Not surprisingly, Hall found a high correlation between Physical and Playful styles, Traditional and Polite, and Polite and Sincere. Conversely, the Polite and Physical styles are polar opposites.
Based on my observations of the sexual marketplace (SMP), here are some speculative thoughts I have about flirting styles:
The most promiscuous women rely heavily on Playful flirting with a strong side of Physical flirting. They engage in clear, sexually charged touches and body language.
Many women engage in Playful flirting, even though they do want a long-term relationship. They are unaware of sending a message to men that is in direct opposition to their goal.
Playful flirting is perhaps the most common style in a college environment, reflecting the focus on short-term flings.
Men with high social visibility and status, i.e. Players, are most likely to use Playful and Physical styles.
Men with less social dominance, i.e. Nice Guys, are more likely to use Traditional, Polite and Sincere styles.
Having a sincere conversation can be a form of flirting. The best way to demonstrate sincere interest is to seek the thoughts, opinions and experiences of the other person.
Women who believe that men should do all the pursuing clearly get pursued less than other women. Passivity means lost opportunities for flirting and communication.
Men who are traditional do not flirt if they are unavailable – a major plus in terms of character.
Traditional flirting is least effective in the current SMP, as it best characterizes the formal dating mores before 1970.
Polite flirts are likely to be effective only with other polite flirts, as they are extremely reserved in their demonstration of interest.
By the way, in doing this reading I came across another study on flirting. Badoo, a global networking site, looked at 20 countries to see what percentage of contacts between the sexes are initiated by women. Here’s their final ranking:
United States :-/
Lloyd Price, Badoo’s Director of Marketing was quoted:
This study focused on who makes the first move. What it shows is simply that American women are less likely than those in most other countries and much less likely than Spanish and most Latin women to be the one initiating something with a man.
What this suggests to me is that an American woman who is willing to initiate should expect a warm reception overall. Clearly, the stubborn notion that men should initiate is not nearly as prevalent elsewhere as it is in the U.S. Many American women must be pursuing a Traditional flirting strategy, the least effective one in drawing male attention.
Additional thoughts? What kind of a flirt are you? Is your flirting style serving you well?