An Unwanted Flirt
Q: I am a 46-year-old member of our church, and I play guitar and am a main resource to help plan and perform ministry music. My music minister is 27, single, cute with a killer body. She is pretty flirty and makes statements about "real men" when around me. She very often wears pretty open tops and dresses. Now I've been happily married for over 25 years, but it's difficult to not enjoy the flirty attention and the nice views she offers. She's very well educated and has been in a few relationships, so I know she knows exactly what she's doing. My first question is why is it that young girls feel the need to tease the old guys? Does she just like to see guys squirm? -- Rick, 46
Dr. Susan: You are sure she knows exactly what she's doing. But what she knows is that she has the power to get men to eye her and desire her. What she doesn't seem to know (or care) is that she's making many of those same men uncomfortable in her presence. In other words, she selfishly enjoys the affirmation of her desirability, but doesn't care about the negatives some of those men have to deal with. It's a game for many attractive women. They like to tease, get the sought-after validation, and then flounce away. Women who value themselves for more than how they look tend to do less of that sort of thing. Your ambivalence and annoyance make perfect sense. She's toying with your hormones for her own pleasure. I can only suggest you enjoy the views that are on offer, but you don't play along with her flirting game.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.