validate me

I had a little chat with my guy this weekend about my flirting habit and need for validation. I don’t think I am crossing any boundaries or acting inappropriately based on current stage of our relationship, but something I said clearly made my guy think twice.

I’m flirtatious and playful, and I’m that way with both girlfriends and guy friends… That’s not likely to change, and it’s not something I’d want to change about myself. Still, I probably shouldn’t have mentioned that amusing email exchange with Chi-guy — particularly not at the moment I brought it up. But it was funny! And I’m transparent like that. I don’t think anything of it — i.e. this sort of back-and-forth communication is not leading to any sort of activity. (As my readers know, Chi-guy didn’t make any moves when given the chance.) So it was no big deal to me.

My guy is more Southern, more traditional, more proper. His boundaries are clearly in a different place than mine and, frankly, that gives me great comfort. Still, I am capable of exclusivity — and I don’t think a harmless flirtation, via email no less, should bring my character into question.

But then, while at work today, I noticed my need for validation… In fact, I thought about shooting a note to the guy (formerly in the next cubicle) who used to give me attention. I realized, “Wow, I do have a heightened need for validation and attention right now.” So I got another cup of tea and went back to work.

Perhaps this need for validation is a result of where I am in my life – divorced, dating again, working hard to restore my feelings of attractiveness and self-confidence. Perhaps it’s a recent habit. Or perhaps I’ve been like this for years.

So I’m glad we had that chat. Because, while I have much firmer boundaries than I’ve had in the past and my sense of what’s appropriate is more in line with the cultural norms of surrounding adults, it’s good for me to be reminded to mind my behaviors. Not everyone is so generous in their perceptions of flirty women.

Still, this discussion about flirting with other men and my need for validation brings up a question:  Am I really ready for exclusivity? Can I allow this to progress naturally and, should things become more serious, reign in a flirtatiousness that seems so natural to me?

Here’s what I’ve come up with:  I like to flirt because it makes others feel as good as it makes me feel. When I’m at my best, I charm and put anyone at ease — a good skill to have. So I’ll be a flirt, more consciously, in its higher form…and I’ll learn to validate myself when I need that.

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About failedatforty


3 responses to “validate me

  • mysterycoach

    Oh boy 🙂 As someone (me) who is flirtatious, it’s simply a part of my nature. It’s tempered accordingly and I’m loyal to who I’m with. I love to kid around and I think we all like attention. Maybe the question is “what kind”? It’s nice to be liked and it’s nice when someone gives us attention and it’s just an honest compliment. It’s also nice to do what you’re saying where everyone feels good. I call that, outgoing.

    Maybe, you’re more outgoing and that’s not really a bad thing. Barring sitting on someone’s lap. LOL 🙂 To me, It’s really about “what” you’re saying and doing. I can do the same thing, charm and make people feel at ease and it’s never to disrespect the person I’m with in any way, it’s part of my nature.

    Depending on what type of flirting you’re talking about, be yourself. If you find you’re going over board, okay … temper it a little, but don’t stifle an outgoing nature.

  • btc

    oh the slippery slope between doing unto others as you would have done unto you(making concessions so that someone you care about is comfortable) and trying to become someone else so to appease a (potentially) controlling man. who reads your blog – waving hello to the potentially controlling man.

    I have noticed that many men are somewhat possessive by nature and it relates to their ego – they don’t want you out getting your love- and like-needs met by other guys. Would you want him having flirtatious email exchanges with other women? I wouldn’t.

    I believe that at this point in your new life, you are still fumbling around blindly trying to figure out where the lines are drawn and that you have no intention of crossing them. So when you sense that a wire is hot and an issue for your beau, then respect him and back away and cling a little closer to his side. Let the one you like a lot meet your needs for validation,

    If possessive becomes stifling or controlling, you will know. And if you ddon’t, I will tell you.

    • failedatforty

      Thank you for watching out for me, reader friend. He is mildly protective and quite proper, but not at all controlling — in fact, he is a great supporter of my self-expression. He won’t change my flirtatious nature…but I’m glad for cause to really examine my need for validation. It’s time to consciously address it.

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