reciprocate he will ignore/move on. (Last night this included an adorable baby. Who liked women not men and was giving me the cute baby grins instead of him.)

I have heard him describe all of the OW as "flirtatious."

Flirting tests boundaries. It can open doors. It can sometimes be harmless but is also a seemingly safe way to initiate unsafe behaviors. It lends itself to the later excuse of "it just happened."

Trying33 posted 8/16/2013 10:45 AM

Whether a person is an introvert, or an extravert, flirting is learned behavior.

Good point. We learn it from somewhere. Some though have a natural lean towards it and are "good" at it.

I guess what the real question should be is, is there a correlation between being an extravert and a wayward?

From reading this site, it would appear there's no real apparent trend in this regard, as many people can move up and down the spectrum of introvert and extrovert depending on the context, but it's an interesting topic.

Steppenwolf posted 8/16/2013 11:23 AM

I agree with Aubrie. I mostly used flirting as a tool to get that ego stroke that dampened my insecurity. Same thing with trying to be the funny guy in the room or the life of the party. It all comes back to insecurity with me.
Like a dog that shoves his head under your hand to get a pet when you're ignoring him.
I try not to seek attention anymore. Trying to deconstruct that person.

StillStanding1 posted 8/16/2013 11:27 AM

Very interesting topic! My WH is definitely an extrovert and thrives on validation and attention. Add to that his primary love language is "Words of Affirmation". No real surprise then when our M was gradually sliding while his career was thriving, that he ended up with someone who could fawn over his enthusiastic and engaging personality. No doubt he loved the attention from someone who only saw his good traits and mirrored them back to him. She wasn't frustrated with being ignored at home with all the day-to-day activities.

I agree there's a line between gregarious extrovert and a flirt, but it certainly is an easy one to cross. And he did.

JanaGreen posted 8/16/2013 11:39 AM

Hmmm . . . sometimes? He can be somewhat flirtatious in certain situations. Or - rather, he can be somewhat overly familiar. That's a better way to say it. Because I've noticed he will often act very similarly toward men and women. However, I think when he acts that way with women, it is more likely to be interpreted differently by the woman, and it changes the way she engages with him. Does that make sense? I don't know if it does.

Adding alcohol into the mix changes everything. He is very flirtatious when drinking.

BeyondBreaking posted 8/16/2013 11:44 AM

My WS is not generally flirty. Meaning he does not approach women, and strike up conversations with them, and he certainly doesn't touch anyone...especially after he cheated and our boundaries.

BUT he is oblivious. If a woman comes up and strikes up a conversation with him and acts flirtatious towards him...he (used to) participate. His excuse was that he did not notice- but I know him better than that.

NOW, he goes out of his way to avoid other women just in general because of the very conservative boundaries in our relationship. If someone is flirty with him, his response is to hold my hand, and look for an exit immediately.

HardenMyHeart posted 8/16/2013 12:39 PM

BH here.

I'm much more "flirty" than my FWW.

I firmly believe a WS choice to have an affair has much more to do with the strength of their personal boundaries, rather than a certain type of personality.

LA44 posted 8/16/2013 12:44 PM

BS here. I was told time and again as a teen/young woman that I was a flirt. I stopped doing that when I met my H.

My H...hmmm, I see him engaging others....perhaps if he recalls something about a member of the opposite sex they feel flattered and that is usually when I get told how "lucky" I am.

I do see him engage men in the same way. Being curious, friendly. There is no sexual element to his flirtations that I have seen since DDay.

If a woman does say something with a sexual connotation he totally backs off.

Alyssamd24 posted 8/17/2013 18:32 PM

This is a hard question to answer. Before my A I was not at all flirty; I had no friendships with men other than my BH and the conversations I did have with other men were always appropriate. Until things started up with my AP.

The strange thing is before the A started I had known AP for a while....his son is 2 1/2 now and has been in my class since he was 15 months...my AP had always been there but I never flirted with him or gave him a second thought until he initiated conversation...one day at drop of he mentioned to me that he had seen me on FB...for some reason that one sentence sparked something in me.

After that conversation I went home and tried to find him on FB and a week later sent him a friend request, and then saw three messages he had sent me on fb initiating conversation. It still blows my mind that things then escelated as quickly as they did.

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