In the first of the Different Planets series, I discussed how men and women communicate differently due to our brains being wired differently and how we can both take a step forward to bridge the gap – the woman will express herself, and the man will be more in tune. So how does this wiring affect how each sex flirts?

Sending Signals

Scenario #1: A woman is sitting at a bar and sees a man she’s attracted to. She checks him out, they make eye contact and she gets embarrassed about being caught so she quickly averts her eyes. Thus, the man is intrigued but doesn’t know if the woman is interested or not.

Scenario #2: After the man approaches the woman at a party, they begin chatting. She finds him charming and laughs at his jokes. Every so often, she touches his arm. He scoots his legs over so that their knees touch and she doesn’t flinch, letting it be known that they are both interested in the other.

Eye contact and subtle touches are the most common forms of flirting and are also both very easily misconstrued. Going off of the Tel Aviv University study referenced in the previous post that proposed that women’s brains are more logical and intuitive and men’s brains are more perceptive, you can easily see why signals could get crossed. A woman (using logic) will think that repeated, albeit fleeting, eye contact will send a man across the room the message that she’s interested. But a man’s perception is that he’s unsure if she’s really interested, and he doesn’t want to be rejected if she just has a tick or is checking out something else around him. The same goes for touching. A woman will quickly brush a man’s arm or leg when he says something funny or something sad to show attention and affection and to make a connection, but the brevity may not make the move so obvious to a man. Just like with the communication issues, the issue here is vulnerability.

Putting It On The Line

So what’s the worst that can happen? You’ll get rejected by a stranger. But at least you put it out there and didn’t lose out on what could have been a great opportunity. Women can be braver and maintain that eye contact and then smile and even do the hair flip. Be a little more obvious about your intentions.

As for the guys, try to be braver and believe that a woman’s glance or touch means that she really is interested and to reciprocate her advances. Return the attention and affection. Make the connection and see where it goes.

These flirting signals are important when you randomly meet someone, but they are just as important on a first date as well. You don’t need to drape yourself across the other person to let them know you’re interested, but you do need to send some sort of signal that you’re enjoying yourself. Asking them questions, listening to their answers and sharing information about yourself is great … but that exchange can happen between any two people. It’s the eye contact and the slight touching that separates the two.

Hone in on your flirting skills and your signal-reading skills and remember you really do have nothing to lose except maybe a touch of pride.

You may also be interested in Definitely From Different Planets: Communication Conundrum


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