How do we recover from a regrettably flirtatious encounter?


It all started last Friday night. After a stressful week of deadlines, over-indulging and dating drama, I was ready to shake off the blues with an alcoholic concoction.

I found myself at 11:30pm with a small group of friends at a local bar where Christmas staff parties filled the room.

After pushing through the intoxicated crowd, I left the bar with my something gin and something floral cocktail. As I was walking back to join my friends, I couldn’t help but notice the desperation that filled the air.

I froze in the middle of the room only to see potential mistakes. I’m usually a positive soul, but that night was different.

To my left was a pretty young thing who had 3 men eating out of the palms of her hands. She had the power to have her pick, but fast forward 5 hours later, I’m curious to know which one she chose to take home – if any.

To my right were two sexually frustrated co-workers who had been lusting over each other for months. Tonight was their chance, a potentially drunken mistake or maybe the beginning of something special? Fast-forward 6 hours later and I wondered if it ended up being an awkward mess or the start of love. Ultimately, I would have really liked to see how Monday morning turns out for them at the office.

Then 3 metres away, directly in front of me was my mistake. The guy I had drunk-flirted with last Saturday night.

Let me explain last week’s scenario. Sadly it all crept up on me a bit too quickly. It was a night out with the girls. I was in the mindset of being young, single and free. Over a few too many drinks, we had discussed monogamy, sexual droughts, threesomes and our favourite quotes from Sex and the City. In the middle of our empowerment ramblings we took a shot and then, coincidently I ran into that guy – someone I’m not attracted to. But through wine-eyes I was left a little vulnerable and not entirely in control of my flirtatious nature. And that is how I made the mistake of giggling with someone who quickly became smitten by my singleness.

Even though the conversation was innocent and no one exchanged lips or digits, my actions were misinterpreted and now I have to pay for it.

In my mind, I thought I would never see him again in a city of over 2 million people, but ironically that night he was there. I couldn’t escape his excitement, it was written all over his nervous smile. There he was hoping that tonight, he may be able to seal the deal. I on the other hand was in absolute regrets - awkward and totally uncomfortable.

Which left me thinking, as women how do we redeem ourselves after a misinterpreted flirtatious encounter?

How many times have we as women simply given someone attention and sadly it has been assumed that we're handing out a hall pass?

Why can’t we just laugh, smile or dance like no one is watching without that meaning that we are trying to lead someone on?

After the mistake has been made, here are 33 thoughts every woman has as she travels from regret to flirtatious redemption.

1. What just happened?
2. Surely I wasn’t that flirtatious?
3. I didn’t mean what I said.
4. Oh no, I remember touching his knee.
5. Why did I giggle so much?
6. I’m never drinking again.
7. Actually, I am going to drink again.
8. But when I drink, I’m not going to talk to any guys.
9. No wait, I do want to talk to guys.
10. Maybe it was the red wine.
11. If I had been drinking, beer then this wouldn’t have happened.
12. I hate beer. As if I would drink beer.
13. I hate myself for doing this.
14. What are my girlfriends going to think?
15. Are they judging me?
16. Hopefully they didn’t see me with him.
17. Nope, they saw me with him – they were sitting next to us.
18. I seriously need to stop flirting.
19. Is there a flirt management class out there that I should attend?
20. I can’t change the past.
21. Why did I make this mistake?
22. But is it a mistake?
23. Can’t I just have fun and be me?
24. But I always do this to myself.
25. I have a track record of at least one accidental flirtatious encounter per night out.
26. Whoooops.
27. Maybe I should stop going out all together?
28. You know what, who cares.
29. Of course it’s a misunderstanding.
30. If I see him again, I’ll just have to apologise and be honest for my actions.
31. But what I’m not going to apologise for, is being me – flirtatious and all.
32. People can just love me or leave me. Unless I don’t want you to love me, which in that case – please just leave me.
33. Oh well, until the next soiree, I’ll just try to keep things a little more reserved.

Words: Anonymous