Flirting can be seen throughout the animal kingdom. From the fluttering of a birds whimsical feathers to the bottlenose dolphins displaying highly efficient swimming skills paired with the affectionate rubbing of pectoral fins. For a lot of us, flirting doesn’t come as naturally as an animal instinct and can unfortunately feel extremely awkward. It takes careful thought and consideration before we are able to step into the world of flirting. Most people who flirt are motivated for a variety of reasons including:
- To gauge someone’s interest: Flirting can be used to understand whether someone else is romantically interested in them by gauging their reaction; Whether they happily engage in flirting or whether they ignore it.
- To change a relationship: People often flirt to gain a closer, romantic and passionate relationship with someone they desire. Flirting can be seen as the initial step before dating.
- Flirting can lead to sex: Flirting can help create a mental desire to arouse someone to have intimate relationships with the person.
- For personal gain: People flirt to motivate someone to perform a task whether it is a household chore, asking for a holiday or asking for a present.
- For fun: Some people flirt to develop joyful interactions with people they may not be physical or mentally attracted to. This can be seen when friends flirt with each other.
- To let people know they are desired: Flirting is a good way to let people know they are attractive. It does not necessarily mean they would like a sexual relationship but encourages a person to understand they are desired. It is a good way to help build another person’s confidence level and self-esteem with sincerity. The School of Life define this type of flirting in more detail:
“Good flirting is in essence an attempt dreamed by kindness and imaginative excitement to inspire another person to believe more firmly in their own likeability, psychology as much as physical. It is a gift offered not in order to manipulate but out of the pleasure of perceiving what is most attractive in another. Flirting matters because how rarely we get to experience ourselves as desirable. “
Just like the odd behaviours within the animal kingdom, people also engage in an enormous amount of flirting rituals some of which are more subtle than others. Some subtle gestures include brief glances with a friendly smile, the opening up of body language, moving closer to a person they like, brief physical touches to show interest and playing with hair. Whilst there are more noticeable flirting techniques that include long glances across a room, the flexing of muscles to make a man’s body appear bigger, people who purposefully talk with more of a masculine or seductive tone and body language that takes up a protective amount of space.
The most obvious form a flirting is when people use pickup lines. We have all either received, given or heard an opening line be served to someone. They are a great method to break the ice by either arousing someone, creating a joke that can be laughed at or gives people something to talk about. There is a large variety of topic based pickup lines to choose from including foodie, nerdy, sweet, sexual, knock knock jokes and much more. Below I have listed a couple of my favourites:
- Take me to Papa John’s because this is love at 425 degrees!
- Damn girl, I must be reading a book because you are fine print!
- Do you have a Band-Aid? Because I scrapped my knee falling for you.
- I’ll kiss you in the rain so you will get twice as wet!
- Knock Knock! Who’s there? Honeydew! Honeydew who? Honeydew you know how fine you look right now?
Flirting can be exceptionally enjoyable, exhilarating and adventurous. Particularly if you are engaging in flirting with someone you barely know as you don’t have to be worried about whether you will see them again. It can only become terrifying if you attempt to flirt with someone you actually care about. If this is the case, it is a good idea to use flirting as a way to gauge their interest in whether they would like to date you.
If you are planning on flirting, don’t talk heavily about problems within your personal life and don’t drink too much as you can get sloppy. Some people are also very oblivious to whether they are being flirted with, if this is the case you may need think of making your flirting more obvious. Like everything else, the more you flirt the better you will become at it. It is recommended to continue to flirt within a romantic long-term relationship so your partner is given the confidence to understand how you feel about them.