Is "flirt" always included sexually atraction?

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New Member
My sample sentences is: "I went to the English club yesterday. I saw a pretty girl with beautiful smile and voice. Immediately I want to flirt with her. After chatting, I think she is an intersting girl. I absolutely make an apointment with her one day"
I search in Oxford dictionary the word "flirt". It means "to behave towards sb as if you find them sexually attractive, without seriously wanting to have a relationship with them".
Actually I don't want to express this meaning. I just want to show my feeling when seeing a pretty girl and I consider her a friend. I just want to make friend and find something intersting from her, maybe dating in the future, not intenttion to talk about sex. Could you suggest me a word to express my idea in this situation? Thank you for reading.

And I am a non-native English students, so I wonder if my question on the title and other sentences here are clear. Could you help me correct them if they aren't clear? Thank you very much
PS: I am Vietnamese. I live in Ho Chi Minh City. If you travel here, my friends and I volunteer to be tourist guides. Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City.
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    'Flirt' and 'attractive' are both quite mild. 'Sexually' attractive distinguishes it from intellectually or politically attractive, but doesn't suggest you're trying to get sex. I can you can 'flirt' in the friendly way you're describing.


    Senior Member
    USA, English
    When I used to climb mountains you could have said that "Packard routinely flirts with danger". So, since sex was out of the question while climbing, not always a sexual connotation.


    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    Packard's "flirt with danger" is a figurative use of the word, and of course there's no sex involved.
    But if you talk about flirting with a person, you can't escape the sexual definition.


    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Based on the description in the original post, I think you can use flirting in the circumstance you describe; if you are considering dating in the future, even if sex is not in your thoughts at the time, the concept "sexual attraction" may still apply. Those words ("sexual attraction") do not imply that you are sure your interest in the other person is sexual in nature, they instead imply that you have that type of attraction to that person (they are a person with whom you would think it is possible you might find yourself interested in sex given the right situation) which is the same sort of idea that "maybe dating in the future" conveys.

    This article talks a lot about a computer game implementation of "flirting" that will give an idea of the range of situations over which it might be relevant, which is pretty broad, though as Cenzontle says, if it is with another person, it implies that at the very least you are behaving as if you feel some sexual attraction to the person, whether you actually feel that way or not: How To: Every Mass Effect Romance Option (And Ones You Might Not Have Known About)
    I think after the very earliest of exchanges there are often several clear paths. Fliriting suggests some sexual intentions or perhaps hopes. It is clear that not all parties to flirting are considering going 'all the way' with sex; one might be married, for example. But the remote possibility of it is often alive. I know a male, mature, who used to flirt with his mother in law. That was really a kind of compliment, to imply that this grandmother was strongly sexed, etc. I don't think he planned anything, however.

    Saigon, if you just want to be friends, you chat or banter with the person. You don't make sexual suggestions or, generally sexual innuendos. People 'making friends' limit or even eliminate the flirting. In my opinion of course. S. Ontario, Canada.


    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Some more usage examples that have clear "non-sexual" connotations (and you will see people, therefore, arguing that "flirt" is the wrong word to use because it has those connotations - and yet the usage continues - so this isn't something there's complete agreement about among native speakers)

    Is it common for babies to flirt? "My 8 month old son likes to look around a room, catch someone's eye, and then give that person a special little smile. Everyone loves this and says what a flirt he is." ... "I would not call it flirting, because that has connotations that are not accurate. Your son is being social and friendly; he is making connections with people."

    Um, Does Your Cat Flirt with You? | Catster "Can a cat flirt? It sure seems like it. Some cats are more flirty than others. I hesitate to use the word 'flirt' because that might imply that a cat has human behaviors; nevertheless, I think it happens." "Flirting isn’t all about sex; babies flirt with their parents to ensure survival and people in the service industry flirt with their customers to get bigger tips and make more sales!"
    someone said, "Flirting isn’t all about sex ... people in the service industry flirt with their customers to get bigger tips and make more sales!"

    A very bad example. The waitress who flirts, accepts innuendos, leaves a button unbuttoned is offering sexual enticement or a replica of it; or perhaps playacting; the customer is permitted, *in fantasy* to take things further, sexually. The waitress is partly playacting, of course, but pretended flirting has somewhat the same effects as 'real' flirting. With a hint of sex in the air, the customer, in exchange for the frisson, gives a large tip.

    One must not forget, there is also an element of sexually nuanced play in flirting. In such play perhaps neither party would want to consummate.
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    Senior Member
    English - USA
    How about this one Bennymix? The one thing more awkward than dating

    "Oh, and if you thought getting rejected on a normal date was hard imagine getting rejected not because they don’t want to see you naked but, because they think you’re as boring as a pot plant.
    The during date stress: Am I flirting? It feels like I’m flirting — should I tone it down or ramp it up?"

    This article is specifically about meeting people for friendship and not romance. And yet the quote above considers flirting a possible thing to be doing and maybe even increase.


    Another example:

    "But here’s the thing: I was raised by people who didn’t necessarily view flirting as sexual in nature. One definition of flirting is “to become involved in something in a way that is not very serious”; I see flirting as light-hearted banter, not a directive. ... Flirting can elevate the mood of an exchange, create a superficial bond in awkward situations or just be a plain old good time."


    I need to add to avoid confusion: This non-sexual usage of flirt with an actual person is by far the minority. It is less than one mention in 20. I'm only saying it exists, not that it's the usual usage.
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    Yes, I can see flirting as light hearted banter, without any sexual intentions or hopes. It's a kind of play. My example of a friend (50s) flirting with his mother in law (70s) might fit, but there were non-subtle sexual references. It was partly a kind of teasing (causing slight embarrassment), e.g. suggesting that she was so sexy she must be tiring out her husband (the father-in-law). She seemed, mostly, to enjoy it, since it was complimentary to her.
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