How to Tell If Your Flirtationship is Headed Nowhere

Flirtationships are meant to be enjoyed up until it’s time to end it or to step it up to a full-blown relationship. Which path is yours headed?

flirtationship going nowhere

What is a flirtationship?

A flirtationship is when two people, friends or otherwise, decide to flirt with each other without expecting it to turn into something more. You don’t kiss. You don’t have sex. You don’t date. You just flirt.

Flirtationships happen at school, work, parties, gatherings – anywhere that has a group of people engaged in any activity that does not involve having to be on a date. You can flirt by complimenting each other, making sexy jokes or just by fooling around without having to take your clothes off. You can even do this through texts, emails or social media comments.

All in all, it’s pretty safe and gratuitous. There’s no pressure. Most of your friends will end up teasing you, but they won’t even try to set you up, because you’re already flirting. Flirting is just something that people do to pass the time or test the waters on whether or not they are ready to be in a relationship – and it does not necessarily mean that it’s with the one they’re in a flirtationship with. [Read: Everything you need to know about flirtationships]

To flirt or not to flirt?

There are many reasons why people will choose to be in a flirtationship, but most of those reasons are something that only one of the two people involved can control. One of you could be in a relationship, you rarely see each other, you live in different cities or maybe one of you is not ready. Any valid reason not to be in a relationship counts as a reason to be in a flirtationship.

Being in a flirtationship can give you enough time to decide what you really want out of the person you like. You can choose to pursue an actual relationship, content yourself with your current situation or forget about it and never look back.

It seems easy from an outsider’s point of view, but being involved in a flirtationship means that you are already emotionally vulnerable. Just because it seems harmless, it does not guarantee that one of you won’t fall for the other. When this happens, you need to start reconsidering your position. Do you want something more? Or do you just want to let it go?

Signs your flirtationship has fizzled out

Flirtationships don’t last forever. They can last for years and never move forward, but it never goes beyond that. People will either develop feelings for their flirt buddy or they won’t. Here are the signs that your flirtationship is headed nowhere:

#1 He still hasn’t asked you out on a DATE. The one thing that sets a flirtationship apart from other types of pseudo-relationships like affairs, friends-with-benefits, etc. is that no one ever goes out on a flirtationship date. When your partner continues to flirt with you, but never really attempts to officially ask you out, that’s as good as it will ever get. [Read: 9 ways to get him to ask you out]

#2 He has flirtationships with other people. Flirtationships are non-exclusive. Once someone starts flirting with you and you flirt back, it’s already considered a flirtationship. If you notice that your partner is being too flirty with his other “friends,” it probably means that your flirtationship is nothing special, and probably won’t be in the future. [Read: 15 obvious signs of flirting between two people]

#3 You can’t bring yourself to ask, “Where is this going?” There is no good way to DTR or define-the-relationship when you’re in a flirtationship. You have no tangible factors to draw from like sex, admissions of feelings or any other forms of intimacy and affection. You were just flirting. You can’t exactly upgrade to a relationship from something as trivial as that. So, how can you move forward if you can’t even bring up the subject of where your little “thing” is headed? [Read: 6 tips for talking about defining the relationship]

#4 When you do ask, they “don’t know.” That’s because they know exactly where they stand and can’t deal with something that hasn’t seriously crossed their minds. If you want a relationship, you need to ask for it. But first, you have to consider whether your flirt buddy feels the same way.

#5 You start getting frustrated by the situation. One of the biggest red flags to consider in a flirtationship is being frustrated that you don’t have more. This means that the temporary high of your flirtations has now reached its peak and is spiraling downward, taking you with it. You need to stop, re-evaluate your situation and find out what you really want, before you overreact to something that isn’t a big deal to the other person.

#6 Nothing you do or say can change the situation. Even if you do put the idea of a relationship on the table, there is a big chance that the person you’re flirting with will reject the idea. When this happens, you need to accept it and move on. You can’t push someone to do something that they don’t want – that definitely includes turning a flirtationship into a relationship. [Read: 10 signs it’s time for the relationship talk]

#7 You’re tired. Being in a flirtationship is fun at first, but there will come a day when you get sick and tired of not being able to progress with your feelings. All the smiley faces and compliments cannot make up for the fact that you can’t say “I love you” or go on a date.

Flirtationships are simple. Love is complex and needs to be explored on a deeper level. If you’re finally ready for that, then I suggest you dispose of your flirtationship immediately.

How do you end a flirtationship?

Ending a flirtationship is very different from breaking up with someone you are in a relationship with. You don’t need to explain yourself. You can just stop doing it and no one will hold it against you. But when do you decide to stop?

You stop being in a flirtationship when all the signs listed above start to become more substantial and obvious. You can’t stay in a flirtationship because the only benefit you get is a temporary escape from the reality that is your single life. You may be flirting with a friend, but his feelings for you cannot be validated, unless you both start to contemplate moving your flirtationship forward.

If that doesn’t happen, you need to end it. How? Here are a few tips:

#1 STOP FLIRTING BACK. Lessen the emojis. Stop acting like a sorta-girlfriend. Start treating your friend like a friend.

#2 Casually tell him you plan on getting serious with the next guy you like. If that’s not an obvious sign to step back, I don’t know what is.

#3 Lay everything out in the open. Try being honest. You never know. He might just need a jumpstart to realize that a relationship with you might be better than a flirtationship that will end in nothing.

[Read: The crucial guide for surviving the hookup culture]

Now that you know what makes and breaks a flirtationship, you can decide whether it’s time for you to step back and find something meaningful with someone who cares for you. A flirtationship might be fun, but sometimes a girl just needs someone who is willing to do more than flirt with her.

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Danielle Anne
Those who can’t do, teach. I can neither do nor teach as well as others, but I can try. Aside from being a writer, I am also a physical therapist. My dream is...
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