What is flirting? This is the question that I asked 250 women and men across four different cultures. I conducted an anthropological study on the heterosexual flirting behaviour of people in the cities of NY, London, Paris, and Stockholm. As a side note, Stockholm might not seem like a natural fit with these other cities. But, at the time, the U.N. ranked Swedish women as having the least amount of inequality amongst all the countries in the world. I wanted to see if this affected flirting behaviour. Hint: It certainly did. In a nutshell, in societies where there is greater gender equality, women tend to display the same behaviour around sex, approaching, and assertiveness that has traditionally only been done by men. I used this research to write my dissertation, as well as my first book, The Flirt Interpreter.
But, what I would like to focus on is your personal attitude to flirting. This will greatly affect your ability to flirt or not, and to enjoy it or not. Perhaps you are similar to the New Yorkers, who see flirting as a fun way to pass the time. This means you will probably be more apt to flirt in your day to day life, and see it as harmless fun. In contrast, if you see flirting as a more serious endeavour, as told to me by a Swedish interviewee, ‘you had better choose carefully because you only get one choice’ you might be more reluctant to begin.
Over the years, I have created my own definition of flirting. I see it as playful fun. My mental model towards the world is, ‘Who wants to play?’. The power here, is that if my attitude is around having fun, I only care about those who want to have fun with me. This means that I don’t take it personally, on the rare occasion, when I run across someone who doesn’t want to engage. I don’t feel rejected: it just means that this person, at this moment, doesn’t want to play. It takes the onus off of me.
Let me ask you again, ‘what is your attitude around flirting?’. If it is currently any of the following:
Good girls don’t flirt
Flirting is a commitment
I don’t like the person enough to flirt
Flirting is hard
Or anything else that is causing you pain or difficulty, then now is the time to change this.
I am offering you three solutions
As always, I also have loads of free articles and blog posts that I have written for you as well. Let’s make sure 2019 is different from previous years. You got this!