Ahhh flirting. The mere thought of it can make some break into a cold sweat. Others are so attune to it that they are at a loss of words for how to describe a concept that is innate to their being.
I have no evidence of it, but I strongly suspect I came out of my mother and winked at the physician who delivered me. Funny story, the man who delivered me happened to be the same man who was my ob/gyn when I was in high school. There is actually a lot more to this story, but I'm just going to say that it's complicated.
So what the hell is flirting?
In a nutshell, flirting is a series of verbal and non verbal actions or behaviors we do when expressing interest in or attraction to another person.
Did you know that, in the Victorian era, flirting was deemed important enough that men and women (separately, of course) attended flirting school? I happen to find this fascinating and wish there were more information out there on the subject.
In 2010, there was a University of Kansas in Lawrence study that identified 5 basic styles of flirting behavior.
- Physical Flirting—using playful touching to indicate sexual interest. This type of flirting involves physical chemistry and can quickly lead to an emotional connection and a relationship.
- Traditional Flirting—when men take the lead by approaching women they have sexual interest in, allowing women to maintain a more passive role.
- Polite Flirting—using proper personal and social manners when communicating sexual interest. This is the most cautious way of behaving and can be so nuanced that interest can often go un-noticed.
- Sincere Flirting—way of expressing sexual interest in others by using an honest approach in getting to know them. This behavior is more commonly used by women.
- Playful Flirting—way of engaging with others in a lighthearted way without the intention of sexual interest.
Can you identify your preferred flirting behavior? In some cases, you may have more than one flirting style.