The other day I found myself aimlessly scrolling down my Twitter feed like I always do. And like always there are one or two things that made me double take and scroll up. This time it was a picture with a definition of a made up word; FLIRTATIONSHIP. Below the word it said “More than a friendship, LESS than a relationship.” I asked one of my roommates if he knows what it is, and his response was; “If it is what I think it is, I’m in a couple of those.” No judgment please. So lets take this beautiful slice of cyberspace to explore this made up word that by happenstance seems to apply to a lot of people.
“Those don’t exist, either you are all the way or none of the way” said a friend of mine. Is this really true? Is it all or nothing? To keep it a buck, I doubt it. We are complex beings filled with too many feelings, emotions, and thoughts to even begin to count. You can’t tell me that you are friends with someone and never just flirt to see what happens, or fall victim to the dangerous “what if.” We can’t help but to fall victim to our inner Id every once in a while. You know, that natural instinct to kill and mate. Our Id is our inner most naturalistic survival instincts, literally to eat, sleep, and mate with others. I mean, not to be completely shallow, but we notice the aesthetically appealing first. It’s just how our brain works. In our society today most human beings can readily control their Ids but, sometimes we let our Ids control our actions disregarding future consequences.
So how does my tangent on the inner “Id” relate to this term of a Flirtationship? It’s the Id that drives both forces that cause this in between stage. Just as males have evident Ids so do females. Think about it, we have friendships right? These friendships are composed of a platonic feel between two people driven by similarities or differences that result in the enjoyment of each other’s company and ideas. Pretty accurate, but lets just assume I was just talking about two members of the same sex. Now, lets play the same situation over in our head but with a male and a female. Our higher levels of psyche such as the ego and super ego, tell us “Hey Manny, this can be your friend you don’t have to screw her, hell you cant she probably doesn’t event want to! So keep it cool.” But if we go into the mind of the girl sitting on the opposite side her super ego is saying “Don’t smile too much, don’t flirt with him. You cant screw him, its inappropriate you are just friends. God he’s cute but no. I can’t! Nope!” At the same time both or our inner ids are going; “Sex. Now.” So I think the Flirtationship is born out of a combination of our internal struggles with our psyche, social norms, and items that apply specifically to our individual lives.
We humans are unique in the sense that social norms and settings dictate a large portion of our lives. What stops us from walking around naked and just screwing everything that moves? Besides STD’s, it’s the notion that walking around naked is not ok as well as the stigmas and everything that goes into a sexual relationship. More often than not, a person today will tell you that they will have to know someone in order to have sex with them. But is that really true? Do you have to know them? At its purest state, sex does not rely on verbal communication, so why have to know them? When asking someone about a relationship we get a larger variety of answers, but again you have to know them. This person will tell you they will probably have to know them way more than how much they would have to know them then to just have sex. How does that make sense? We as humans impose much more weight and effort on a relationship (with or without sex), which is composed of sharing ideas and spending time together and working with each other. Why, if sex is much more raw and intimate? You literally have to take another human and interact bodily fluids and orifices enough to reach a pleasurable climax. Why is their more weight put on someone you hope to just talk to and share ideas with than someone you expose yourself completely to and do some good old fashion sinning? It is how it is because we value our hearts and minds more than our genitals. Why? Social norms and our psyche? Maybe our hearts and minds are more delicate in the grander scheme of things.
Lets not forget to mention the situation each person may be in! “Just got out of a long relationship.” “I’m emotionally unavailable” “I’m just trying to live and have fun.” “I don’t want to be tied down.” All of these serve as steps down a staircase leading to the denial that you like this person as more than a friend.
So is the Flirtationship a happy medium?
We want interactions with the opposite sex because they arouse and excite us. They feed our egos. They make us feel happy and worthy. BUT we dare not expose our emotions and true feeling about things. No no no. Those are too valuable, so we seek attention using our Ids, innocently half courting people around us. So lets go out on a limb here and try to draw a somewhat accurate image of a flirtationship. We have one male and one female. They know things about each other. Lets say pet peeves, sense of styles, certain attitudes about things. But they don’t really know the nitty-gritty, the near death experiences, or the skeletons in the closet. No, Jack and Jill don’t want to know about all that stuff. All they want is someone to receive and give half-assed attention to driven by the evident sexual attraction.
So how is it more than friends?
I say the evident, yet never fully pursued sexual attraction between the two. Two truly platonic friends wouldn’t display the sexual attraction so evidently to be consistently flirting. Well, in my opinion at least.
What if that feeling was combined with the desire to know more about the other person, the feeling that they want to share a life and help each other progress? What do you get then Watson?
A romantic relationship. Oh. How difficult to grasp.
Are things a little less hazy? They are for me even as I type these words. What is still hazy to me is how people stay happy being stuck in a sort of limbo that is a flirtationship. Is it still a flirtationship when the Id Express leaves the station, and the flirting isn’t enough? If finally the moment comes when both people say “Fuck It.” and give into the sexual attraction and get physical and the flirting turns to kissing and so forth. What are you then?
So how long does that last before someone checks their fishing net in the morning and they find that they have caught a whopping load of feelings? This occurs differently for everyone, but nonetheless inevitably. Deny me if you want. But you are wrong. Sorry bro. You can be as weird and sensitive as one of the Big Bang Theory characters or as care free as Hank Moody himself. They always sneak up on you. Those damn feelings.
Regardless, that’s my overexerted sentiments on this whole Flirtationship thing. Now what do you all think? Is it that cut and dry or is it harmfully flirting with the torrential line between friends and something more? Are YOU in a Flirtationship? (Respond via comments or twitter! @manny_crash)
Under- promising and over-delivering,