Time Out

Notes from a flaming moderate

What's Your Flirting Style?

Are you frustrated with the dating scene?

Are you frustrated with the dating scene? Would you like to be dating more? Or perhaps you're yearning for a long-term relationship that eludes you over and over again?

Your flirting style might be part of the problem.

Flirting is what happens at the very beginning of romantic relationships. It's the way people find, attract and communicate who they are and what they want. If you're not happy with your romantic life, perhaps there's a disconnect between the way you communicate - your flirting style - and what you really want.

It turns out that particular styles of flirting are associated with different dating and relationship outcomes. A study published in the October issue of Communication Quarterly surveyed more than 5,000 dating adults about the ways people communicate romantic interest. The authors, Jeffrey Hall and Steve Carter, identified five styles of flirting.

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One style is the Traditional flirt. Traditional flirts think men should make the first move, and women should not pursue men. Because of their passive stance and beliefs, female Traditional flirts find it hard to meet men and attract their attention. Compared to men with other flirting styles, Traditional men tend to know someone for a longer time before asking them out. Both genders are likely to be introverted preferring quiet, intimate settings to large social scenes.

People with a Playful flirting style seem to enjoy the game, flirting for fun and self-esteem. This style is less likely to result in important or meaningful relationships.

The Physical flirting style communicates sexual interest, and is a quick way to develop a relationship with sexual chemistry and emotional connection.

In contrast to Physical flirting, Polite flirting features nonsexual communication and proper manners. People with this style of flirting take a slow approach, and don't find flirting flattering. They do tend to have meaningful relationships.

Finally, there's the Sincere style of flirting. Men and women both advocate this style, but women are more likely to use it. Sincere flirting expresses genuine interest and creates emotional connections. It's no surprise that people with this style of flirting tend to have relationships that involve strong emotional connection, and sexual chemistry, and which also tend to be meaningful.

Does your flirting style express who you are and what you're looking for?

 

Renee Garfinkel, Ph.D., is affiliated with the Institute for Crisis, Disaster and Risk Management at the George Washington University.

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