If there is one message folks should have taken from Keke Palmer and her boyfriend’s fallout over her Usher concert attendance, it’s that flirting is a lost art. While some people are very sensitive to their partner showing any type of attraction to another person, more secure people understand that being in a relationship doesn’t render one blind to the beauty of others, whether physically or spiritually. What if you want to express an appreciation for that beauty? You should be able to do so in a way that still honors your relationship and commitment to another person. That’s flirting. In fact, the definition of flirting, according to Merriam Webster, is to “behave amorously without serious intent.” 

Flirting is a way to remind yourself that you still got it. It’s a way to celebrate yourself as a sexual being outside of your relationship. Plus, there are a few ways you can do it harmlessly. First, for flirting to be harmless, it has to be something you could or would disclose to your partner without shame or concern. Check out these harmless flirting examples below.

Lingering eye contact 

Have you ever spotted a beautiful stranger out in the streets? Our natural, human reaction is to look as long as possible. Sometimes we just can’t help it. And every once in a while, you may find that this beautiful being is looking right back at you. There’s nothing wrong with letting your eyes rest on someone else to let them know that you like what you see. If they’re returning the look, there’s a good chance that they feel the same way. A win for all parties involved. This is the most low-cost, low-risk example of harmless flirting.


There’s nothing more annoying than a strange man telling you to smile on the street. But when a smile comes to your face organically, it’s beautiful and can go a long way in terms of communicating something. Generally, a smile expresses pleasure. Combined with a downcast look, shaking your head or light touching your hair or face, it can show attraction. Don’t be surprised if after pulling this move, that person decides to come on over.


If you see something say something doesn’t just apply to New York City subways, the same can be true when you notice something you find attractive. A man’s beard is glistening in the sunlight in the right way, let him know. A woman’s outfit has everything sitting just right, say something. If people look good, there’s a good chance that they put some time and effort into their look. Saying something could be a great way to strike up a conversation or just brighten someone’s day. The way you deliver this compliment could also express your level of interest. If you’re otherwise committed, don’t put too much on it. Say it and walk away. If you’d like to say more, hang around a little bit longer.

A Dance 

Of all the harmless flirting examples, this one might cause the most controversy. But there’s a way to do this tastefully and respectfully. Whether you dance up close with someone or keep your distance, there’s something fun and flirty about moving your body in sync with another person’s. Those willfully participating can determine how far they want to take it.

Witty banter

Fewer things are more attractive than someone who can hold their own conversationally. A person who has found a way to make you laugh. Humor can actually make someone appear more attractive than you might have initially found them. A conversation where you’re able to go back and forth, laughing and joking is not only harmless, it’s a great way to break up the monotony of life.

Keys to Keeping It Harmless

The key to flirting harmlessly is to keep it platonic. If you’re in a relationship and start making raunchy sex jokes or extending invitations that you know your partner would not approve of, then you’ve crossed the line. Keep it light. Don’t be creepy and don’t make anyone uncomfortable. Flirting, done well, should leave both parties feeling attractive and appreciated.

If you notice that you’re flirting with the desire for something more than a temporary exchange, that might be a sign that your flirting is not as harmless as you think. If you notice that you want to continue seeing this person and spending time with them, when you’re already in a monogamous relationship, you might want to nip things in the bud before bigger problems arise.