Now, I bet that title got your attention, didn't it? This is just going to be a short post with a few tips in it.
The reason I decided to write this is because I have seen or been in groups of Christian teens (youth group types of groups), where the kids are way too familiar with each other. I call it "Christian" flirting. Another words, it's an 'underground' type of flirting (of course, sometimes it's more obvious) that they justify by saying "We're brothers and sisters... In Christ."
Now I'm not sure if they actually think that what they are doing is fine, or if they know that they're being flirtatious. But regardless of that, when you are in a group like that it is important that you don't just do the easy thing and follow the lead of the crowd.
Here are a few things that definitely give the wrong idea...
1. Sitting on a boy's lap is never EVER appropriate for ANY reason. (I have noticed that teens like to do things like squishing everyone in the group onto one couch. I never was the type of person who liked being that close to anyone, but, if you must do this, you could always sit on one of your *female* friend's lap instead.)
2. "Making eyes" at someone. This is a very flirtatious thing. I think that we all know what it looks like because we've noticed other girls doing it.
3. Holding hands with a boy... Not a good idea.
4. Most people are fine hugging people goodbye, but if you can't keep your emotions pure when hugging boys, than don't do it. I know that a lot of people are not raised in a "I hug people goodbye" kind of home, and I have noticed that some girls develop feelings for young men when they hug them goodbye every Sunday. If someone is coming to give you a hug and you don't wish to hug them, my Grandpa says that you should just extend your hand and wait for them to realize that you wish to shake hands instead.
5. Games like "Telephone Booth" or games where you crawl around in the dark are NEVER appropriate.
6. I never liked it when girls and boys would push each other around, it seems very flirtatious to me.
Ok, here are a few things that are fine...
1. If a girl is hurt(ie: she can't walk) and has to get to a car or whatever, it is entirely appropriate for one of the stronger people in the group (presumably a guy), to carry or help her in some way. Although when I hurt my ankle and couldn't walk on it, I didn't need to be carried, I just needed someone to hold my arm so that I would fall over.
2. In most cases hugging someone goodbye is just fine.
3. It is not a problem to joke around as long as the jokes don't become inappropriate.
Basically, if you feel fine doing it, it's usually fine (unless it's something wrong, of course), if you get a thrill from it or feel funny about it, don't do it! ;-)
Hope that was helpful! Have a nice day ladies!