Why do Humans Flirt?

Shy woman and man sitting on sofa. First date.

We have all seen those Animal Planet or David Attenborough shows that explain why animals of all shapes and sizes flirt, be it a bird of paradise doing a little dance or a rhino showing off how big and buff he is. But, the human – the wisest and most sophisticated (debatable in some cases) of all creatures, is very rarely featured on nature shows in the midst of the mating ritual, also known as flirting. So why do humans flirt? Is there more to it than just trying to attract a mate?


With the fear of rejection ever present and the chance that the chat up line you have prepared wont land – there must be a bigger reason we put ourselves through the flirting minefield than just for the chance of someone noticing up, or giving us their phone numbers.


Well, philosopher Aristotle believed that all communication was goal-orientated, so the same can be argued about flirting. We humans flirt, because we have certain aims and goals we wish to achieve. So what could these goals be?


Relational Motive - When driven by relational motives the aim is to alter the closeness of their relationship, be it to move a friendship into a romantic relationship, or something causal to something more serious.


Fun Motive - Sometimes there are no ulterior motives to flirting, we simply do it because it is fun and enjoyable. There is no hope for romance being the flirtation, just the chance to be playful is enough.


Exploring Motive - Flirting can serve as a method to explore how someone feels about us; do they flirt back and have little giggles, or do they throw a drink in our face and inform security? Flirting is a way we can find this out, without having to do the humiliating thing and actually asking them.


Esteem Motive - Flirting is a good way to build and reinforce self-esteem.Put simply it can make us feel good about ourselves, especially when it is reciprocated – there doesn’t need to be any real romantic intentions, it may be just a way to put a spring in our steps.


Instrumental Motive - We may flirt because we have a goal we want to achieve that doesn’t involve romance. Maybe we want someone to do us a favour or grant us preferential treatment or maybe even buy us a drink. The motives behind flirting aren’t always genuine interest, it could be a simple method of manipulation – not really fair, but which of us hasn’t done this at some point.


Sexual Motive - It is probably pretty obvious that flirting can sometimes be driven by physical attraction and wanting to have sex with the receiver of your chat up lines. There is a basic human need to reproduce, that’s evolution for you.


So, which of these flirting motives do you use most often?

Digidating: Put Your Best Flirt On!

flirting cropOver 50 percent of single people are now dating online, but how do you flirt effectively in the world of digidating. Flirting is an art, but flirting by text or Tweet presents its own challenges. It’s important to keep your messages simple, sensual and as unobtrusive as possible. People are busy at work so if you interrupt their day too much, your message may go from alluring to annoying. You also want to make sure that your date/lover/partner enjoys the digital foreplay.

Here are some messages and tips for your Tweetheart!

  1. Missing your kisses already. Hurry (home/back) tonight for more! Let him/her know you love the way they kiss. It’s hot, flattering and will make their day.
  2. You were in my dreams last night. Can’t wait to tell you more! Sweet dreams about someone you love may just be the highest form of flattery. Even your subconscious thinks he/she is dream worthy. And don’t forget to come up with a good dream story!
  3. I can’t get you out of my mind. Who wouldn’t be flattered to know that they are memorable and that what you feel for them is real? It just lets them know that you are thinking about them.flirting
  4. You were incredible last night! If he responds that he enjoyed being with you, too, ask him if he’s ready for an encore. When your guy rocks your world in the bedroom, he loves to hear about it. He’s also very likely to want to get together again and again.
  5. When can I see you again? Don’t be afraid to let him know you’re interested, especially early on in the relationship.
  6. Can you sneak away for lunch or coffee? A chance to slip away during the day can make a person’s day much more special. It also makes them feel that you are interested in talking to them, being with them, not just a booty call.
  7. Good Morning Handsome/Beautiful! A nice way to wake up and feel appreciated (and flattered). It’s the kind of message that can make someone special’s day, and it will bring them back for more.
  8. Sending a good night kiss! Sweet dreams.  It doesn’t hurt to be in his/her thoughts as they drift off to sleep. They may send a good night kiss back, or ask if they can come over and tuck you in.