Monday, October 18, 2010

A random thought about dating in the church

So much I could say.  So much I could overshare.  So many specks of dust I could pick at while ignoring the plank sticking out of my eye socket.  So I'll highlight one particular plank and let you draw your own conclusions.

In my experience, women in the church, especially those of us who grew up there, are not very good at flirting.  We are often described as cold and unapproachable.  It's not because we ARE cold, it's because the idea of being flirtatious seems taboo.  Of course, for the most part we don't want to be labeled a flirt.  But given our rep, we seem to be drawing the line WAY too conservatively.

I have a dry and sarcastic wit.  When I'm comfortable, I'm funny and can tease.  At church, I often work behind the coffee counter keeping cream and sugar filled while greeting people as they arrive.  Sometimes I'm more "on" than others.  Sometimes I worry that some funny witty convo might be seen as flirting.  Especially when I'm taking to a new male only to have his wife suddenly appear and snuggle up to him.  Mostly I'm just doing my job.  Sometimes I'll admit I'm trying to get a look at that ring finger.  (It would be SOOOO much easier if wedding rings were worn in the nose or eyebrow.  Not that I'm a fan of that look, but still.)

What is flirting really?  How is it different from being warm and caring/funny?  If you accidentally flirt with a married man do you need to repent?  CAN you accidentally flirt?  Is it simply a specific set of outward actions or is it defined in it's motive?

Another plank in my eye: I over-analyze anything and everything.


  1. Flirting on a sunday morning or other church service might not be a good idea because that's not why you're there. But say you meet a nice single guy on a sunday morning who shows interest and let's say you meet out for coffee later, it would be ok to flirt a long as you know where to set the limit. It's about context. Not flirting at all is not good, guys like girls who flirt, but again, in the right context with good taste, if you over do it it's also bad. That's my 2 cents.

  2. And therein lies my deeper question. How in the world did they end up on a coffee date if no one did any flirting? Did the guy ask her out without any indication that she would accept? Did she indicate without flirting that she'd be open to being asked how? If so, how did she do that?

  3. Believe it or not I have been accused of being a flirt in the last few years! I didn't mean to be flirting, I was just being friendly. Other people, upon hearing me being accused of being a flirt, came to my defense and said I had just learned to loosen up and relax. They said it was "refreshing" to see me enjoying life. I think friendliness is often mistaken for flirting because many don't know how to be friendly anymore.

  4. (and because all good blogs need disclaimers, I never intend to use my coffee serving time to pick-up boys)

  5. Love your blog, Elizabeth! As a former homeschooler myself, I can attest to our need to relax a bit when it comes to being friendly with guys. I was so uptight and paranoid about it for years- lol. :) I think being friendly is a good thing, and it's not false advertising if you are single/available and you're friendly with a single guy at the coffee table! :) Oh- and I totally agree about the ring in the nose or eyebrow- obvious placement of a ring would help during the single years!!!

  6. I agree with you and Anna. That's a tough spot, you do great at hospitality! The tough part is letting go of the thought.. "did they think I was flirting?" Just be yourself. You know your heart and your intent.
    I also feel that there is no harm in "throwing him a bone" as a good friend of mine called it. Step out a bit and invite him to something that you are involved in. Make a point to say hello and introduce him to others you know. I admitedly flirted A LOT with Erik. However, I don't think it was over the top or inappropriate, I was simply expressing my interest. However, growing up in a conservative church and family, this was a tough place for me to get to. Anyway, I'm pro for flirting! ;)

  7. Maybe there are more than one ways to flirt. I think for a girl, being as feminine as she could be is the safest one. If she gives a guy 5 min of undivided attention, it'll let him know it's time for a move, ask her on a coffee date or something. When I met my wife, she gave me about 15 min of undivided attention and it drove me nuts, I asked for her email and the rest is history.


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