Difference between Flirt and Tease

Key Difference: Flirt is a joyful act in which a flirter behaves as he/she is attracted towards the other person. However, generally it is not associated with serious intensions. Tease refers to the act of making fun or provoking the other. Like flirt, it is also meant to be a playful act. Tease can also be a component of flirt. Flirt is generally used in association with its playful characteristics. On the other hand, tease can be playful or hurtful depending upon the teaser’s intention or the other person who is being teased.

Flirting and teasing can be described as the two faces of the same coin. Both words have one thing common and that is regarding their usage. Both are used in positive and negative connotation. Basically, flirt defines the joyful act in which the flirter behaves as he/she is attracted towards the other person. Flirter uses many techniques in order to get the attention of the person in which he/she is interested. The intentions of the flirter are generally related to sexual desires and therefore, most of the times this word is contrasted with love.

Flirter may use a flirtatious conversation or the body language in order to start flirting. Commonly, flirt is not associated with any type of serious intentions. Flirting can be found in almost all cultures and societies in its varied forms. There are no set of written laws to follow for flirting, and thus most of the times it emerges instinctively.

Parties, drinking places, learning places, etc. are some common places where one can find flirters. Sometimes, this simple joy of act takes a serious shape and leads to some unforeseen results. People define flirt in different ways, therefore it may be used in many other contexts too.

Tease refers to the act of making fun or trying to provoke the other. It is also meant to be a playful act. Tease can also be one of the ingredients of flirt.  A playful tease can be seen between friends where one teases the other for things like dressing style, hair style. Teasing can also be unfriendly or hurtful when it is intended to provoke the other in order to achieve some bad-intentional gains.  Teasing may also be intended to embarrass the other person. It can also be annoying for the other person.

Verbal bullying or taunting is the most common way of teasing. A friendly and playful teasing help in strengthening relationships as it depicts a bond of closeness with the other person. However, if it is hurtful, then it can lead to certain complications.

The main difference between tease and flirt is that generally flirt has a sexual or romantic intention associated with it. On the other hand, tease may or may not be related to such intentions. Tease is generally looked as one of the ingredients of flirt, where it is used to grab the attention of the other person.

Comparison between Flirt and Tease:

 

Flirt

Tease

Meaning

Flirt is a joyful act between two person in which one behaves as he/she is attracted towards the other. However, generally it is not associated with serious intensions.

Tease refers to the act of making fun or trying to provoke the other. Like flirt, it is also meant to be a playful act. Tease can also be a component of flirt.

 

Generally associated with (Modern usage)

Playfully romantic or sexual proposals

Provoking the other person for amusement

Origin

apparently symbolic; the elements fl- and -irt both suggest sudden movement;

From Middle English tesen  (v.), Old English tǣsan  to pull, tear, comb

Intentions

  • Simply for fun
  • A way to know the other person and head towards serious relationships
  • For mate selection
  • To annoy the other person
  • To provoke the other person
  • For fun
  • For bonding with the other person
  • To irritate the other person

Relationship

Flirting may use playful teasing to get the attraction of the other person

Playful teasing may be used for flirting

Usage

  • Positive connotation – just a joyful act
  • Negative connotation – the flirter portrays that he/she is in love with the other person, and the other person takes it so seriously
  • Positive connotation – a joyful act between friends, couples, etc. for amusement.
  • Negative connotation – to irritate or annoy the person due to bad intentions.

Image Courtesy: mobygames.com, theguardian.com

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