It Starts Out Innocently

It starts out innocently enough, doesn’t it? A coy smile here. A wink there. A couple of drinks out at the bar and a hug that’s kept going for just a second too long. No, this isn’t a Friday night date with that cutie from class. It’s your guy friend. We’ve all had those fun, flirty first date feelings: those butterflies-in-your-stomach, goose-bumpy feelings.

I’m talking about flirtationships–that tricky in-between stage when you regularly flirt with a guy friend but for one reason or another, you do nothing more than that. Flirtationships can be fun and silly, but they can also get awkward really fast (and potentially mean bad news for having a real relationship with that guy). So how do you navigate this tricky territory? This guide will give you the rules to live (and flirt) by. And with some advice from Julie Spira, best-selling author and the Cyber Dating Expert, and stories from real collegiettes, you can take charge of your flirtationship.

Spira breaks it down to the basics for us. “A flirtationship is that fun and flirty in-between place of being just friends and without claiming that you’re in a relationship,” Spira says. “More often than not, it does become a romantic relationship. It’s a friendship filled with flirting.”
“Hey, are you and so-and-so dating?” If you get this question a lot, along with raised eyebrows and winks from your mutual friends, chances are you’re in a flirtationship.

Flirtationships typically develop in one of two ways: they can grow into a romantic relationship or revert back to a friendship. Or (worst-case scenario) they can fall apart completely, leaving out the idea of a possible relationship and the friendship too awkward to fall back on.

Rachel from New York University says that her flirtationship with a longtime guy friend Hunter means having someone to depend on.