An assistant professor of communication studies at University of Kansas has co-authored a study on the different types of flirting among adults. Jeffrey Hall surveyed over 5000 people and asked them how they communicated interest in a potential romantic partner.
At the end, Hall says that most people will benefit from knowing the type of flirting they do, and what challenges they faced in previous dating experiences. This self-awareness will go a long way in assisting people to avoid repeating past dating mistakes, reports Science Daily.
Hall identified five types of flirting: playful, sincere, polite, traditional, and physical. Playful flirts have very little interest in a long-term relationship, but enjoy the way flirting makes them feel. Flirting is FUN! Playful flirts are less likely to have long-term/meaningful relationships.
This breed of flirter enjoys developing emotional connections and exceeds at communicating true interest. Women are more likely to be “sincere flirts,” but both genders can be this type. Sincere flirts who get involved in meaningful relationships tend to forge strong emotional connections and have powerful sexual chemistry.
Polite flirts don’t use much sexual communication – they tend to focus on proper manners and don’t find flirting very flattering. That said, polite flirts do have meaningful relationships.
Typically these people think women should let men make the moves. Women shouldn’t ever pursue men, and should be passive in a relationship. Women who are traditional flirts tend to have trouble attracting mens' attention and don’t really flirt – and tend to not be overly flattered by men who flirt. For men who are of the traditional type, they tend to know a prospective partner a long time before approaching her/him. Both male and female traditional flirts are more likely than other types to be introverted.
Physical flirts get into relationships quickly, know how to express sexual interest in a potential partner, enjoy sexual chemistry with potential partners and tend to have a greater emotional connection to partners.
Interestingly enough, Hall’s studies showed that there was little difference between men and women in the flirting styles.
The study was co-authored by Steve Carter, senior director of research and product development at eHarmony.com; Julie M Albright, adjunct professor of sociology at USC; and Michael J. Cody, professor in the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California.
Find out your style
Curious to know what your flirting style is? Go to the University of Kansas Flirting Styles Inventory and take the test!