Love, Sex, and Real Life
My Friend's a Big Flirt
I'm worried about my friend. She's 17, but she acts real immature. She's a big flirt and always has guys hanging around her. She gets phone calls from so many different guys, she can't even keep track. She has guys at her house all the time, even when her parents are at work (they don't seem to care). She's never liked a guy more than a week. She's getting a reputation as a flirt and a tease. When I tell her people talk about her behind her back, she acts like it's no big deal. Does God mean for us to flit through life like this, or are we supposed to be a little more serious about our search for true love?
Lots of people treat relationships as a kind of contest—a game to see who can attract whom. Some girls like to watch themselves reel boys in. Some boys strut around and try to impress girls with silly jokes. It's probably not wrong; it's just, as you say, immature.
Seventeen is a little old for that, though. At some point, she'll probably long for a solid, committed relationship, and flirting with lots of guys won't get her one. Sometimes, girls who flirt a lot are really just insecure about boys. Maybe your friend doesn't know how to relate to the opposite sex except through flirting. Maybe she doesn't know there are plenty of guys who would like being with her because she's smart, or funny, or kind.
What she needs is an example of how fulfilling a real friendship with a guy can be. And that's where you can help. Whatever you think of her behavior with boys, I hope you'll stick close to her and be a good friend. She needs somebody like you, not merely to tell her to build solid friendships with guys, but to show her the way.
So demonstrate healthy male-female friendships with guys you know. Introduce her to some of your more mature male friends—guys who won't be easily taken in by her flirtations. If she's not already part of your youth group, invite her to your group meetings or to other activities where she can interact with both guys and girls in a youth group setting. Help her see that guys aren't just potential dates, they're also potential friends.
I'm also concerned for her safety. She may only be playing a game, but sometimes guys take games very seriously. Her flirting sends a message, whether she means it or not, that she's ready for anything, and that's a message plenty of guys can't wait to answer. She needs to be careful, especially when she's alone in the house. It doesn't sound like she's open to your warnings, but still I'd encourage you to talk with her about being careful.
Flirting isn't always a bad thing. But when it's the only way a person can relate to the opposite sex, it can become a problem. I hope you'll support your friend and show her how friendships with guys really start.