Question: what is the most exciting and terrifying thing at the same time? Answer: flirting with someone you're attracted to. And, in spite of what you've heard, there's this: flirting is important for couples as well as singles. Here's the 11 key flirting facts you need to know today!
  1. People flirt for six different reasons:
    1. Sex: trying to get in bed.
    2. Fun: treating it like a sport.
    3. Exploring: trying to see what it would be like to be in a relationship.
    4. Relational: trying to increase the intimacy of a relationship.
    5. Esteem: increasing one's own self esteem.
    6. Instrumental: trying to get something from the other person.
  2. Couples need to flirt, too:  why? As a means of maintaining and emphasizing intimacy. Oftentimes, married couples flirt to "create a private world with the spouse."
  3. People feel connected when they get past the small talk.
  4. Men overestimate how interested women are.
  5. The most attractive characteristics depend on gender, studies show:
    1. Happiness was the most attractive female expression, but one of the least attractive for men.
    2. Pride was the most attractive male expression, but one of the least attractive for women.
    3. Interestingly, an expression of shame was relatively attractive on both men and women.
  6. Flirting can enhance your attraction:  in fact, flirting is a "negotiation process" that happens after the first moments of attraction.
  7. It's not about being the most attractive person in the room:  for example, women who smile and make eye contact with others are more likely to be approached than those who were simply good looking.
  8. There may be four main styles of flirting:
    1. Physical flirts tend to subtly touch the person they're interested in.
    2. Traditional flirts believe men should make the first move.
    3. Sincere flirts get other people to open up to them.
    4. Playful flirts see the interaction as a game and may be using the flirtation as a means to another end.
  9. The best flirters shift their strategy depending on context:  for example, if you're flirting with someone perceived as higher status than you, being more subtle will lead to more success, according to research.
  10. If you're flirting on an app, there are some words that work better than others:  for men, calling a woman "beautiful" led to a conversation 20% of the time. Women messaging men first receive responses less often, but using the word "nice" works best.
  11. Flirting could be all about biology:  flirting may have less to do with words or body language, and more to do with biology. Pheromones, or chemicals released by your body, have an impact on people around you and can contribute to physical attraction.