Friendship and love have different shades, and there are different types: the flirtationship is a middle ground where you’re not quite friends but not lovers either…

Flirtationship: Different definitions

There is no literal translation for “flirtationship”; it’s a contemporary concept, and wherever you look, you’ll find a different definition of what this type of situation really is…

  • Is it the relationship you get when you flirt with someone? No.
  • Is it the situation when you’re flirting with the person you’re in a relationship with? No.
  • Is it when you flirt playfully with a friend repeatedly? No.

Essentially, it’s about two friends who like each other in a special way, using their best tactics to woo and flirt with each other, but they never actually become a couple and never will.

It’s as if the relationship is stuck in a phase and always stays at the same point. Usually, people don’t consciously decide to live in a flirtationship; it happens spontaneously without prior planning.

Flirtationship: Why do the two people involved not want to go further?

  • One of the two is not ready to take the leap:
    One of them fears ruining a friendship because, naturally, crossing that boundary with a friend would mean taking a path of no return and having to face the consequences, namely the end of the friendly relationship. 

    But it could also be (more simply) that one of the two people involved does not want to commit to a relationship, leading to inevitable suffering for the one who wants something more.
  • Relationships that can only exist if they do NOT go beyond friendship:
    If we consider a relationship between two friends that has been going on for years, it is expected that there is a good understanding of each other. This means that one of them already knows in advance that a romantic and stable relationship with the friend would not work and that it would be foolish to try to ruin the friendship by turning it into something that would never have a future.
  • One of the two is already in a stable relationship:
    If one of the two friends (or both) is already in a committed relationship, respect for the external relationship will not be willingly compromised. Nonetheless, they will continue to live in a flirtationship to not deny each other the fun and excitement with their friend.

Flirtationship: What are the signs to recognize it?

  • They have fun together (almost always)
  • They give each other affectionate and funny nicknames (which are even saved as new contact names on their phones)
  • They often exchange sweet messages
  • They always share their daily lives: coffee, lunches, and dinners
  • They tease each other and play pranks (always in a sweet way)
  • There isn’t much physical contact beyond hugs (which are often very prolonged)
  • They often tend to be suggestive in their conversations (without ever directly declaring their feelings)

It’s not friendship, but it’s not love either. We can say that… it’s a complicated relationship, especially when trying to define it.

(If you’re experiencing something similar, you’ll agree that you often struggle to explain to your friends what kind of relationship you have with him. This is already a sign that you’re living a flirtationship).

Flirtationship: The benefits and drawbacks it brings along

Living in a flirtationship can bring with it benefits and advantages, including:

  • Being able to experience a much more “open” and understanding friendly relationship than usual.
  • Discovering better, through this situation, what you want or will want from a relationship (whether it’s friendship or love).
  • Being able to live a period as a single, but with the right “emotional attention” from someone you know.

But it can also have more drastic consequences, such as:

  • Compromising your friendship with the other person.
  • Experiencing constant inner conflict without feeling free or attached to the other person.
  • Suffering if your feelings lean towards a stable love relationship that is not reciprocated in the same way by the other person.

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