What is flirting?
A male friend told me that men see it as a "conquest," that it has nothing to do with emotions.
I sincerely hope that he is wrong.
I think there are at least three types of flirting, and maybe more. One type is casual, with no real purpose other than to brighten someone's day by letting them know that you find them worth flirting with. My ex-father-in-law and ex-brother-in-law are experts at this form of flirting. They practice it with waitresses, store clerks, and even women they are related to. I don't think they put much thought into it, that it is something which comes naturally to them....they see a female, and instinctively turn on the charm. I have been accused of this type of flirting myself, although I generally don't even realize when I am doing it.
Another type is more purposeful. That is the type I think of when I define flirting. For me, flirting is the lighthearted wordplay and banter that goes on between a man and a woman who are interested in "testing the waters" with one another. This is the flirting that invites the other person to take the next step, to inititate a date and see if there really is any relationship potential there.
A third type is a form of foreplay, but this type is pretty much off-limits to me for now. If I ever remarry, I will get to enjoy this type again. It involves looks, whispers, touches, and other secret signals that a couple develop on their own as they become intimately involved with one another.
So where would my friend's view of flirting as a "conquest" fit into those types? Maybe, just possibly, it could fit into the purposeful flirting...the man "conquers" if he convinces the woman to go out with him. And I suppose it could fit into the third definition, in the sense that he "conquers" his wife when he finally gets her alone and all the hints become reality.
Either way, I would hope there is some emotion involved. Otherwise, when men flirt, they are leading women on and setting them up for a broken heart somewhere down the line. I would hope that most men wouldn't find any thrill in that type of victory.
So how do other men see flirting?