Skip to content



Flirt Sharks and the Wounded Heart

Flirt Sharks and the Wounded Heart


I read your recent writing, and I gotta say a girl like you deserves better than to be treated like that. If you ever want to chat, here’s my kik. 


Whenever I post an essay that recounts a conflict in one of my relationships (past or present), I’ll predictably get a handful of messages that go a little something like that. It happened most recently with a post called “When You’re Tired of Being the Only Person Who Knows There’s Trouble in Your Relationship.”  When I sat down to write it, I wasn’t really thinking of any one person or incident. Instead, I channeled a certain kind of frustration I’ve felt in various long-term relationships over my life. It’s more of a general, historical observation. One I’ve been trying for years to distill into word form.

However, sometimes people take it to mean that I’m having issues in my relationship currently and rush in with their DTMFA (dump that mofo already) pronouncements in private messages and “girl you need a Real Man (™) to treat you right and that man is me.”

Seizing the opportunity, like so: “I hear Sprint isn’t treating you so well… So here I am, AT&T, to solve all your problems.” Flirt sharks show up when you’re wounded. It’s “How do you feel about your current telephone provider?” Except with love and sex.

Does Being a Flirt Shark Actually Work?

It isn’t the first time, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. I was surprised the first few times, but now I’m just confused.

I suppose it isn’t much different than lawyers who chase ambulances. Handing out their accident and personal injury claim cards to the person strapped on to the stretcher.

Or the way that sharks gravitate toward blood in the water, knowing that a wounded meal must lie close by.

In those terms, relationship conflict can well seem like opportunity. An easy foot in the door.

The series of dropped calls that make AT&T look more attractive than ever.

Except I’ve never had it happen that way, with previously unknown people. I’ve never had a stranger show up at a low point in another relationship and sweep me off my feet by flirting at just the right time.

But it must work, right? At least sometimes. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be such a standard phenomenon.

Am I missing something here?


My new book is out!

A Geek’s Guide to Unicorn Ranching: Advice for Couples Seeking Another Partner 

Featured Image: CC BY – alq666