Experts believe the way she flirts is a clue to her personality. But what is her flirting style telling you?
You might have just met her at a bar, or you may have known her for years. Whichever it is, you’re pretty certain you’ve noticed a flicker of sexual or romantic interest.
But what, exactly, has she done to give you that impression? It’s an important question because, according to research, her flirting style can give you a major clue about what to expect in the next few hours, days or weeks – and even what you can expect in a long term relationship (if it gets that far).
In fact, one recent study from the University of Kansas in the US identified five flirting styles and even suggested the types of relationships those styles might lead to. So here’s what her flirting might be telling you.
The physical flirt
She may ostentatiously look you up and down. She may punctuate her conversation with a playful hand on your arm or an obvious flick of her abundant blond locks. According to the psychologists at Kansas University, she’s a physical flirt, and her body language speaks volumes.
What it probably doesn’t say, however, is that you have bagged yourself a guaranteed one-night stand. You haven’t. Physical flirts might be happy to show their sexual interest, but that doesn’t mean they’re promiscuous.
She may well fall for your charms, though. According to the research, physical flirts fall head over heels quite easily, and quickly develop an emotional and – when the time comes – sexual connection.
And don’t be blinded by prejudice. Physical flirts can make for good relationships, even in the long term. Two of the key ingredients of a lasting relationship are sexual chemistry and a strong emotional bond, and physical flirts tend to develop both in abundance.
The traditional flirt
If you think you’ve seen a flicker of interest from a traditional flirt, it’s probably only a flicker. If you’re getting anywhere at all it might be because you’ve known her a long time and you’ve done all the pursuing.
In other words, the traditional flirt believes men should do the asking and women should wait to be asked. If you try other flirting techniques on her – particularly the physical kind – you’re likely to put her off. If she flirts at all it will probably be subconsciously and you’ll have to be aware of some very subtle clues, from a very brief glance in your direction to the shy, nervous fidgeting that can at least indicate interest.
How will a relationship play out? Well, you won’t have to worry about her flirting with other men. Aside from that, she’ll value the security you offer and may well be quite introverted, preferring a cosy night in with you to raucous parties or nightclubs.
The polite flirt
The polite flirt knows the rules. You’re more likely to have to approach her and you’re unlikely to feel the spark of sexual chemistry if you do. It might be there, but she’ll be careful not to let it show.
She probably won’t be cold or standoffish, mind, particularly if she likes you. She’ll engage in lively conversation. She’ll laugh at your jokes. She may swap numbers or email addresses at the end of the night.
But her flirting is likely to be non-sexual in the first instance, and she may seem a little reserved. Her manners will be impeccable but telling her that her eyes sparkle like the brightest stars in the firmament is unlikely to do you any favours. She doesn’t flirt ostentatiously and she’s not flattered by the ostentatious flirting of others.
The good news is that, according to the Kansas research, polite flirters “do tend to have meaningful relationships”. She might be hard work at the outset, but she may well be a loving and loyal partner.
The sincere flirt
There’s no game-playing with the sincere flirt, and no danger that her interest in you will only be sustained until you stop buying the drinks. If you’ve known her a while and she’s said yes to a date, it’s unlikely that she’s agreed on a whim or that she’s going into it half-heartedly. She’s checking you out as serious potential mate material.
So how do you identify a sincere flirt? Well, she might show a lot of interest in your life, work and interests. She will ask questions and be attentive to answers.
She wants to make an emotional connection and will let you know that she’s interested (if she is). So expect her to be open, honest and straight down the line. Her flirting style might not be playful or full of sexy hints and innuendo, but it will be genuine. She won’t do anything purely for effect.
Happily, she may carry that emotional honesty into any ensuing relationship. So if you don’t mess her around, she won’t mess you around, either.
The playful flirt
She’s great fun to be around and her playful, sexy flirting style can send a young man’s imagination into overdrive. You may be very glad – at first – to have chanced upon the most playful female flirt in the bar.
But be warned, the playful flirt is the diametric opposite of her sincere counterpart. She may very well flirt with you or say yes to a date on a whim. She may laugh at your jokes and compliment your style without even considering you as boyfriend material. Her flirting might suggest otherwise, but you’d be wrong to think there’s any future to your encounter beyond the next 10 minutes.
The fact is, playful flirts enjoy flirting. It’s not a means to an end (be that sex, a romance or a relationship), it’s an end in itself. They find it a fun way to spend an evening, partly because of the boost it gives to their own self-esteem. She’ll love your obvious sexual interest, but perhaps not in the way you’d hope.
And any ensuing relationship? Frankly, it’s highly unlikely there’ll be one. If there is, it will probably be fleeting and shallow. Which is fine, of course, as long as you’re not expecting a whole lot more.
If the scientists are right, you really can gauge her wants and desires from the way she flirts. Pick up on the clues early and you could save yourself a lot of heartache, or stop your own flirting style from driving a potential long-term lover away.