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What's the line between playful banter and flirting?


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My boyfriend often flirts with girls, which I don't per say mind. It always carries a clear sexual undertone - taking a showers, breasts, being hot, talk about sex positions or act, fantasies etc... He does a lot of this at parties, bars or facebook/chat. The girl could be either single or taken.


I'm totally the opposite. I flirt with the most mundane topics, such as work. I'll bring the topic in a way to make the person laugh, or have a personal regard, or some type of emotion. I can actually feel connected to the other person during some of these moments and become a bit emotionally vulnerable I suppose. I swear I can sometimes feel chemistry when talking about mundane things somehow - and sex doesn't even come near the conversation. I can sometimes be playful or poke fun at the person or situation. The guy could be either single or taken. (Could also be female - though I won't feel the chemistry)


The bf will sometimes do #2, but I feel like he will use #1 when he can.


What I'm condering is, according to your opinion, when do you cross the line with scenario #1? Where do you cross the line with scenario #2?

Is there a difference in these types of flirting?

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IMO, it's all about what you two have set as boundaries in the relationship (that you two should determine through extensive conversation) and what you two expect from one another. Also IMO, the line is crossed when either one of you feels uncomfortable - and that's where agreeing and compatibility come into play. Nobody's "wrong" here when it comes to the boundaries of flirting, it's only about whether you two can agree.


You said it's something you "don't per say mind" - are you suggesting there are times when you do mind? Has it ever gotten uncomfortable for you? If so, have you talked to him about it?


For us, flirting in any way is a no-no with other people - and this took one conversation.

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I think anyone who is flirting in any way at all when they are in a relationship is fooling either themselves or there partner. I don't think there's any difference between any of the flirting you're describing. None of it is harmless when you're in a committed relationship. People will justify this behavior in a million ways but I don't buy any of it. It's simply never good for your relationship, so if your relationship is the priority, it has no place.

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I agree, this is a very subjective thing the two of you should talk about, assuming you're bringing this up because you are less than comfortable with his behavior. For me, some sexual flirting is okay if it doesn't include something of a proposition. Also, it depends on how long the sexual flirting continues. One over the line here and there is probably okay. Of course, there are huge gray areas. You mentioned a taking shower. If I responded "I'm trying to not paint that picture," it would be flirting, but fairly harmless. If I responded "why didn't you call me?" that would be pushing it, especially if similar flirting continued on. See what I mean? Too many quips about inclusive sexually explicit topics is my line in the sand.

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Flirting is just one of those gray areas which most couples don't have the same boundaries. I know that it's one of these items that you should have a conversation with your partner - but that's not exactly the type of answer I was looking for.


It's not that I'm uncomfortable or jealous, but I find scenario #1 somewhat tacky - especially if both parties are in a relationship (not with each other). I just feel awkard when I see it I suppose. Kind of like seeing a random naked grandma - it doesn't bring any negative emotions in me (I won't hate her or feel jealous), but I'd rather just not see it. I know I am fine with it, but I can't say whether the boyfriend of the girl which my boyfriend is flirting with will care or not. That's mostly what causes my unease.


I can't really say I find #2 uncomfortable as I do it myself and feel ok with it. I don't mind seeing my bf poke fun at others and making them laugh and vice versa. I was wondering how other people felt about it - especially on the receiving end.


For those who feel like #1 is disrespectful and you were on the receiving end, would you advise the person doing the flirting that you find it disrespectful? Or would you just ignore it? Or change the convo? Would you change your response according to if you were single or taken?


Same for #2?

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