The Awkward Nuances Of A Gay Man Flirting
Contributor’s Note: It has been a very long, trying day. Here’s an old entry. Enjoy!
Today I reflected on the very beginning of romantic relationships. Those baby steps when flirting is a key component to building upon communication and fostering understanding. These playful conversations allow learning more about each other. And while some view it as a sport I don’t view matters of the heart as games to become a gold medalist. When it comes to flirting most of the time I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing. When I talk about this with some of my friends, it’s hard for them to believe that I’m bashful and shy when I’m interested in a guy. I’ve always been very social and don’t have a hard time communicating my emotions on any topic, except love. And I apologize now as I feel this entry will be just an awkward rambling on the subject so bear with me and maybe you’ll have a good laugh (at my expense but everyone needs to laugh at themselves sometimes so go ahead).
By nature, I’m not a big flirt mainly because I sound so awkward trying to “woo” someone. Yeah I know we live in the digital technology age and we can get tips on anything and everything. GayLife.com even has a list of 10 things to do when trying to flirt with a guy, but I am sure I would mess that up too. And I am NOT knocking people who do that, it’s just not for me.
See when I flirt, I start these weird facial expressions that are practically involuntary while mumbling an incoherent language. One of my exes called the paramedics once because he thought I was having a seizure which made the facial expressions worse and I was so embarrassed I couldn’t speak. Of course that makes not only me look like a mess but also leaves the guy that I’m pursuing full of secondhand embarrassment. It’s even worse when I say something that wasn’t meant to be a play on words and there’s more mumbling and embarrassment with abstract facial expressions. None of this would happen if I had a baby sloth that was with me the entire time to avoid tension and keep awkward moments away because I think they’re magical and who doesn’t love sloths? No one, that’s who. I’m not shy I just have a strong fixation on not ever wanting to make someone feel uncomfortable especially if I phrase the one liner the wrong way.
My point (finally) is what are the limits to flirting? Do new romances always have to start with flirting? Well that can’t be true because that’s not how any of my previous relationships started. How far does one need to take it? Is it better to have the direct approach or a bag full of clever innuendos? And why do I make something that seems relatively easy to do so hard? Maybe I have this idea that it feels rushed because I’m constantly trying to think of witty things to say and it leads into me becoming a klutz. I’ve walked into glass panels, almost fell down a storm drain, and slid down a hill leaving my shoes on the sidewalk. Grace is not a strong suit of mine in matters of the heart.
I know that everyone experiences the butterflies in the stomach but my stomach seems to resemble the altoids with dr pepper experiment, knowing that soon enough that I’m going to completely embarrass myself. Guess I just like the direct approach. I like when a guy just flat out says ‘hey dude, I like you’ (swoon). Don’t get me wrong, wooing and clever/cunning jokes gets you extra points but just being honest from the beginning is so refreshing. And if you’ve crafted the flirting skill well I commend you and envy your stealthy ways of wooing. I just am unable to do so. I just feel like when it’s real, you use your heart to speak for you, not the most clever thing you can say.
Maybe it’s because I’ve had awful relationships where vague messages were half of the problems in the relationship which led to this examination of my awkwardness. I don’t want to rush romance but I definitely don’t want to waste time. Maybe that’s where my extraterrestrial-like gestures come from is because I’m not speaking from the heart when trying to flirt. It’s not organic or real.
This is in no way downplaying or diminishing how everyone else flirts or how they show romance. It’s just for me, I want to skip that until we get to know each other. That’s when my quick wit comes in full force. Maybe it’s because I’m a late bloomer and was only 5’4 until about sixteen years old and in one summer grew almost a foot. So there’s no big revelation to this discussion. I don’t have sage wisdom for the masses to take into practice, or by writing this that I’m providing some new undiscovered technique in the art of flirting. To me, when flirting comes naturally and from the heart, it’s easier, endearing, and incredibly hot. So there isn’t a time table of when to start, it’s about how you start. That’s all I got. Except for sloths. Sloths Rock.
Sofellow readers, is fliirting necessary or outdated?