Flirting takes different forms. Often we wish flirting into existence. Polite people who smile and wish people a cheery “good morning” are mistaken as flirters when someone fixates on them. The general greeting suddenly becomes the marker of a deep, unspoken longing. It takes me back to junior high, where a casual shoulder bump during a crowded passing period often had a girl writing the guy’s name on her shoes, folders, and hands, convinced of his affection.
In the movie, 500 Days of Summer, the hero demonstrated his feelings with subtle gestures, but Summer wasn’t getting it. He’d found out what her favorite music was and played it whenever she walked by his cubicle. The hoped for result was she’d stop and comment that they both liked the same music and their relationship would start from there.
It didn’t happen. Part of the reason is we have different flirting styles. You might want to take a test to find out what your flirting style is by taking the Flirting Styles Inventory quiz. According to the inventory, a person may have five different styles including sincere, polite, physical, playful, and traditional.
Ironically, you may flirt wildly, but if your crush has a different style, he may be clueless. Many men may have a physical flirting style and touch a date casually after their introduction. Even though the touches are non-sexual in nature, women often interpret such actions as being sexually aggressive and coming too soon in the relationship. There are times, however, when your date is simply being sexually aggressive.
Can people with separate flirting styles be compatible? Yes, but they have to understand the other person’s style and give back some flirting in the preferred style. A man could feel he’s being extremely attentive, but his date regards him as cold because he’s not a playful flirter like her. On the other hand, the man regards his date’s flirting as childish. We often respond to people’s flirting that is the most similar to ours. Two playful flirters engage in mutually satisfying banter.
On the flipside, just because someone’s flirting style appeals to you does not make them the one. It simply gives you a chance to get to know the person a bit better. Maybe after a month or so, you both come to the realization that it isn’t going to work. That’s okay too.
On-line dating prolongs this realization. In today’s cautious dating climate, it takes almost a month for people to meet face to face. All those clever texts or emails that initially drew you in are absent at the first meeting.
Don’t be too hard on your date. First meetings are nerve wracking. The texts and emails didn’t happen spontaneously. Yes, help may have taken the shape of a friend or suggested texts on the Internet. Stress makes you stumble over simple things. There are few things more stressful than a first date.
Flirting is a bit like window shopping. The person pretends not to be that interested, but instead tries to sum you up in two or three sentences, before he or she moves onto the next possibility. This puts pressure on a person to grab attention before the person vanishes. Some men do it by being too enthusiastic, lying, revealing too much and being needy. Women do the same things, but with cleavage.
The simple secret is acting as if the connection doesn’t matter. As unfair as it is, people like what isn’t easily available. This is the reason women tend to fall for the bad boy who flirts with her friend. When he finally turns attention to her, she feels like the victor.
Flirting can be as simple as eye contact. What makes it flirting is the receiver. If a man, a woman doesn’t view as a dating prospect, stares at her, then it’s creepy. Another man she views as her type, makes eye contact for the same length of time, is flirting.
Next blog will detail the many ways we flirt.