Over the past weekend we decided that winter had been a bit cruel on each of us … and there is a desperate need to get back into tip-top physical shape. I have been a bit unhappy with myself of late, but this latest commitment seems to come with an element of sexual risk. He has designs on us getting back into the ‘swing’ of things a little more actively this fall.
As part of this, the subject of flirting has been fairly prominent these days. I also think that the nice weather brings out a bit more of our playful side, as we emerge completely from that Canadian hibernation mood. A while back I read this interesting article in a local newspaper about "flirting" and how men and women perceive it differently. Given how much time many of us spend on here "flirting" I wanted to share part of it with you all...
It's official: Men are oblivious when it comes to the dangers of flirts.
Social psychologists at McGill University have discovered that different beliefs between men and women about the power of flirting can hurt committed relationships.
Men simply do not see the same danger as women when a flirt strikes, says Prof. John Lydon, lead author of the flirting study. But there is an almost immediate negative impact on the relationship, researchers discovered in a series of experiments involving 724 heterosexual college students involved in serious relationships.
Lydon, a relationship expert, says the team studied flirting because they are surrounded by students as subjects. If they were studying people in their 40s, he says, they'd have looked at problems with in-laws or conflict resolution.
In one experiment, a meeting with an "available, attractive alternative" was closely followed by the discovery their partner had done something that irritated them, such as reveal an embarrassing detail to others. The men got angry. The women, however, became more loving and forgiving. According to Lydon, these young women recognized the danger presented by an attractive flirt and worked to shore up the committed relationship they already had. The men didn't have a clue what was going on, he says.
"One of the undergraduate males (in the study) asked, 'Does this mean men are pigs?' said Lydon, adding that it only means men are self-focused and "not making the connection."
Lydon says women are just more proactive at saving the relationship, using skills honed over centuries of being warned of the perils of flirtatious men.
"Women are just more likely to have guys coming on to them," he says, adding that this kicks in a defensive response, "Oh, I've got to watch out for the relationship."
Of course, my own thoughts are that this kind of study examines "risks" versus the "emotional excitement" of flirting with other people. For me, I love the idea, and honestly, feel completely at ease in my own relationship .. but mostly because (as you have read before) I talk to my husband. We put challenges out there for each of us as ways to fan the flame in our relationship, and experience the moment as a couple passionate about each other - and trusting. It's the secrets that cause the dangers!