Online Flirtationships – Have Fun, But Understand It’s Still A Real Relationship

Online Flirtationships – Have Fun, But Understand It’s Still A Real Relationship

By Amanda Fox

“It’s different for girls.” It’s something that has been said over and over again for as long as anyone can remember. It’s true of relationships online as well. Online, women tend to bond and hold relationships with their close female friends that isĀ  different from those that men form with one another, and that is the flirtationship. If you look around, you’ll see them everywhere and for a lot of women, right now it is the “it thing” to have.

 

Flirtationships – this says it all

The manner the relationship generally evolves is the same as any other – meeting, getting to know each other and gradually building trust. There may be playful flirting here and there, but nothing too serious. At first at least. As more time passes, the flirtations increase. The time spent together online increases. All told, it’s often more time conversing with one another than some may spend actually talking to their offline spouse/partner or friends.

 

Before long, what exists is a real, solid relationship. Because you don’t meet face to face and you can say things without having to actually voice them, a lot gets said that normally wouldn’t. The pair reaches a point where they know so much about each other it may feel as if they’ve known each other years when it may actually be much less. The flirting escalates, but it’s fun and safe because that’s all it will ever be. It’s all fine and well, until it isn’t.

 

Women tend to be more open with their emotions and very faithful to their closest friends. Part of that for many women is being playfully flirtatious just like an offline couple. Except that online, it is sometimes heightened and someone starts falling for the other. Even if there is no real possibility for a traditional, real life, committed relationship, in many ways what they have online is as close to that as you can have. Some have even said it is the equivalent of the “lesbian relationship for non-lesbians.” Although, in some cases, one or both may actually be lesbian or bisexual.

 

And this why it’s so much fun!

The problem with flitationships is that sometimes, they grow, but not for each person. Sometimes one, or both members of the flirtationship, go back and forth between feeling simply flirty to romantic almost constantly. Add to that the times in which the flirtationship does grow mutually but there is nothing that can be done to act on it and you have a recipe for not only frustration, but some potentially painful emotions and even the loss of a friendship. We never think it will happen to us, but the odds are that if you enter a flirtationship, it will go south sooner or later if you don’t give it the proper respect. It doesn’t have to go bad though.

 

Signs your flirtationship is headed for trouble:

 

  1. You’ve become jealous of all other relationships your friend has. Be honest with yourself on this. If you get that empty, rotten feeling in your stomach when your friend tells you about their other relationships, you’re jealous.
  2. You dispense the best relationship advice you know how to when it’s requested, but after you do, you feel a little like you betrayed yourself. Guess what? You’ve fallen hard. It’s no longer just a flirtationship to you.
  3. You refuse to acknowledge that your relationship needs to be examined and discussed. You downplay your emotions to avoid having to face them head on.

In some cases, obsessive behavior may come into play as well as anger, irrational thought and pretty much all of the same signs you’d expect to see in an unhealthy offline relationship. Don’t fall into the trap of ignoring the signs just because the relationship is online – it is still a real bond you share with someone and it deserves the same respect.

 

This is a potential problem

What does it take to keep a flirtationship in check if you’re feeling something beyond flirty and fun?

 

  1. A reality check! Listen, what you have online is great and fun, but it’s online. Don’t let yourself start getting lost in “maybe” and “what if?”. Step back and realize where you both are in life and that fun online is not the same as real life that has real pressures. Also realize that just because you may be attracted to someone in a very real way doesn’t mean they feel the same. This is what they call “impossible love”. Yes, maybe one day, sexual orientations willing, you may have the potential for more, but do you want to hang all of your hopes and dreams on that?
  2. Take the time to lay your feelings on the line and make it known what you are feeling. Yeah, there is the possibility that doing this ends everything, but if you plan to keep this special friend around, you have to do it. Make it clear you understand that what you now have is the extent of where things will go, but you have developed feelings.
  3. Don’t be an asshole. Listen, because this is important. You can do everything to make sure that lines are respected in practice, but emotionally . . . Sometimes emotions just don’t give a damn. Don’t be an ass to someone because they don’t feel the same as you do or because you’re in an impossible situation where it just won’t work.
  4. Know when to say when. If you can’t keep things in check, know when it’s time to tone it down and then do it. It’s not many friends that can keep up a flirtationship online without hitting the wall. Rather than having a cash burn ending, refer to #3 and be decent about it.

 

There’s nothing wrong with a flirtationship, in fact, they can be quite healthy. It’s like a best friend turned up to 11. The key to it all is respecting boundaries and understanding that it is what it is. If you can’t do that, you need to consider stepping back and not engaging in a behavior that requires such a high level of emotional security. Have fun flirting up your girlfriends by all means, but understand there could be consequences associated to it.

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  1. Charisse says:

    Greetings!

    I’m a probationary writer of FEU Advocate and I am currently writing about flirtationship. In this matter, I’d like to ask if you are able to help me by answering some of my questions about it.

    Thank you in advance and more power!

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