The Science Behind Why We're So Damn Addicted To Tinder

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Love, Sex

Take flirting out of the equation completely.

I've always been a pretty bad flirter, so I took my lack of "positive" flirting skills and became great at "negative" flirting. Instead of telling a guy I was interested in that he looked great, I'd point out how the shirt he was wearing looked silly and kind of lame.

You'd be surprised how often it worked. It didn't work every time because people would get insulted, but if the person had a sense of humor, they'd get into it ... at least I think they were into it.

Unfortunately, not everybody is able to turn their bad flirting skills into something useful, which is why Tinder is so popular. It takes the guesswork out of the flirting game. Tinder makes it easy to tell if there's romantic or sexual interest with a split-second thumb swipe.

And that's exactly the problem bad flirters face: they can't tell when someone is interested.

Flirting can feel like a secret language that everyone knows ... except you. Here's the thing, though: since most people are bad at flirting, everybody is misinterpreting everyone else's signals.

Luckily for all you bad flirters, you might be able get an answer to that daunting question, "Are they interested?"

Jeffrey Hall, an associate professor of communication studies, and author of the book The Five Flirting Styles, conducted a study to see how often pairs of strangers correctly identified when the other was flirting.

"Most people on most days are not flirting with everyone they come in contact with," Hall said in an interview with the University of Kansas news. "But some people are occasionally flirting, and maybe a few people are flirting a lot."

Hall played matchmaker with 52 pairs of single, heterosexual men and women, and watched as they flirted with each other in a room for ten minutes.

He found that the men and women in the study could only tell someone was flirting with them 36 and 18 percent of the time, respectively. But they could accurately tell if someone wasn't flirting with them by correctly identifying their conversation partner's lack of romantic interest 80 percent of the time.

"If you think someone isn't interested in you, you're probably right: they aren't interested. But if someone is, you probably missed it," Hall says.

It's difficult to know for certain if people were bad at flirting before apps like Tinder, or if these apps actually created the bad flirters. Either way, it seems like flirting is no longer necessary, especially if all you're looking for is a hookup.

So, if you're worried that you don't know how to flirt, or that you won't be able to tell if someone is flirting with you, Tinder is the place for you. In just one swipe, you've broken the ice and completely skipped over the awkward flirting phase of first meeting someone.

Swipe on singles, swipe on.

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