Dr. Kim’s new book “14 Keys to Lasting Love: How to Have the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted” comes out on January 8, 2019. This book will change your marriage, and it will most certainly change you. Over the next few weeks, Dr. Kim will highlight some of the principles from the book in his weekly “Insights.”
Before marriage most of us knew how to flirt. It was part of the process. Flirting could cause a number of things to happen for us and the person who was the object of our flirtation. For me, flirting was affirmative when I received a response from the person I was flirting with. I flirted for the first time in second grade. The beginning of that school year brought a new girl to my class. She had blond hair, pigtails, and a killer smile. I was smitten. I had no idea what was going on with me, but I wanted desperately for her to notice me. At recess, we played a lot of different games, but tag was a regular. There she was at the first recess of her first day in her new school standing alone on the playground. This was my chance. I ran over to her and said, “Do you want to play tag?” She said, “Sure.” I tagged her, ran off, looked over my shoulder, and was ecstatic that she was running after me.
Flirting was easy. The tactics of flirting changed over the years as we outgrew playing tag. By sixth grade, flirting took the form of smiling at a girl or letting her catch you staring at her. For me, middle school brought new flirting challenges. The girls were changing. Actually, it wasn’t their physical changes that threw me. The attraction to girls was taking a turn that I did not expect. They had new ways to flirt and I didn’t know what to do with them. I took a flirting sabbatical so I could regroup.
Nancy came into my life midway through her freshman year at Texas Christian University. I thought I had my flirting game back in good order, but she threw me for a loop at first. I was so attracted to her but my flirting made me look really silly. It was like I was asking her to play tag with me. Fortunately for both of us, I recovered and was back on my game pretty quickly. Flirting was a huge part of our dating relationship. I loved the looks she would give me across a room and how she would let me get lost in her eyes and not turn away. We “studied” together in the school library and played footsie for hours. There was a spark between us, and we were getting really good at keeping it going. The ultimate flirt was the look she gave me on our wedding day as she came down the aisle, which was right before her dad stepped on her wedding veil, jerking her head back. The next look I received from her was a look that said “help me!”
Do you flirt with each other? If you do, keep it up. If you have let that part of your relationship die out, why not rekindle the fire? My dad’s parents were married over fifty years, and I remember them flirting as long as my granddad was alive. He always had this twinkle in his eye and it shone brighter around my grandma. There were the looks and the pats on her rear; he was very affectionate with her. She, on the other hand, was outwardly reserved and I never saw her initiate flirting, but it was the way she received and responded to his flirts that kept the fire lit in their marriage. I share their story because I think flirting should never stop. It adds to a marriage in a very special way. Sometimes our flirting is a simple word that takes us both back to a special time or event. It could be romantic, humorous, or both. It’s a connection point that most of the time only the two of us get. If you are thinking, “We have let this die and it’s something we need to build back into our marriage,” here are some ideas to get you going:
How did the two of you flirt when you were dating? What worked? Revisiting some of your flirting from the past is a great place to start.
Think of some past times that connected you in special ways and revisit them together. Maybe you develop a code word for each to bring back the connection memory in the future.
Together brainstorm new ways to flirt that fit the two of you today, then try them out!