While the men ascribed value to being clear with one’s own motives and intentions, this clarity is only achieved if rightly understood by one’s partner.Likewise, the timing and appropriateness of flirting within courtship is mutually determined.But our only prayer at making these connections comes in holding onto our discrete identities.
Complete friends treat one another with a respect and spontaneous affection that is mutually enriching.
We want friends like that in our lives and we want to be such friends.
When using flirting to advance a relationship, partners need to make similar assessments; too soon or too late for either party would be disastrous.
Finally, as clearly evident from their views on reciprocity, flirting is like a good tennis match: it’s best when both sides play.
A set of necessary and sufficient conditions on flirting: First, the flirter should act with the intention to do things which are disposed to raise flirter-flirtee romance and/or sex to salience for the flirtee, in a knowing yet playful manner.
Second, he or she should believe that the flirtee can respond in some significant way.
This is part of what explains Aristotle’s remark that the friend is “another yourself ”; friends amplify what you care about; they provide what you cannot get on your own; and they are a forum for cultivating virtue and achieving the rewards of companionship and mutual caring.
And so, as Aristotle points out, friendship of the complete sort is among the greatest goods in the good life.
If circumstances change, we would readily withdraw our affections and commitment without any great disruption to our self-image or view of the world.