So you’ve mastered the eye-contact game and can beckon a cute prospect with a few coy glances… but do you really know all there is to know about the fine art of come-hither? Just to make sure you’re up to speed, we culled some very surprising info that you can use to your advantage. Read on for some juicy tidbits that may up your cute quotient in no time.
1. Flirting is good for you. Studies show that people who flirt have higher white blood-cell counts, which boost their immunity and keep them healthy.
2. Think it ends at a little eye batting? Hardly—all told, scientists say there are 52 “flirting signals” used by humans. Of these, the hair flip is the most common.
3. In some places, flirting is illegal. In Little Rock, AR, an antiquated law is still on the books warning that engaging in playful banter may result in a 30-day jail term. In New York City, another outdated law mandates that men may be fined $25 for gazing lasciviously at a female; a second conviction stipulates the offender wear a pair of blinders whenever he goes out for a walk.
4. Why wait for Happy Hour? Lots of people get their flirt on during their morning commute. A full 62 percent of drivers have flirted with someone in a different vehicle while on the go, and 31 percent of those flirtations, it turns out, resulted in a date.
5. Flirting need not occur face to face. According to Pew Research, 40 percent of people who look for love online say they can easily flirt with someone via email or IM.
6. In the Victorian era, fans were the ultimate playful prop that could communicate all sorts of messages. A fan placed near the heart meant, You have won my love. A half-opened fan pressed to the lips suggested, You may kiss me. Hiding the eyes behind an open fan meant, I love you, while opening and closing the fan several times warned, You are cruel. Given how much a fan could come in handy, it’s a shame they ever invented air conditioning.
7. These days, cell phones do the flirting. In one survey, half of all mobile phone users have texted suggestive messages to keep things interesting while away from their amour.
8. Watch out, you can overdo it. According to the Social Issues Research Centre, the most common mistake people make when flirting is maintaining too much eye contact.
9. Sometimes, flirty gestures aren’t what they seem. Research has shown that men tend to routinely mistake friendly behavior for flirting.
10. Flirting is universal. A woman living in New York City and one in rural Cambodia may not have much in common, but when it comes to attracting a little attention, they both employ the very same move: smiling, arching their eyebrows, then averting their gaze and giggling. Animals flirt, too: Birds, reptiles, and even fish have their own way of strutting their stuff. Moral of the story: If the simple sea bass can act cute to enhance a romantic agenda, you can, too—so give it a go!