Reading nonverbal cues is an important part of knowing how to flirt and how to recognize flirtatious behavior. These signs of flirting in men and women will help you see who is interested in romance, and who isn’t.
Not only are there specific signs of flirtatious behavior in men and women, there are actually five stages of flirting. The ten signs of flirting below are part of the nonverbal communication or body language that men and women often send each other.
Some experts say 90% of communication is nonverbal. We send nonverbal messages through body language and flirting to attract people of the opposite sex for a romantic dalliance…or to communicate that we’re not interested.
Flirting isn’t all about sexual innuendo and attracting possible mates: babies flirt with their parents to ensure survival and people in the service industry flirt with their customers to get bigger tips and make more sales.
Reading body language is an important way to communicate with others and pick up on their unspoken signals. Whether you’ve spotted an attractive stranger across the room, are on a first date, or have been married for decades, these signs of flirting will help you decipher nonverbal body language and cues.
These flirting signals are common, and often unconscious.
10 Signs of Flirting in Men and Women
Flirting is about sending the message “I like you” through nonverbal communication. Flirting isn’t always about attracting someone of the opposite sex, or about initiating a romantic relationship.
Research shows that when a potential mate appears, people raise their eyebrows slightly. This sign of flirting can be an unconscious sign of interest on the flirter’s part.
You know she’s interested when she not only makes eye contact, but holds it for a significant amount of time. If you’re across the room from one another, regular brief instances of eye contact may be strong signs of flirting.
Women will flick their hair – you see this in movies all the time. Even women with really short hair can flick their hair. Remember Cameron Diaz in the first Charlie’s Angels movie? Total hair flick after she met the bartender – and her hair was almost as short as his!
Playing with accessories
This signal from the opposite sex involves playing with earrings, twirling hair, and fiddling with necklaces. Men may offer similar signs of flirting: playing with their neckties or jingling the change in their pocket.
If he leans close to you, he’s giving you a nonverbal message that he wants to be closer (this may seem to be an obvious sign of flirting, but it’s often misread). Leaning in isn’t just a sign of flirting; it’s a counseling technique that shows active listening.
Open body language
This is a significant sign of flirting for both men and women. The opposite of open body language (closed body language, which is easier to describe) is turning away, crossing arms or legs, or pulling back.
You’ve seen the demure sideways glances – and perhaps you’ve even thrown a few. When you’re attracted to someone, it can be difficult to meet their eyes. Sideways glances are a strong sign of flirting.
Flirting, whether you’ve been dating for three weeks or married for 30 years, can keep your relationship healthy.
Looking at lips or body parts
When you find yourself looking at his lips or jaw, you may be sending a flirting signal. This may be an unconscious sign of flirting – when you’re attracted to someone, you can’t help but to check out their assets!
You laugh at their jokes, no matter how silly or unfunny. This sign of flirting isn’t all about attracting mates. Laughter can endear you to your boss or babysitter, which may make them acquiesce to your requests.
This is a fairly obvious sign of flirting. Lightly touching someone’s arm, knee or shoulder shows interest. It’s a nonverbal signal that you’re open and friendly.
“A lot of people feel flirting is part of the universal language of how we communicate, especially nonverbally,” says Dr Jeffry Simpson of the University of Minnesota. “With a lot of it, especially the nonverbal stuff, people may not be fully aware that they’re doing it. People may emit flirtatious cues and not be fully aware of how powerful they are.” (Source: “Why We Flirt,” Time, February 4, 2008).
What do you think – are you a flirt?
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If your partner thinks you flirt too much, read Introverts in Love With Extroverts – Can Your Relationship Work?