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Dealing with flirtatious behavior

  1. Dec 2, 2011 #1

    Dembadon

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    A girl has been flirting with me to the point that I think it might be time for a confrontation. Since I've never been one to pickup on the subtleties of flirting (much to the dismay of my wife :redface:), I decided to tell her about some of the things this girl does that I'm assuming aren't normal forms of interaction for two people who don't really know each other. After hearing the list, my wife believes she is flirting and showing interest, but that it is sometimes hard to be sure. She said some people are just overly friendly and touchy-feely.

    This girl knows I'm married (I talk about my wife a lot in conversations and am always wearing my ring), but I find it odd that she quickly tries to change the subject whenever I mention our relationship. She does not show interest in getting to know what kind of person my wife is, which was the first thing that made me a bit wary. I also find it to be rude that she does not show any interest in getting to know the most important person in my life.

    I'm not sure how to move forward. I don't want to confront someone who's just overly outgoing and nice, but I also do not want to give the impression that if she's flirting, I find it acceptable.

    I really suck at this; is there any sure-fire way to know one way or the other? I have no problems with a confrontation, but only if the evidence warrants one. If I were to talk to her about it, this is exactly what I'd say, "I don't like how you ignore my wife in our conversations." Is this too presumptuous or overly rude? I used to not care about these things, but not caring about my delivery has gotten me into unnecessary situations before, so I'm asking about how to be more tactful.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2011
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  3. Dec 2, 2011 #2

    Evo

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    Can you give examples of what she does and says, and the context of the conversation? We'd need that before we can give an opinion.
     
  4. Dec 2, 2011 #3
    I'm with Evo on this one. This seems like a bit of touchy situation, is she a co-worker? It would be helpful to know a little bit more of the specifics.
     
  5. Dec 2, 2011 #4

    rhody

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    One way to be sure is that the next time she dismisses you discussing your wife, tell her about the most wonderful touching thing that your wife has done for you and how much you admire and respect her for it. It doesn't have to be anything intimate, just something that demonstrates your loyalty and respect for her.

    This may result in one of the following:

    She may open up and reveal that she has deeper feelings.

    She will realize how much you value your relationship with your wife, and if she wants to continue a relationship with you, will back off.

    Either way, hopefully, you will know.

    Rhody...
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2011
  6. Dec 2, 2011 #5

    S_Happens

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    Bah, there's no reason to tip-toe around and try to figure it out, but I'm a very direct person.

    I think using the word "confront" puts a negative context on it. You could simply ask, stating exactly what you said, that you're unsure of the situation and wouldn't be comfortable if she is indeed being flirtatious. Why should you have to allow it if you don't find it acceptable?

    There are a few outcomes, but it's certainly possible that she'll be offended that you're "accusing" her of something, whether it's true or not. Or she may apologize and assure you that it's not what she meant, or never talk to you again. Personally I wouldn't be concerned with the outcome. If other people don't like it, too bad.

    The fun is in not knowing the outcome. :D

    I've always had problems with female coworkers being flirtatious, but I always make the line very clear up front. Talking about your wife (in a positive way) is usually very effective. If she changes the subject, just bring her back up again. Or you could always interrupt her saying that you need to call your wife. That should definitely show her where she stands.
     
  7. Dec 2, 2011 #6
    It's my experience that there are some people who flirt with anyone who seems disinterested. They need to feel everyone around is attracted to them. You may simply represent a challenge to this girl: you don't throw out the indicators that you think she's attractive that she usually gets from most men, married or not.

    It's a possibility this is what is going on. You'll have to cogitate on it yourself, because you're the only one who really knows all the details. I guess the best strategy would be to observe how much subtle flirtation goes on between her and the other guys around, if any.
     
  8. Dec 2, 2011 #7

    Dembadon

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    Thanks for the replies, everyone.

    She goes to the same university and is in one of my classes.

    Here are some things my wife thought were flirtatious:

    - She plays with her hair in a very seductive way, not like it's a habit

    - She stares at me a lot. I'm often finding that when I look in her direction, she's been staring at me. She'll usually smile when discovered.

    - She completely blows off her responsibilities when she has my attention. Just one example: The other day she was supposed to have a meeting with her group from her marketing class. They walked up to her asking if she was going to come over to the table and discuss the project, and she told them she'd "be over there in a bit." I asked why she wasn't going to work with her group, because it looked like they were waiting for her, and she provided a pretty lame excuse. My bullish*t meter was red-lining.

    - She has made remarks about my looks in indirect ways. One example: "Most math people I know are pretty nerdy looking." How the hell do I even respond to that? I asked her to be more precise and she never really answered the question. I had better things to worry about so I just dropped it.

    - She talks about how much she likes math, and how she almost chose it as a major, but ended up going with marketing instead. :confused: She isn't a very good liar, and I have an excellent BS radar. I don't understand why she constantly feels the need to tell me how smart she is, because I certainly don't buy the fact that she likes math as much as she says she does.

    - She compliments me a lot. Her comments aren't sexual or suggestive, but she does it often enough that it seems abnormal.

    I speak very fondly of my wife with her. If she hasn't gotten the fact that I'm happily married by now, I'm not sure what else I can do to communicate this to her.

    I'm a direct person as well. I just don't want to look like an idiot by making an assumption without getting the opinion of others.

    That's something I hadn't thought of. Thanks, zoob. I'll try and notice how she behaves with other males.
     
  9. Dec 5, 2011 #8
    Dembadon
    Why don't you just cut to the chase since you seem very intrigued, annoyed or whatever with what is going on between her and you. You seem to want some sort of relationship with her be it only friendship.

    Rather than being the passive individual here, be the aggressor.
    I do not mean that you are to be aggressive, confrontational, or insulting.

    The next time she compliments you, respond with a thank you, and point blank ask her if she is flirting with you in a half humourous and non accussatory tone of voice. Irregardless of her answer, next just say you have to go and will see her in class next time and leave, Do not stand around discussing anything else.

    Next time you see her, and she flips her hair, say that she is fllirting with you again, give her the stare look, and talk about other stuff.

    She either stops the behavior, or not, but just please ignore it, or keep reminding her, if you want to have a friendship.

    There is nothing worse than a putdown from someone that you like, and apparently she finds something to like about you.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2011
  10. Dec 5, 2011 #9
    I think that's a decent idea.
     
  11. Dec 5, 2011 #10

    turbo

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    Some women *have* to flirt. That's the way it is. They are like dogs chasing cars, and if they catch you, the result will be the same (huh!? Now what?).
     
  12. Dec 5, 2011 #11

    Dembadon

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    I confronted her today about it. I tried to be objective and unassuming, but she still got very embarrassed and left without saying anything. I'm not too concerned about it because I'm almost positive I wasn't insulting. I just told her how her behavior makes me feel.

    Thanks for the input, everyone. :smile:
     
  13. Dec 5, 2011 #12

    Office_Shredder

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    Pictures or it didn't happen
     
  14. Dec 5, 2011 #13

    Dembadon

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    If you can get into the library's security camera system at my university, then I'm sure you'll be able to find it.
     
  15. Dec 5, 2011 #14

    rhody

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    Parsing important words: in blue above

    Probable outcome: she will text you in a day or two to apologize, never speak to you again, move on to the next victim, talk to you, apologize, and stop being a flirt

    My prediction: move-on.org (pun intended)

    Rhody...
     
  16. Dec 5, 2011 #15

    Dembadon

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    I don't give out my phone number unless I absolutely have to; I give my email instead.

    That said, I wouldn't mind being friends with her as long as she respects my marriage.
     
  17. Dec 5, 2011 #16
    I couldn't see anything that raised the need of confrontation but I guess it's time to move on.
     
  18. Dec 5, 2011 #17

    rhody

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    Please report back on the outcome, I for one would like to know.

    Rhody... :smile:
     
  19. Dec 5, 2011 #18
    God, I would say that you're a bit caught in the act here. Since your mind apparently didn't inform you that she's plain ugly, and therefor of no consequence, you're the interested party. So get rid of her, or it will go wrong.
     
  20. Dec 5, 2011 #19

    Dembadon

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    :confused:

    I can't make sense of this. Can you please elaborate?
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2011
  21. Dec 6, 2011 #20
    Me either. Can't figure out what that was supposed to mean.
     
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