Clueless on how to woo your partner? Fear not for Philosophy professor has come to the rescue.
Gettysburg College philosophy researcher Steve Gimbel has offered some ethical and practical advice on flirting to those of the faint of heart.
"Flirting is an art form. The accomplished flirt knows when to be subtle and when to be blunt. But the game can be dangerous, especially if you are involved with someone. Does your lover have a right to be pissed at you for flirting? Like so much in ethics, the answer is it depends," Gimbel said.
Gimbel defined flirting as the first steps of courtship without the intent of it going beyond that point. It is good-natured play and added that neither person will get hurt because both parties know that it is going nowhere.
"Flirting is different from engaged, friendly conversation. It is also different from hitting on or teasing someone. There's an edge to flirting because both of you know it isn't real. Flirting is for playing around, hitting on is for players," Gimbel said.
Gimbel said that nothing is intrinsically wrong with being a flirt. Exclusive relationships require fidelity and that means not sharing one's most intimate side with anyone else, either physically or emotionally, he added.
"Flirts, like married actors who perform love scenes, are playing a part, only this one is not pre-scripted. The depth of true romantic involvement is something completely different from the shallowness of flirting," Gimbel said.
"A flirt is perfectly capable of enjoying a fulfilling and exclusive relationship. Of course, that requires a certain sort of partner," he said.
Gimbel explained that generally partners in a relationship come in two flavours: confident and secure or insecure and seeking approval.
"Being with a flirt is a constant reminder that the person attracted to you is found attractive by those around you, and some people are comfortable with that but most people are not," Gimbel said.