• February 14, 2023

The Spartan’s Tips for Flirting

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Flirting. Is there an ideal format or instructions? Or is it simply a skill born from one’s burning charisma and polished smooth-talk? 

Jean Smith, a social and cultural anthropologist and social intelligence coach who founded Flirtology, the science of flirting, believes so. In her TEDx talk, ‘The Science of Flirting: Being a H.O.T. A.P.E.’, she introduced H.O.T. A.P.E., or:

H. umor

An integral player in flirting and attraction, like touch, laughter stimulates the reward center in our brains. It produces oxytocin, a liking enhancer. This invites those around us into our happy, good-humored euphoria.

O. pen Body Language 

A global but subtle language, our mannerisms often divulge information without our explicit knowledge. One easy-to-read indicator of body language is the feet. You can’t control your tone and body movement and facial expressions all at once, which means that an outlet needs to open up. The further away our body parts are from the brain, the harder it is to control them. If someone’s feet are pointing directly at you, that is a positive sign. 

Next, try to prevent having closed-off body language like crossed arms. A closed body means a closed mind. Whether you may feel uncomfortable or not, you may have to consider others before yourself by striving to appear open  to make a good impression. Placing a barrier between yourself and them will not be the best means to encourage affection (yes, that’s a Pride and Prejudice reference).

T. ouch 

A stimulator of good-feeling chemicals, touch creates a momentary personal bond, even if it’s a passing tap or light pat on the shoulder. A general rule to uphold are limiting touches to the top part of the arm and shoulder. While personal, the touches won’t invade someone’s space. Be aware of the social customs and culture if you traveled to a new country, because touching has different connotations in different cultures. If you hope for a more intimate touch, such as moving from the shoulder to further down the arm and towards the hand, make sure that it is welcome and consensual.

A. ttention 

A sign of attraction that truly crosses borders, attention can express the level of one’s interest. This is especially vital in a group setting. 

This may seem like an obvious indicator, but when it comes to matters of the heart, it is quite challenging to remain objective. It would be helpful to engage the help of an alert and objective friend if this continues to present as an obstacle.

P. roximity 

Humans fixate on closeness. It can be utilized to determine if someone was flirting in two ways:

1) The person whom they’d been exchanging looks with across the room, was now standing nearby them.  

2) Once engaged in conversation, the other person was standing nearer to you than necessary. 

E. ye Contact

If you feel like someone is always watching you, perhaps it’s because they are displaying the number one sign of attraction: Eye Contact. 

Not only could people gauge someone’s interest by the way they looked at them, they also used it as an indicator between when someone was being friendly and flirting. ]

Note that the ways in which people use eye contact differs according to culture. For instance, in Stockholm or London, it may consist of merely a blink. 

While prolonged assertive eye contact may work in New York, this may not be the case in Paris.  

If you struggle with maintaining an open stance or eye contact, paste on a (genuine) smile! It’s the most important aspect of body language, according to Michael Rivera, a dating coach at The Date Maven.  

Another tip to keep in mind for establishing connections is repeat exposure. Smith explains, “The more often that you see people, the easier it is to build up your social circle. First, you go to a regular activity, and then you ask people questions. If you see them once a week, you can start building up commonalities.” This can provide stepping stones to make an advance for a movie date that stars your favorite actors, for example. 

Sometimes, asking for someone’s phone number may be burdensome for the one who is asked. Whether they are conscious of the power dynamic that comes with flirting, or sense that the interaction is more transactional than sincere (i.e. don’t barge into flirting with the expectation of fulfilling a goal, such as buying them a drink or obtaining their “digits”), offering your number grants the other the choice to reach out or not, while conveying that this is more about them than you. 

Prospective wooers, keep in mind to be respectful and clear in your intentions. Do your best to avoid reflecting on your insecurities (negative overthinking is not allowed!) and indulging in the self-comparison theory in order to focus wholly on the special human you are trying to woo. Be conscious of the other person’s reactions, and know when to let go and move on, or pursue. 

Best of luck, and Happy Valentine’s Day! 

Information taken from NPR, The Guardian, and

%d bloggers like this: