Have you giggled at a joke or held his gaze for a few seconds longer than you usually would? If so, you were flirting.
Flirting is defined as the process of making playful romantic or sexual overtures. It's how we initially express a sexual or romantic interest in another person. Generally, if you are attracted to a person, you'll flirt as a way of discovering if they are attracted to you as well. These flirtatious actions include your conversation, body language, and/or physical contact.
Body language, the physical movements and gestures that convey our emotions, is more powerful than spoken language. According to experts, our non-verbal body language represents 50% of what we communicate, while or tone of voice represents 38% and actual spoken words, just a mere 7%. We often don't even realize that we are communicating when are bodies are sending out messages. Because body language is the most important communication factor between potential mates, it's important to recognize the messages that we are sending out and the messages that are being towards us.
So what does this mean for you and your relationships?
If you watch a couple that is deep in conversation, you'll notice how they:
- Shift their positions so that they mimic one another. They are generally relaxed, mirroring one another.
- Shift their breathing patterns as they conversation moves on.
- Adjust their voice volume to match the other person's.
If you understand the basics of body language, you'll pick up these signs making you more aware of how your dates really feel and aware of what non-verbal cues you are sending out. Body language is more than just a quiver or a shiver. It is comprised of many cues that include flirtatious gestures, facial expressions, eye contact, and body posture.
While both men and women use body language as a means of communication, women generally send five times more sexual body language signals than men.
A few of the more common body language cues include:
- Personal Space. One of the most important body language cues to watch out for. If he or she enters your personal space, this is an excellent sign that they want to get closer to you. If they enter to quickly, they're more aggressive and you may not want to pursue it further.
- The Arm Cross. Not a good sign. This generally means that he or she is not interested and it's time to back off. Anytime you're in a conversation, crossed arms signifies caution and defensiveness.
- A Smile. A smile eases the tension. It indicates friendliness, a positive attitude, a good mood, and the impression that you're fun to be with.
Conversation plays an important role in the flirting process as it is the time when you actually get to know more about one another. The overall goal is to find out if the other person is right for you.
They key to good, flirtatious conversation is to remember that men and women think differently. Either way, make sure you:
- Listen attentively.
- Find common ground. The most important aspect of your conversation is to find out what you have in common, be it hobbies, friends, jobs, or whatnot.
- Don't talk about yourself too much. Answer his questions, but be sure to ask questions about him as well.
There are several different methods of 'touching' in a flirtatious way, but one of the more important cues at the beginning of the flirting process is the casual touch.
The casual touch, should appear casual and accidental. It may be a gentle touch to the arm as you laugh at his joke or a casual touch to your hand as you're deep in conversation. Either way, you want to make sure that it's friendly and that the other person has a positive reaction to the touch. If the person accepts your touch with a friendly gesture or a returned touch, then all has gone well. If he or she moves away or ignores the touch, then they're not open to the situation. In general, the touch assures the other person that you have let down your defenses and have accepted them enough to get emotionally and physically closer.
1. Because flirting is the way you discover if someone is attracted to you as well, if you flirt and they don't flirt back, it's safe to say you should move on to the next person to whom you are attracted.
2. Flirting is extremely important at the beginning of the relationship as it's often used in determining the level of interest in dating or sexual activity with the other person. If you're attracted, flirt back!
3. Sometimes flirtatious behavior occurs as a form of entertainment or to have casual sex rather than long term relationships.