Flirting is an essential part of developing relationships. No matter where you met your partner, whether it’s online, through a friend, or a common area you frequent like school or work, the pattern will always be the same. Your relationship will be determined by how and when you flirt.
What is flirting?
When you think about flirting, you immediately imagine a couple who is giving an extraordinary amount of attention to each other. Depending on their motives, the intent should be obvious. But these days, it’s hard to get a marker on whether or a not a person really is flirting with you.
It could be they’re just trying to make conversation in a place filled with unfamiliar people or looking to build their network in a casual setting. The problem is when you go out to meet potential love interests knowing whether or not you’ve struck gold on a potential date or struck out because of a bored stranger.
If you want to know whether someone is flirting with you, you need to know what exactly it entails. Flirting is a way for people to gauge attraction. It is also a way to express your intent, whether it’s romantic or purely sexual.
These days, you have to consider the latter or else you’ll be reading a different article-one that tells you how to know if a person is just interested in a hookup. For the purpose of this feature, we will focus solely on flirting. [Read: 15 very obvious signs of flirting between a guy and a girl]
How has flirting evolved?
Scientists back in the day were mesmerized by what they saw and heard from celebrities in terms of flirting. They decided there might be some value in looking into what constitutes flirting. What they discovered is flirting stemmed from the primal need to copulate or cohabitate with the opposite sex.
Keeping in mind that the progression of flirting has included the LGBTQ community, there isn’t much of a difference then and now as to what constitutes flirting. The basic gist of it all is this: Flirting is purely non-verbal. It is not something that can be replicated by words.
To give you a basic play-by-play of how men and women flirt, here’s how it goes. Women flirt by showcasing their physical attributes. That is why physical appearances and body type are their main priority when it comes to preparing themselves for a date. Men, on the other hand, are more concerned with how they can stake their claim in a neutral setting in order for the situation to develop into a romantic one. [Read: 14 ways to know for sure if a guy is actually flirting with you]
This means women flirt by emphasizing their most attractive physical traits like their eyes, chest, legs, etc. Men flirt by showing women they’re assertive and impressive. It seems so simple when you read it, but it’s actually more complicated than it sounds.
People are not aware when they are flirting until after they’ve performed these acts. They think that flirting is isolated to how they interacted with the person, as opposed to how they acted within that person’s space.
Is he flirting with you? 12 signs to know for sure
It’s a bit easier to determine if women are flirting. They’re pretty neutral when they aren’t flirting, or they immediately shoot down a suitor who’s planning on doing so. When it comes to men, it’s hard to gauge whether they’re flirting or just making conversation.
That’s because they don’t act as affectionately as women do. While women’s voices tend to change or their body language and facial expression give them away, men’s typically are how they usually are. This is especially true when they’ve always had a friendly and engaging demeanor.
We’ve compiled a list of ways men can flirt. Remember, these are just guidelines. They are not to be used as confirmation you are headed off into the sunset together.
#1 He leans towards you while you’re talking. Most people will simply face you when they’re enjoying a conversation. A man who is flirting will lean in whenever he laughs or whenever you’re saying something.
#2 He makes eye contact. Men who want you to know they like you will try to tell you this through their eyes. Most of the time, they don’t even know they’re sending a message by the way they look at you.
#3 He brushes up against you once in a while. A man will use any excuse to elicit innocent touches on a girl he likes. Bear in mind, you should not allow any person to touch you offensively, but a pat on the arm or a supportive hand on the back is all right as long as you’re comfortable with it. [Read: Is he really attracted to you? 16 giveaways he just can’t hide]
#4 He asks you questions about yourself. If a guy likes you, he gives you all of his attention. He is also trying to learn as much as he can about you. By asking you questions, he is showing you he cares, and he is collecting information that might be useful in case you start dating.
#5 He tells you things that may impress you about him. Aside from asking about you, a guy will want you to know about his achievements in life. This is not to say that he will enumerate all his past awards and accolades *although some might*. He just wants you to know that he is a man of value and he might be worthy of your time.
#6 He asks you whether you’re seeing someone. No explanation needed.
#7 He tries to make you laugh. A lot of guys know that making a woman laugh brings them one step closer to a date. [Read: 7 things nice guys do that most girls mistake for flirting]
#8 He compliments you. That goes the same for compliments that have substance. Men who know the drill know not to focus on physical appearances and that they should compliment a woman tactfully.
#9 He calls you by your name. There’s power in familiarity and it starts by using someone’s name on a regular basis. When a guy chooses to use your name frequently in the conversation, it means he is trying to establish a bond.
#10 He inches towards your personal space. This is one of the more dominant aspects of male flirting. It’s almost the same as marking their territory. Don’t worry. It’s not as bad as it sounds. The proximity actually helps their cause because it makes you feel closer to them. [Read: Does he like you? 18 body language cues that are really, really obvious]
#11 He tries to keep the conversation going by talking more. Unfortunately for guys, this is not a good idea because women find this annoying. No surprise there. It’s best you take the reins on the conversation when you find a guy’s talking too much. They’re probably just nervous anyway!
#12 Peacocking. Don’t mistake this for the pick-up artist’s way of peacocking. That’s when men wear or do outrageous things to get a girl’s attention. The regular peacocking that has been around for ages is subconsciously performed by a guy in the way they puff their chests out, stick their chin up, and spread their arms or hands to show their whole profile. It’s a primal instinct that says to a woman, “Here I am. Come and get me.” [Read: 20 unmistakable signs your friend is crushing on you]
Men don’t always know just how much is going on in their heads and bodies when it comes to flirting. As much as they’d like to flirt the right way, they mostly end up being goofy and adorable. And that’s why you end up liking them so much, right?
[Read: 9 sneaky ways to get a guy to ask you out]
If you still can’t tell whether or not they’re flirting with you after reading this, we suggest you just ask them. Being straightforward and direct can be your way of flirting. When you ask men about it, they’ll appreciate the honesty and even see it as a very attractive trait.
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