The Art of Flirting

Flirting is a time-honored way of signaling interest and attraction, to say nothing of mutual awareness. It is a kind of silent language spoken by men and women around the world.

The ways people communicate interest are so deeply rooted in human nature that the signals are automatically understood by all. Flirting is part of the behavioral repertoire we come equipped with to meet nature's most basic command—find a good mate and multiply.

Human flirting has a parallel in the animal world; it is akin to the behavioral displays many animals engage in to signal not only their availability but their suitability. The gestures and movements used in flirting provide clues to biological and psychological health.

Flirting is not a trivial activity; it requires many skills: intellect, body language, creativity, empathy. At its best, flirting can be high art, whether the flirter is vying for a soul mate, manipulating a salesperson, or just being playful.

Recent posts on Flirting

Predatory Polyamory?

My first blog on this topic told monogamous folks that they did not need to worry about poly people trying to steal their partners, but readers wrote in telling a different story.

Looking for Love?

By Susan McQuillan M.S., RDN on March 16, 2017 in Cravings
Where do people look for love and friendship? And where do they actually find it?

Avoiding "Fatal Attractions" in Intimate Relationships

Finding the right partner can be challenging. Picking one who will not annoy you or turn you off in the long run can be even harder. Fortunately, research can help...

Why Successful Women Gravitate Toward Younger Men

By Suzanne Lachmann Psy.D. on March 04, 2017 in Me Before We
If you’re a successful woman who gravitates toward younger men, it may be because you appreciate the non-defensive willingness to absorb what you can provide.

What Happens if You Love a Flirt?

Does flirting have a place in ongoing relationships or should it be limited to relationship initiation?

St. Valentine’s Day and the Biology of Romantic Kissing

By Robert D. Martin Ph.D. on February 14, 2017 in How We Do It
For Westerners, kisses and Valentine’s Day are inseparable. But new cross-cultural evidence challenges evolutionary inferences regarding possible biological functions of kissing.

Who Was Valentine?

By Neel Burton M.D. on February 13, 2017 in Hide and Seek
The history of Valentine's Day.

Should You See Fifty Shades for Valentine's Day?

Should you go see Fifty Shades this Valentine's Day? It is prudent to consider how this deliciously salacious movie may impact your relationship, for better or worse.

How “Wanting to Be Liked" Gets You Rejected

5 ways to stop approval seeking and improve your relationships.

Sex and its Divine Nature

Why does our sexual appetite come and go? Is sex an activity that brings pleasure because it nurtures our ego? Or is it the opposite? Is sex so good because it disrupts our ego?

50 Playful Dates to Spice up Your Relationship

Couples who play together, stay together. Here's a list of 50 fun activities to keep the novelty alive in your relationship.

Five Relationship Resolutions for the New Year

Want your relationship to thrive in the new year? Here are five tips for maintaining a happy, healthy romance.

8 Ways to Launch a New Romantic Relationship

How do you find a boyfriend or girlfriend? Which approaches are successful and when?

Tips for Holiday Dating

For most people, most of the time, dating is a lot of fun—especially if you’re dating someone new that you really like. But it can also be stressful...

My Student Has a Crush on Me

By Barbara Greenberg Ph.D. on November 14, 2016 in The Teen Doctor
What to do about student/teacher crushes.

I'm Not Sure How To Give My Daughter Relationship Advice

By Barbara Greenberg Ph.D. on September 14, 2016 in The Teen Doctor
What To Say To Your Daughter Who Is Having Boyfriend Trouble

The Ugly Truth About Online Dating

By Ryan Anderson on September 06, 2016 in The Mating Game
Have you ventured into the world of online dating? Or are you thinking about it? Before you do, there are a few things you need to know.

How to Turn Friendship Into Love

Is your friendship forever a friendship, or could it turn into a romance? New research can help.

Sex at the Olympic Games? The Truth Revealed

By Kelly Campbell Ph.D. on August 15, 2016 in More Than Chemistry
For years now, hundreds of thousands of condoms have been distributed to athletes at the Olympic Games. But how many are actually being used?

How to Move a Relationship out of the Friend Zone

Everyone engages in a little fantasizing in which the platonic turns to the romantic. New research shows that these fantasies can become reality under the right conditions.

Cheating and Consensual Non-Monogamy

People can cheat before, during, and after consensual non-monogamous relationships. This cheating can be emotional and/or physical, involving lying or broken safer sex agreements.

Sage Relationship Advice From the Movie Swingers

It’s been twenty years and I still think one of my favorite relationship movies is Swingers. It is a veritable storehouse of relationship advice, particularly about self-esteem.

Online Dating: Quit Bragging

Research on why modesty is best for the online dater.

How (and Why) to Play Hard to Get

Can playing hard to get make you more attractive? Read what the research has to say.

Can a Crush on a Friend Turn Into Romance?

New research shows how projecting your romantic feelings onto a friend can sometimes set off a chain reaction that leads to romance.

3 Vital Elements of Attraction

Different traits and features are attractive for different types of relationships. Find out how you are attractive—and to whom.

5 Tricks for Hotter Summer Sex

Five research-based ideas for heating up your sex life this summer.

Are You More of a Flirt Than You Think?

Whether or not you intend to, you may be sending out signals that you’re sexually available. See which of the 5 flirting types fits your own behavior.

4 Ways You Can Turn a Crush Into a Relationship

Summer crush season is upon us! Here's how to make the feeling mutual.

The CODES of a Good Date

By Eva Ritvo M.D. on May 24, 2016 in On Vitality
Learn the C.O.D.E.S of a good date! Cortisol, Oxytocin, Dopamine, Endorphins, and Serotonin.