How Flirting With a Stranger Improved Me and My Marriage:

 

What I learned about freedom and true devotion from declining a persistent stranger’s offer to take me out for a drink. 

I suppose it takes a crazy, slightly delusional sort of courage for a man to ask a married woman to go out for a drink.

Or maybe it’s just ignorance?

I can’t seem to recall a single event in my past where a man asked me out for a drink… but apparently, I finally had my lucky day.

My husband had been helping me tweak Facebook Ads for my business over a coffee at our local Starbucks. He left around noon to go see his bodywork clients and shortly after the coffee shop got increasingly busy with lunchtime traffic.

I was still sitting at the four-top table and noticed a man scanning the room for a seat… which was not to be found.

Without a second thought I offered him a seat at the table and went about my work.

He busied himself at his own computer, an entrepreneur friend of mine came in and we chatted about how my online sexual empowerment coaching program was going and what milestones our kiddos were hitting these days and I chipped away at the workshop I was creating. All quite uneventful.

He struck up the conversation with, “Could I ask you a question? You’re married, right?”

He then asked me for my thoughts about a business matter he was in town for, and being the nice, Midwestern, innocent and quite confident woman I am… I simply engaged in conversation. I like people. I like talking. I’m fueled by interesting dialogue.

Soon we were chatting about our respective businesses and he had asked to see my website –he hadn’t crossed paths with many sexual empowerment coaches and didn’t entirely understand my work. Something seemed to click when he realized I wasn’t instructing people in how to have sex, but that I actually help women become more confident in who they are in every area of their life, romantic relationships, and life purpose.

In hindsight, I still can’t nail the moment things shifted because I was simply me the whole time. I never started “flirting” or intended to do anything other than engage with another human being. When I felt the energy of the conversation go from friendly chat to – Oh… he’s going somewhere with this was right about the time he asked, “Maybe this is crazy to ask, but could I take you out for a drink?”

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I literally thought, “Um…. what? We’re already out, we are at Starbucks, why would I need to go somewhere else to talk to you more!” Yes, have your chuckles, this is exactly the way my mind works. I am straight forward, no nonsense, and secure in myself. I am not looking for validation or attention to flatter me. I couldn’t even fathom why he wanted to have a drink with me. I was married before I was of drinking age, is that why I’d never experienced this before, I wondered.

I declined – were you wondering? – and packed up my things to get back home and relieve my babysitter. As I walked out of Starbucks I realized that even though he was from out of town and we would probably never run into each other again, he had enough information to get in contact with me again…shoot.

By that evening, or was it the next day? He had emailed and Facebook messaged me.

I couldn’t understand what was not clear enough about my no or why someone would continue to pursue a woman who was so clearly not available or interested.

Maybe none of this is shocking to you, dear reader. Maybe you’ve turned down countless advances from men. Maybe you think it’s audacious that I was talking to and being friendly to a man who wasn’t my husband. Maybe you wonder why I didn’t just block him and leave it at that.

Why didn’t I? Because I was learning a lesson. Speaking an important truth. Owning my power in a way I hadn’t before.

Maybe everything I said totally went over his head and he thought I was crazy-making, or maybe he learned something, too. Either way, I honored myself and I found a truth in this all that has strengthened me, strengthened my marriage, and gave me an important perspective on “flirting” when married.

Here’s how the conversation went down. Yes, I literally wrote this to a stranger:

Me: If you were confused about what I do in my coaching work or why... I guess you know now. A confident, embodied woman (and I suppose it applies to men as well) is in an entirely different energy, vibration, and way of being. I’m not sure what you expected to happen.

Him: Not sure what I expected to happen, I just felt there was some type of chemistry that was unambiguously very real. It wasn't a normal situation for me either, but there was an intoxicating attractive energy to you. Did you feel anything?

Me: I'm not sure what the point of answering the question is. You felt something. So, what does that mean to you? Why is that important to you? Is there something you were able to create within yourself in my presence that hadn't happened before? Had you given yourself the freedom/permission to express something new? Those are fun questions... Rhetorical - I don't need the answers, but they seem relevant, especially if you did feel it was unusual.

Whether I were to say yes or no, it wouldn't change anything for me. Whatever I feel, I create. If I'm having fun, enjoying myself, enjoying another person, feel interested in someone's personality, feel interesting myself, am acknowledged for being attractive, flirt with someone - which is really quite simply just being freely myself - then those are all good feelings and yes, I like them. I like to play and creating chemistry... I suppose that's what I feel like life I just... about. What fun is life if there's never any excitement, play, art, or vulnerability?

That all said, I also choose every day to love and be devoted to creating the most amazing connection - on every level - that I can with my husband. I don't wear my wedding ring because... I don't need a token or a symbol validate my commitment to him. I can tell him about this conversation with you or let him read this [Facebook] message thread and he will be completely unbothered. If anything, he's grateful because he probably receives most of the benefit of me being lit up by who I am and expressing that freely.

I love who I am and if anything, I would guess this is what you found so attractive. What is it about me or about that that you can bring into your own life, into yourself? I've chosen to be unavailable to other men outside of my marriage, so what will you go and do with your experience? I hope you'll use it to live more fully in some way.

◊♦◊

I encourage you to take these questions and use them in your own inner work as you interact with people in your life – of the same or opposite sex. What is it that creates chemistry in your life? How will you remain in your power on either side of this scenario to create healthy relationships? How can you use your relationships to strengthen who you are and live more fully in some way?

One last little note – my husband was privy to this entire scenario as it played out at the coffee shop. I never hid my experience from him and, in fact, it brought up some really great topics for us to discuss. He also was the beneficiary of me feeling fully in my power and acknowledging my own magnetism…if you catch my drift. I believe that when we detach from the emotions of jealousy, fear, and control and put down the societal taboos and should-nots (like “flirting” with someone when we’re married) we can learn so much, make our own empowered choices, and come out better for it in the end.

I literally thought, “Um…. what? We’re already out, we are at Starbucks, why would I need to go somewhere else to talk to you more!” Yes, have your chuckles, this is exactly the way my mind works. I am straight forward, no nonsense, and secure in myself. I am not looking for validation or attention to flatter me. I couldn’t even fathom why he wanted to have a drink with me. I was married before I was of drinking age, is that why I’d never experienced this before, I wondered.

I declined – were you wondering? – and packed up my things to get back home and relieve my babysitter.

He had asked to see my website while we were talking about work, so even though he was from out of town and we would probably never run into each other again, I knew he had enough information to get in contact with me again, though…shoot.

By that evening, or was it the next day? He had emailed and Facebook messaged me.

I couldn’t understand what was not clear enough about my no or why someone would continue to pursue a woman who was so clearly not available or interested.

Maybe none of this is shocking to you, dear reader. Maybe you’ve turned down countless advances from men. Maybe you think it’s audacious that I was talking to and being friendly to a man who wasn’t my husband. Maybe you wonder why I didn’t just block him and leave it at that.

Why didn’t I? Because I was learning a lesson. Speaking an important truth. Owning my power in a way I hadn’t before.

Maybe everything I said totally went over his head and he thought I was crazy-making, or maybe he learned something, too. Either way, I honored myself and I found a truth in this all that has strengthened me, strengthened my marriage, and gave me an important perspective on “flirting” when married.

Here’s how the conversation went down. Yes, I literally wrote this to a stranger:

Me: If you were confused about what I do [in my coaching work] or why... I guess you know now. A confident, embodied woman (and I suppose it applies to men as well) is in an entirely different energy, vibration, and way of being. I’m not sure what you expected to happen.

Him: Not sure what I expected to happen, I just felt there was some type of chemistry that was unambiguously very real. It wasn't a normal situation for me either, but there was an intoxicating attractive energy to you. Did you feel anything?

Me: I'm not sure what the point of answering the question is. You felt something. So, what does that mean to you? Why is that important to you? Is there something you were able to create within yourself in my presence that hadn't happened before? Had you given yourself the freedom/permission to express something new? Those are fun questions... Rhetorical - I don't need the answers, but they seem relevant, especially if you did feel it was unusual.

Whether I was to say yes or no, it wouldn't change anything for me. Whatever I feel, I create. If I'm having fun, enjoying myself, enjoying another person, feel interested in someone's personality, feel interesting myself, am acknowledged for being attractive, flirt with someone - which is really quite simply just being freely myself - then those are all good feelings and yes, I like them. I like to play and creating chemistry... I suppose that's what I feel like life I just... about. What fun is life if there's never any excitement, play, art, or vulnerability?

That all said, I have also chosen and choose every day to love and be devoted to creating the most amazing connection - on every level - that I can with my husband. I don't wear my wedding ring because... I don't need anyone else to validate my commitment to him. I can tell him about our conversation or let him read this thread... and he will be completely unbothered. If anything, he's grateful because he probably receives most of the benefit of me being lit up by who I am and expressing that freely.

I love who I am and if anything, I would guess this is what you found so attractive. What is it about me or about that that you can bring into your own life, into yourself? I've chosen to be unavailable to other men outside of my marriage, so what will you go and do with your experience? I hope you'll use it to live more fully in some way.

I encourage you to take these questions and use them in your own inner work as you interact with people in your life – of the same or opposite sex. What is it that creates chemistry in your life? How will you remain in your power on either side of this scenario to create healthy relationships? How can you use your relationships to strengthen who you are and live more fully in some way?

One last little note – my husband was privy to this entire scenario as it played out at the coffee shop. I never hid my experience from him and, in fact, it brought up some really great topics for us to discuss. He also was the beneficiary of me feeling fully in my power and acknowledging my own magnetism…if you catch my drift. I believe that when we detach from the emotions of jealousy, fear, and control and put down the societal taboos and should-nots (like “flirting” with someone when we’re married) we can learn so much, make our own empowered choices, and come out better for it in the end.