Seriously. It's tragically true.
At various points in the day today I have been conversing through different mediums with a handful of men. Co-workers, friends, gay friends, boys I like, men I like but not like that, etc. A good variety. As my day comes to a close I realized something that shook my little bitty world for a moment.
I'm not entirely certain I'm aware of when I'm flirting and when I'm not. This greatly affects the above referenced "game". See, I know by nature I am a flirty person. Maybe it's not even flirty, maybe it's just loud and friendly. However you want to call it, I like talking to people, I like to engage in conversation with people and I like being nice to people. I LOVE to schmooze (I get it from my mama). But I've learned recently that when it comes time to do this with people I like, people I WANT to be flirting with, I'm all "uhhhhhh...." and "well...kinda...yeah, sure." And just 100% NOT charming. Put me in front of the old guy at work who's kind of like a grandpa but also kind of like a creepy older man hitting on young girls and I'm all, "Hello Mr. So and So, how are you?! Hey did you ever sell your house??" I'm pretty sure a conversation I had today would 110% be interpreted by certain parties as flirting and I actually 110% DID NOT want to be flirting with that person. What gives?!
I mean, really I know what gives. If I don't see a threat from someone I can FLIRT UP A STORM. Seriously! Old guy from work last week was all, "you're always so cheerful and charming!" (which turns out, even from old guy who hits on young girls, was STILL somewhat flattering. Take note young non-creepy men, flattery goes a LONG way.) But I don't care about what he thinks of me! Tall attractive young man at the bar? Cue the "uhhhhs" and fumbling over my words. There goes the charm! So I think what might be happening is that I'm flirting with (and using up what charm and game I do have) on ALL THE WRONG MEN. And, subsequently, giving them all the wrong vibe. (Which is also probably how I end up on dates that I didn't know were dates. Just thinking out loud here. Also, true story.)
And when I think there's any sort of risk involved, I repeat, any risk at all I clam up, don't know what to say. In fact, there's this one guy, from the bar, who kind of swooped in without me realizing it and we were just chatting up a storm like we were friends from way back. Then all of a sudden I was all, "oh wait, he's cute. Wait we're talking and he's cute and what if maybe there's a chance I like him." CLAM UP. FREAK OUT. TURN OFF ALL CHARM.
Perfect plan, no? See also: "why I might be single" and "things to work on."