Flirting, although enormously important in showing your romantic interest, has an effect on variety of aspects such as your own psychological wellbeing, your health and continued relationship development. As our flirting series continues, we’ll address how flirting plays an important part on these aspects of life, creating positivity and wellbeing.
Psychological Wellbeing & Health
Flirting is important for your health and psychological wellbeing. When you flirt, and it is reciprocated, it builds confidence and self-esteem, which, in turn, increases a sense of inner happiness. This allows you to combat stress and anxiety through the release of endorphins, a ‘feel good’ hormone which scientists have proven cases a ‘blissful’ state, helping you to feel an increased sense of energy and optimism as well as a feeling of elation and happiness.
Whilst flirting from a chemical and psychological point of view seems to have numerous benefits, flirting also has physical health benefits. Whilst flirting, your white blood count and immunoglobulin levels significantly increase. This improves your immunity to sickness and illnesses, reducing the likeliness that you will become unwell. It has also been linked to an increase of life expectancy.
Many people keep flirting for just the initial stage of a relationship. However, if you look at causes of relationship success, flirting is a positive predictor. As your relationship develops flirting can help re-light passions of lust, in a similar form as when you were both dating. If you feel the lust has gone, try just flirting for a month without leading on to any sexual encounters – this will help you remember the importance of flirting, and the importance of sexual tension between a couple in the bid to keep the passion alive.
By flirting with your partner, you are also showing them that you find them attractive. No one else, them. This, coupled with the release of feel good hormones (dopamine, serotonin and a pinch of adrenaline), make flirting feel addictive, boosting your relationship confidence and happiness of both you, and your partner, in your relationship.
This means that if you continue to flirt throughout your relationship not just when it starts, not only will it promote health benefits, but it can also ensure that your relationship will stand the test of time.
Flirting with Others
Although dubbed as harmless, flirting can also be a cause behind breaking down strong relationships leading to jealously, upset and heartbreak. But why, when we are in a happy long relationship, do we feel the need to flirt with other people?
As relationships progress and the ‘honeymoon period’ dies, flirting with others can become more appealing. Psychologists believe this to be down to humans being sensual beings who have an innate need for sexual awakening. When we converse with someone who is tantalising and interesting, our own sexual and sensual desires are reconfirmed to us, giving us a psychological boost. When we are then rewarded with a release of pheromones and dopamine (pleasure hormone), the positive reinforcement encourages us to continue to flirt.
Firstly it’s important to know that this boost can be obtained through flirting with your partner on a more significant level. Talking openly and deeply about joint sensuality with your partner will create a profound connection and boost you with the same release of chemicals as trivial flirting creates. However, if you are to flirt outside of the relationship, it’s important to understand what your partner sees as ‘acceptable flirting’ – speak about flirting to create boundaries, which you both work within. These boundaries create and element of security and allow an open dialog between a couple to understand what each other deem acceptable within the grounds of a relationship.
An open dialog about flirting with others allows for reassurance, rather than insecurity and eliminates the element of secrecy in flirting. This in turn creates an environment where both parties can feel comfortable and at ease.
Flirting therefore, has positive effects on health, psychological wellbeing and indeed on your current, and yet to be, relationships. However, flirting isn’t all “dopamine and serotonin” - our next blog in the flirting series will explore what happens when flirting goes wrong…