13 Facts About Flirting That Single — and Married — People Should Know

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How you feel after flirting with someone who's not your partner depends on your gender

The impulse to flirt doesn't necessarily end once you're in a relationship.

But a 2008 McGill University study found that men and women in relationships react differently after they've potentially flirted with someone else.

In one study, 71 male undergrads in committed partnerships met either an attractive woman who flirted with them or an unavailable woman who ignored them. The same experiment was repeated on 58 female undergrads and attractive or unavailable men.

After the encounters, researchers asked participants how they'd react if their partner had done something annoying. Men who'd met the attractive woman were 12% less likely to forgive their partners, while women who'd met the attractive man were 17.5% more likely to show forgiveness.

It's not about being the most attractive person in the room

It's about signaling that you're available. 

According to research from Webster University psychologist Monica Moore — who studied people's flirting behavior at singles bars, shopping malls, and other places where young people meet — women who smiled and made eye contact with others were more likely to be approached than those who were simply good-looking.

Eye contact really helps

Without being too much of a creep, staring into another person's eyes really does have effects.

In one study, researchers had 48 pairs of unacquainted, opposite-sex undergrads spend two minutes at each of the following tasks: 1) gazing at their partner's eyes, 2) gazing at their partner’s hands, and 3) counting how many times their partner blinked.

When both pairs were doing the eye-gazing task at the same time — meaning they were looking at each other — they were far likely to report feelings of affection than when they were doing any other task. 

There may be five main styles of flirting

When it comes to flirting, everyone's got a different M.O.

In 2010, Jeffrey A. Hall and Chong Xing published research that suggests there are five different styles of flirting. In 2015, they followed up on this research by breaking down each style into a series of verbal and non-verbal behaviors.

Here are some key behaviors of each type, as described by Susan Krauss Whitbourne onPsychology Today:

• Physical flirts tend to subtly touch the person they're interested in.
• Traditional flirts believe men should make the first move.
• Sincere flirts get other people to open up to them.
• Playful flirts see the interaction as a game and may be using the flirtation as a means to another end.

 

Read the original article on Tech Insider. Copyright 2016.

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