It can start with a glance across a crowded room, or an encounter on the Metro or bus. Someone catches your eye and the physical attraction is immediate, maybe even intense. What happens next depends on your flirting style. Dr. Jeffery Hall and a team of researchers have identified five flirting styles:
Traditional: These folks are convinced that the man should make the first move. The woman’s role is to signal interest through nonverbal communication, like a lingering glance, but it is up to the man to initiate a conversation.
Physical: The physical flirt is not shy about expressing their sexual attraction to the object of their desire. Whether it’s lightly running their fingers along the palm of your hand or forearm, or hand at the small of a back, the physical flirt looks for any reason to touch the person who has attracted his/her attention.
Sincere: The sincere flirt is genuinely interested in building an emotional connection with you. He/she will ask you about yourself and listen intently to your response in a bid to demonstrate their romantic interest.
Playful: This fun-loving individual loves to flirt just for the fun of it. He/she is not necessarily interested in getting to know you; rather the physical flirt usually just wants to have a good time.
Polite: The polite flirt exercises restraint in communication, behavior, and approach. He/she may have some fairly inflexible rules that they like to follow about dating, and may not seem responsive to flirting.
Knowing your own personal flirting style, and learning to recognize the style that others are using is helpful in navigating the sometimes confusing courtship dance. For instance, women who are traditional flirts and polite flirts of both genders may have a hard time recognizing when someone is flirting with them. The playful flirt is likely to be unaware that his/her intentions might be misinterpreted as genuine interest by the person on the receiving end, while the physical flirt moves quickly through the getting- to- know- you phase of relationship development. And even though people tend to respond well to the sincere flirt, this style is the least likely to successfully convey sexual attraction and can easily get stuck in the “friend zone”.
Learn about your flirting style by taking this online assessment.