While catching up on some reading during vacation recently (and by reading, we mean tackling the big pile of magazines that was growing on the nightstand) one of us came across Glamour’s word of the month: flirtationship. Defined as “the affectionate back-and-forth rapport you have with your ‘I swear he’s just a friend’ guy,” most of us have at least one guy (or girl, if that’s your thing) who we have a flirtationship with. It’s more than a friendship, but less than a relationship. It’s pretty much a friends with benefits situation, with flirting and hanging out taking place of hooking up. Since most of us are in a flirtationship with someone, it must be all upside, right? Maybe not. Having a “flirty friend” actually does come with both pros and cons.
Pro: It’s a great opportunity to practice your flirting skills.
As we said in our piece on always saying yes to a first date, most of us are pretty awkward when it comes to dating. A flirtationship gives you the opportunity to practice all your flirting skills on a willing participant.
Con: It can get too comfortable.
While practice does make perfect, practicing with the same person over and over again can get too comfortable and actually make it harder when you need to go out into the dating world and flirt with other people. It’s sort of like practicing fire drills–everyone knows what to do during the drill, but if there was an actual fire, all hell would break loose.
Pro: You always have a date when you need one.
Many of us who are single struggle with events we get invited to where it’s appropriate to bring a date: company holiday parties, weddings. Having a flirty friend you’re close enough to who you can take to such events eases the pain.
Con: You could be missing opportunities.
All the places you bring your flirty friend as your date are also places where you could possibly meet someone with relationship potential. Odds are, it won’t happen if you’re there with a date. So as much as it’s great to have someone to bring with you to your cousin’s wedding, remember that having even a platonic date by your side means an opportunity could pass you by.
Pro: It’s nothing sexual.
Flirtationships should be sex-free. Otherwise, they would be called friends with benefits. A flirtationship provides many of the benefits of a relationship without the complications sex can bring into the situation.
Con: It’s nothing sexual.
So no one is getting laid. ‘Nough said.
Pro: There is no drama.
If you are doing it right, a flirtationship should be drama free. Since you are “just” flirty friends, each of you is free to do whatever you want with whomever you want without the other party getting jealous.
Con: It will end.
Unfortunately, like all good things, eventually a flirtationship will end. One of two things typically happens: much like a friends with benefits scenario, it can either evolve into a romantic relationship or revert back to a “regular” friendship. Or, in the worst case scenario, it can completely fall apart, with the idea of a possible relationship off the table and the “regular” friendship now being too awkward. While a flirtationship may not involve the messy breakup a relationship might, the ending can be just as uncomfortable.