Is Flirting A Lost Art?
Flirting has almost become a lost art. However, it doesn’t have to be lost. It is a way to determine and communicate a romantic interest in another person in social encounters that often have some kind of uncertainty around them.
The reason flirting has become a lost art is because it depends so much on non-verbal cues. A casual movement, a glance, or a simple touch can be interpreted one way in one context, and another in a different context. Then add in the fact that we have become a touch-phobic society. We’ll get into that a little later.
The FIVE WAYS PEOPLE FLIRT
There are five distinct ways people flirt that researchers have identified. Knowing these five areas can help a person be more effective at flirting.
This is when the guy initiates the contact and the woman signals responsiveness. In other words, the guy makes the first move and is expected to lead. The counter to this type of flirting is that women who are natural at flirting have problems with getting men to flirt with them.
Traditional flirting tends to take form between people who tend to know each other over long periods of time. They tend to have non-romantic relationships before developing the relationship. People who are extremely comfortable with traditional flirting tend to be introverted and not comfortable in social settings.
This is a style that uses verbal messages to hint at sexual contact. Both people express their desire and interest through suggestive conversation and suggestive touch. The people who do this tend to be able to detect the level of interest of the other person and explore the possibility of a relationship. The characteristic of this type of flirting that the relationship develops faster and has more sexual chemistry along with emotional connection than the other types. The drawback to this type of flirting is that the overall relationship does not last long.
This type of flirting has a distinct mark of wanting to create an emotional connection with another person. People who use sincere flirting want to develop intimacy with a partner. Sincere flirting elicits self-disclosure while showing personal interest in the other person.
Those who believe that emotional connection is the most important component of a relationship tend to use sincere flirting exclusively. When they approach a person and begin flirting they believe that others are with them, even if it is not the case.
The drawback to this style of flirting is that it lacks communication of sexual interest and it is much slower than the other forms. The other drawback to using this type exclusively is that the other person may not know you are flirting with them.
This is the type where the people enjoy the act of flirting as something fun and not tied to any type of relationship development. The group of people who mainly do this see it as a self-esteem booster and will do this even if it lacks any long-term prospects.
The combination type of flirting. The people who do this type of flirting take a cautious approach and do not show any overt sexual behaviors. They tend to seek a sincere and emotional connection but are less likely to be playful. The problem with this style is that the person they are flirting with may not realize they are pursuing a romantic encounter.
Additional Flirting Insight
So, now you know the five styles of flirting. But it really only gives you a context of the styles, not really an insight into how to flirt. Flirting is context and environment-based and relies heavily on the receiver’s desired level of engagement. Every response matters to determine the level of interest. For additional insight into how these types of flirting can be used, you may want to listen to our show on this topic.
This is where non-verbal cues become the most effective means of determining engagement. However, women and men interpret flirtatious behaviors differently. Men tend to wrongly interpret more than women. We have to remember that flirting is fluid and relies on combinations of variation and uncertainty that are only meaningful within the immediate context.
There is no concrete way of flirting. Anyone saying anything different is not taking into account the styles, predictable outcomes of the styles, the location, the level of flirting, and the other person’s level of interest. But, you can still get good at flirting with a little help by knowing your specific type of flirting and knowing how to mix the different styles.