I was at a local bar a few months ago with some friends. The place was really crowded and a good band was playing. Now I am 58 years old. I don’t feel or look 58. A very attractive younger lady approached me and asked me if I danced? Although this made me feel like I still had the stuff, I politely told her, “With my wife.”
As I sat back down at my table, I started to view the many actions and reactions of the people to each other in the bar. I am sure that most of the people there knew each other. However, there were many that didn’t. So I just went by general observations. The first major factor in flirting that I noticed was that of alcohol and its affect on people. Alcohol tends to encourage boldness or to let inhibitions down. After a few drinks, quiet shy individuals tend become more outgoing.
There are many types of flirting signs or signals. There is the smile, primping, the look then look away, the change in voice (speech), the move closer into someones comfort zone, the offer to buy a drink or light a cigarette, the giving up a chair are just a few ways to flirt.
Sometimes these signals that we give off are done spontaneously without even a thought. People have done these so many times, that it is a part of our mating repertoire. Human beings aren’t the only ones that flirt. Monica Moore a Ph D in social sciences at Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri has been studying the art or science of flirting for some time. She has studied Turkeys and their dance. She has also studied the sounds that birds make. They use “calls” to attract each other. She says humans are no different.
A prelude to flirting is “prepping ourselves.” If we know that we are going to be around others, we make sure that our appearance, body odor, and hair are appealing to the opposite sex. The two strongest desires in humans is food and sex. Food is a given while sex requires some thought and preparation.
With the use of “text messaging and emails”, flirting has went to another level. Coy verbal phrases can now be substituted while we are at a distance. If a message goes unanswered, it is repeated or the individual will ask,” Did you get my message?” The thing about messaging is that it is more secretive. This way no one knows but you and the person that you are flirting with. Embarrassment in front of others is almost nil.
The art of flirting is trial and error. There is no class in school that prepares an individual for flirting. There are no courtship behavior subjects that are taught. I once had a class called Family Living. It was about being responsible in a marriage situation. However, it did not deal with courtship behavior and was dropped for lack of funds. It is sad that there aren’t classes for courtship. It is such an important factor in our way of life.
Consciously or subconsciously, flirting and being able to identify flirting is important to our own ego. Consciously we plan and re-plan each time we do it. We eliminate what doesn’t work and try to improve on what does work. Subconsciously is hard to figure out because we are unaware of what we are doing. Others around us can usually identify it before we do. It is not unusual for a friend to remark,”oh you were flirting with her.”
Flirting has alway been part of the dating ritual. Society has been able to advance the technique through new ways of communication. As society advances so will the art of flirting.
sources: Monica Moore, Webster University