There’s a fine line between being friendly and being flirtatious and unfortunately when you are single, that fine line is the difference between casual conversation and confusion.
I regretfully admit, I have been the cause of confusion before. I love to banter. I enjoy meeting someone who can appreciate my random and sometimes crazy sense of humor. Someone who can feed into my witty and often misunderstood sarcasm, it’s a unique trait to find. But because it is such a unique exchange, I have to be very careful not to cross the line between fun banter and flirtatious encounter.
It is really easy to get caught up in treating members of the opposite sex as potential suitors. As a single person, it’s sometimes difficult to fight the urge to see that as a possibility. But 1 Timothy 5:1 -2 instructs us to treat the opposite sex as brother’s and sister’s in Christ, with all purity. It’s important to be cautious with the hearts of others. It is our responsibility as single men and women, to guard our hearts and the hearts of those around us.
As we take the approach of guarding the hearts of others, here are a four questions we can ask ourselves as singles before flirting;
1. Am I in a place where I am available to date?
While chatting about a member of the opposite sex, a girlfriend of mine asked “Is he in a season of dating or singleness?” Before attending my current church, I had never heard this term before. If you are not married, aren’t you always in a season of dating? Well, the answer to that question is no. If you are healing or in recovery, you probably shouldn’t be dating while you are going through that. If you have a dependence on something other than the Lord, you probably need to surrender that addiction before you enter in to a relationship. Only you know how much time you’ll need but know that it’s okay to take that time to grow with God before entering into a new relationship.
2. Have I learned enough about this person to know I want to know more?
Physical attraction is great and it definitely creates “chemistry” between two people but that isn’t enough. While banter and flirtatious behavior can give you an indicator the other person is also interested, it’s important to learn a little more about them before moving forward. Keep in mind when you flirt with someone, it says “I am interested in you.”
3. Are my actions unique to this person or do I act this way with everyone?
If you are the type of person who is very affectionate or very friendly with everyone, it may be time to evaluate your actions. It may be the very thing that is keeping you single. When you do find someone you are interested in, your reputation will precede your interest and that person may not feel uniquely special if they know this is how you act with everyone. Remember, the opposite sex is observing you and seeing someone flirt with multiple people can turn them away.
4. What message do I want others to see?
There have been several times I have seen interactions between two people of the opposite sex and thought they were dating or thought they were interested in each other, but that wasn’t the case. As singles, we need to be aware that when we flirt with someone, other people see that. We need to think about what message we are sending to others. By flirting, you are saying you are interested in this person so when other members of the opposite sex see you acting that way, they assume your emotions are consumed by someone else. When people of the same sex see you flirting, they think that person is taken because of the way the two of you are interacting with each other.
It’s a great feeling to know someone is interested in you, it’s causes butterflies and feelings of joy but those butterflies and feelings of joy can quickly turn to confusion if we aren’t careful. As Christian singles, let’s continue to protect each other’s hearts and be diligent in choosing not to mislead one another.