Where was it women are from again?
So I mentioned to a female friend of mine that there was a lady among my acquaintance whom I find quite attractive, but that I had no intention of asking her out for various reasons. And I was rather surprised when my friend, who is herself a lady, responded, "I think a little unserious romantic interest is precisely what the doctor ordered for you at the moment: something not real enough to be threatening or to lacerate, but enough to provide piquancy and spice to life."
Now this is not at all something I would have come up with my own, and the more I've thought about it the more I've thought that this sounds like a basic male/female difference. My own assumption is that if you're just going to be friends with a woman and never try to Go Any Further Than That, then life is a lot simpler if she doesn't make you interested in Going Any Further Than That in the first place. And I think most guys would largely agree with me, even if we wouldn't go quite as far as Wilde's "Algy" and say, "The only way to behave to a woman is to make love to her, if she is pretty, and to someone else, if she is plain." (I halt here to say emphatically that this should NOT be taken to imply that I have carefully chosen my female friends on grounds of unattractiveness; in fact I think my circle of female acquaintances would post unusually high AQ scores -- after all, I live in Texas. And since I have the uncomfortable feeling that I am doing nothing but digging the hole deeper with every word, I will just move on to my main point.)
But my friend seems to think that flirting, even if -- apparently in my case only if -- one knows in advance that it will lead nowhere, is a good thing in itself. This seems to my male mind entirely too inadequately goal-oriented an attitude. Still, I decided this sounded like a male/female difference rather than a point on which there was right/wrong answer to be argued about. So in the interests of further research I pestered the first female handy, who happened to be Kinya.
PAPA: [after explaining the situation and promising that there was no Wrong Answer That Will Get You Into Trouble] So do you think it's fun to flirt with boys even if you have not the slightest intention of going out with them?
KINYA: [blushing, and with the tone of voice she uses when having to explain the obvious to her stáriy durák Papa] Yes.
So there you have it. Sounds like an adequate sample size to me.