Family Matters

What Style of Flirt Are You? Find Out Here

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The pace of reporting the latest in health and wellness news is pretty relentless at Healthland. Sometimes, interesting studies fall by the wayside, as was the case with one about flirtation published several months ago. But there’s no better time than Valentine’s Day to resurrect the news that understanding the way you flirt can lead to more satisfying relationships.

That’s the word from Jeffrey Hall, assistant professor of communication studies at the University of Kansas, whose research on various styles of flirting displayed by more than 5,100 dating adults was published in the fall in the journal Communication Quarterly. (More on Time.com: 5 Little-Known Truths About American Sex Lives)

“Knowing something about the way you communicate attraction says something about challenges you might have had in your past dating life,” says Hall. “Hopefully, this awareness can help people avoid those mistakes and succeed in courtship.”

Participants answered a survey that analyzed their flirtation style, which was intended to gauge the way they perceive relationships and interact with love interests. Some of the more provocative questions:

• I am good at showing my sexual interest.

• Men should make the first move.

• I am good at using body language to flirt.

Using the responses, Hall was able to match participants with one of five dominant flirting styles: physical, traditional, polite, sincere and playful.

• Physical flirting: You’re not shy about letting a potential partner know you’ve got the hots for him or her. People who scored high in this form of flirting often jump into relationships and boast more sexual chemistry and greater emotional connection to their partners.

• Traditional flirting: Think old school. These introverted adherents believe guys should make the first move and women should wait patiently for them to do so. Not surprisingly, women in this category have a harder time catching guys’ eyes.

• Polite flirting: Mind your p’s and q’s, ladies and gents.  Nonsexual communication and good manners are a must; flirting is discouraged.

• Sincere flirting: It’s all about communicating true interest in another person. Sexual chemistry is a must, though it takes a back seat to emotional connection. (More on Time.comThe Science of Smooching: Why Men and Women Kiss Differently)

• Playful flirting: The province of the one-night standers, playful flirters like to flirt because it boosts their self-esteem.

The survey takes about three minutes to complete, and anyone — not just research participants — can take a crack at it. For someone like me who’s about to celebrate a decade of marriage, it took a few minutes to revert to the mindset of a single gal before proceeding to answer the questions. Nevertheless, it was a fun way to squander 180 seconds; here are my results:

Physical style: physical
You scored higher than 40%–50% of other survey takers in your demographic.

For this flirting style, you are very similar to the majority of people. It is not a dominant style for you. This flirting style probably doesn’t play a big role in your flirting behavior.

Traditional style: not at all traditional
You scored higher than 10%–20% of other survey takers in your demographic.

You do not believe that men should make the first move and women should not pursue men. You are very unlikely to feel uncomfortable in a flirting situation where a woman takes charge. You tend to be not at all choosy about who you flirt with, and it is very unlikely that you are selective about who you pursue romantic relationships with. In serious relationships, you do not believe that you should know a potential relationship partner for a long time before approaching them. You are very unlikely to seek out important and meaningful romantic relationships. (More on Time.comLovers Can’t Agree on Whether They Agreed to Embrace Monogamy)

Polite style: somewhat polite
You scored higher than 60%–70% of other survey takers in your demographic.

You believe that courtship should be cautious and rule-governed. You are somewhat likely to use proper manners, non-sexual communication, and less forward behavior during courtship. You tend to be somewhat choosy about who you flirt with, and it is somewhat likely that you took a long time to get to know someone before you knew you were romantically interested in them. You are not very likely to like the singles scene and the way people typically flirt with one another. You are somewhat likely to seek out important and meaningful romantic relationships.

Sincere style: somewhat sincere
You scored higher than 70%–80% of other survey takers in your demographic.

You are somewhat interested in seeking emotional connection and showing sincere interest when flirting. You find flirting somewhat flattering, and believe that personal and private conversation is the best way to develop romance. When flirting, it is somewhat likely that you are:
•                Successful
•                Confident
•                Able to quickly determine relationship potential
In serious relationships, you are somewhat likely to experience a strong emotional connection and sexual chemistry.

Playful style: playful
You scored higher than 50%–60% of other survey takers in your demographic.

For this flirting style, you are very similar to the majority of people. It is not a dominant style for you. This flirting style probably doesn’t play a big role in your flirting behavior.

In love, as in life, it seems, I’m a pretty straightforward, cut-to-the-chase kind of person. See if the survey results capture your personality as accurately as they did mine. If nothing else, answering the questions is a good way to get primed for Valentine’s Day — whether you’re a flirt or not.

Related Links:

The Ultimate Valentine’s Day Guide

Facebook and Love: Why Women Are Attracted to Guys Who Play Hard to Get

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