I think that’s because flirting is considered a harmless way of testing the waters; of gauging how interested the woman is in you, without the time and expense of a formal courtship. Colloquially referred to as hitting on someone, flirting is generally harmless, yet quite a necessary skill if one aims to be anyone on the social circuit.
But any article on the subject will concede that flirting attempts to engage the attention of the lovely lady, and (this is as important) direct it towards you. Which is all fine and dandy if intentions are honourable on both sides and each is just looking to pass the time of day, but if you don’t know what you’re getting into, flirting might just jeopardise your other relationships. So let’s talk about when flirting could be risky or even downright dangerous.
Situation 1: You’re already in a serious relationship
No man can be attuned to the vagaries of two women’s minds without favouring one and letting the other exist on the sidelines of his attention. What’s worse is that when you have two women, you tend to compare the two, and then, even try to change certain qualities in each, or pick and choose, like you are at a ‘make your own sandwich’ salad bar.
We’re not superhuman. It’s impossible not to fall for a woman who seems even mildly interested in responding to your quips. IF you are in a serious relationship, don’t flirt with the same woman more than twice. Or do so knowing that your partner might just find out, and your relationship will never be the same again. You will get emotionally involved with the new girl, and you will end up hurting your partner. Ask yourself whether flirting is really worth this risks.
Situation 2: She’s married, or engaged to be married
Women aren’t as good as men at handling multiple relationships. What’s innocent flirting for you might just be something completely different for her. If she takes your amorous overtures seriously and calls off her wedding, or breaks off her engagement, she will be so much more difficult to get off your back when you tire of her. Moreover, your name might get implicated in the breakup, and you don’t want to fight the scorned man who used to be her husband/fiancé. Flirt with a married woman only if she seems happily married and will dismiss your come-ons as innocuous flattery. (Isn’t this the best kind of flirting, the real no-strings-attached kind?)
Situation 3: She and you are on different wavelengths
What if she’s just teasing while the you’re planning on taking it a step further? Women really don’t get the signal that a man’s looking for a more physical relationship; she might respond to your advances, even return your compliments, and not want to get down and dirty at all. For most women, flirting is a very bold step, one that requires much daring: progressing so far as to flirt back might be an accomplishment for her.
A man must be careful, especially if the woman is a co-worker. She might seem to be giving you the eye, but try to get closer and she might well cry sexual harassment, and then it will be both your job and your ego that’s put on the line.
Flirting with too many women can be serious, because as soon as you let one woman occupy your attention, you unconsciously behave differently with other women–you have to be sneaky, you must delete evidence of calls, texts, and WhatsApp messages, and some part of you resents this. You don’t want this game of hide and seek to enter your consciousness and make you an inherently suspicious person: suspicious of your paramours, and also raising suspicion in the female population at large.
At the end of the day, it’s the shy guy that wins all the votes, not the blatant flirt. That’s why Hrithik Roshan and John Abraham elicit such fervour among women…yes, because of their six packs, but also because they come across as genuinely nice guys. Flirting is a skill–-make sure your overtures seem complimentary to the woman and not just selfish and amorous!