Time magazine has an issue dedicated to the W’s and 1 H of love (Who, What, Where, When, Why and How). One of the most interesting articles was a Why. Why do we flirt? It doesn’t seem like that tough of a question. UK rapper The Streets says this, “the reason girls flirt is to work out their worth. Whereas men just hanker for the panky to happen.” He also says, “You're not playing at hard to get. You're playing at not getting a hard-on yet.” So that’s one theory.
The Time article largely talks about non-verbal flirting. Shifting body position, batting eyes, tilting heads, et al. Scientists call this ‘non-verbal leakage.’ Funny, we always thought that came later. At any rate, this non-verbal leakage is the ‘come hither’ phase of courtship. “Hey, I’m safe. I might want you. Do you maybe want me?” And all of this is part of our programming.
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Time offers many theories. But the most cogent theory is that flirting is mostly friendly socializing. It’s not done with the intention of getting into an affair but can lead to some perks (discounts at the super market, etc.). And that sometimes it is a way ‘to work out their worth,’ for men and women.
So the reasons for flirting are many: step one in the pursuit of sex, attention-getter, getting stuff, friendliness, reassurance of sexiness, boredom. Just be sure that you’re not flirting for the wrong reasons, like people that flirt to make people around them uncomfortable, “You stop that right now. Tina is your first cousin.” Inappropriate.
Check out more of what Time has to say about flirting…