Even as someone who doesn't find it the most natural thing in the world— I've always thought flirting with someone you don't know very well incredibly awkward and a little cringe-worthy — I know it's important. And once I know someone a bit better, I'm a huge fan of a good flirting session, even if I'm not particularly good at flirting.
Flirting doesn't stop becoming important once you know someone. Too many people think of flirting as a way of letting someone know you're interested in them — but it's really a lot more than that. "Couples who stop flirting are couples who stop anticipating," Certified Relationship Coach Chris Armstrong tells Bustle. "Things go blasé and what was once an unpredictable stroll is now an expected lull." You need to keep flirting like it's the beginning of your relationship.
It seems like a no-brainer, right? But a lot of people just don't flirt with their partner. "When we get to the comfortable, stable place of knowing we have 'secure' status with someone else, it's common to lose the playfulness that got you together in the first place," Amy Levine, sex coach and founder of Ignite Your Pleasure, tells Bustle.
And we've all seen it or been apart of it — those couples who have been together for six months and already act tense and joyless when they interact with each other. It's just too easy to let the flirty, fun side of things go by the wayside— but you really shouldn't.
Here are seven reasons you should flirt while you're in a relationship. But first, check out the latest episode of our Sex and Relationships podcast, I Want It That Way:
1. It's Good, Clean Fun
I mean, it's not like flirting is a chore, right? One of the reasons you should flirt is because it's just fun. If you need an injection of something silly or sexy into your relationship, a good flirt— whether in person or even through a text message — is a quick and easy way to put a smile on your and your partner's faces.
2. It Reminds You What You Love About Your Partner
You're with them for a reason, and just because you're settled in a relationship doesn't mean you should forget that. Having a good flirt reminds you of all the things you find sexy and desirable about them, which makes your relationship even stronger.
3. Anticipation Is Amazing For Your Sex life
Flirting, whether it's explicit or not, gets the mind thinking about sex. That slow build up and anticipation will make sex even better. So it has the double benefit of helping the emotional and sexual parts of your relationship— and even bridges the gap between the two. "Flirting keeps the playfulness and banter alive," Levine tells Bustle. "It keeps the energy flowing between two people so they are plugged in, making sex more 'electric' rather than feeling like a fuse blew and you're disconnected." And electric sex is definitely better sex.
4. It Rekindles The Spark
In the early days, there's so much flirting. It's a great bonding experience— you're both putting yourselves out there, and there's a weird mix of silly and sexy that comes with flirting. By flirting throughout the relationship, you can keep the spark alive.
5. It Helps With Ruts
If you're in a long-term relationship, ruts are bound to come up. You've known each other so long and had every type of sex there is, so it's easy to let the flame die when you're feeling tired or not in the mood. But you shouldn't panic, instead just know that flirting is a great way to help your way out of them. "Schedule date nights if you're not making the time to be together," says Levine. "And on those date nights, do something new together to recreate the curious and mysterious chemistry like when you first met."
6. You're Worth It
And I mean that in the most L'Oreal of ways. Flirting makes both of you feel good. It's reciprocal. So you get a reminder that you're attractive, sexy, and desirable. A little confidence boost from your partner is never a bad thing.
7. It Keeps You From Just Becoming Companions
If you're in a relationship long enough, it can feel like you're turning into best friends rather than significant others. No matter how much you love someone, or find them attractive, you have to make a concerted effort to keep the X factor up. While companionship is a great part of a relationship, it's not the only part. So keep the flirting— and the spark— alive.
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