A Better Understanding of Flirting
I feel that many people misunderstand what flirting really is. With these misunderstandings, flirting can be taken out of context very easily. In a relationship this could lead to issues of trust or doubt, while in other situations it might be taken as an over the top sexual gesture.
So the only way to get around these misunderstandings, is to understand the true nature of flirting. So we are going to do just that!
What is Flirting?
According to encarta, flirting is the art of acting alluringly. It is someone who is behaving in a playful way, and is even defined as when a person 'flicks' another person.
In essence, flirting is the act of showing genuine interest in another in an inviting manner. Often it happens through charismatic behaviors and a sweet demeanor.
Reasons Why Women Flirt
I can't speak for every woman. Though through my own experiences and those that I have observed from other woman, there are some main reasons why woman will flirt.
To Achieve a Desired Outcome - A woman may be seeking to get that promotion, to sweet talk her way out of a ticket, to convince someone she is more innocent that she appears to be, or even to get a better price on that new car she wants to buy. The goal might be to get her mate to get something for her or to do something for her, or it might be to cheer someone up who has been in a rough patch.
Accidental Flirting - As much as some may refuse to admit it, flirting is natural and takes place much more often then you might think. This is because flirting is a natural resource and instinct that both men and women possess. When it pops up accidentally, it was usually in a moment of connection with another human being. It might have been that super nice waiter. It could have been that guy or gal who smiled at us when we passed them. It could happen for a million reasons and often does. Even if you don't consider yourself to be the flirtatious sort, or you are happily involved, you can look back and think about plenty of times you found yourself accidentally flirting with another person.
Human Connection - We all get lonely in life. Even when we have been in long term happy relationships, it's still nice to have other connections in the world. So sometimes a woman will flirt when she is lonely, wants to feel special or just wants to make a connection with someone outside of her normal circle.
Sex & Hormones - That's right, the least common reason a woman will flirt is to get sex. Even when she is flirting to get sex, it's often just because she ovulating and her hormones are telling her it's time to attract a mate. If she already has a mate, she'll often flirt with him, though sometimes those hormones can spill over into the rest of life as well. If she doesn't have a mate and she is purposely flirting, it's probably for sex.
Signs That She's Flirting
Standing Close - When we want to get close to someone, we do just that! We get closer to them physically. This usually starts out in small increments, so that we can gauge how close you'll let us get...
Smiling - This one is confusing, because a woman could just be smiling because she is happy or trying to hide that she is unhappy. Though if she is smiling AND showing other signs of flirting, then it's definitely flirting.
Laughing - We could've have genuinely found your joke to be funny, but in most cases, we just wanted you to think we think you're funny because we're flirting with you.
Direct Eye Contact - Most women use indirect eye contact for normal situations. And while there are some situations that call for direct eye contact that have nothing to do with flirting, in most cases, direct eye contact from a woman, means she is trying to connect with you and is flirting.
Physical Contact - If we were able to get close enough to you during a conversation, then we will reach out and touch you. It might be a jovial little shove, a hand on the arm or a simple brush up against you. Even the subtlest touch is an indication that's she's flirting.
Playing With Her Hair - This is usually a sign of nervous energy when we are flirting, though there are plenty of woman who know how to use that hair...
Wetting Her Lips - Men are visual animals and women know this. If she is constantly wetting her lips, either she's got really dry lips or she's flirting.
Mirroring - It's natural for a human being to mirror the movements and speech patterns of a person they are interested in. Even if the interest is innocent, you can tell she's flirting if she's obviously mirroring the person she's conversing with.
Don't take it out of context
Remember, she might not be flirting with you for any particular reason. It could be accidental, and often is. So when she's flirting with you, don't automatically assume that means she wants you or wants something from you.
Remember also that if you are in a relationship with a woman and you see her flirting with another person, that doesn't mean she is going to cheat on you. It could be that she doesn't realize she was flirting, or that she has another motive in mind that has nothing to do with infidelity.
Amanda Jones on June 19, 2013:
A very interesting Hub on a sensitive subject - lots of useful advice and tips! Voted up!