Saturday, June 5, 2010

A Crash Course in Flirting

I'll admit, I kind of wanted to keep that last post up for longer--partly because I'm still so excited about the award, but largely because I LOVE looking at that ice cream sundae picture...

Anyway, the weekend has been in full swing with neighborhood block parties and school-ending rituals. It really is June (a month that seems like it's never going to get here when we're in the midst of one of our icy Midwestern winters). My attention keeps jumping back and forth between the fun Austenesque things I'm still doing for According to Jane, the draft writing I'm in the middle of for The Grand European and the coming firestorm of excitement and promo that accompanies the release of a new novel, in this case, Friday Mornings at Nine.

Flirting plays a prominant role in all three of these books (no need over-analyze the reasons ;), so when I came across this Yahoo "Shine" piece a few days ago on "5 Things You Can Tell From His Flirting," I read it immediately and with a great deal of interest.

Here are the key points from the article:

The Playful Flirt
How you'll recognize him: Ever meet a guy at a bar or party who's clearly into you, the repartee between you so frisky, you can practically hear the "click"... and then poof! He disappears, never calls, totally goes MIA? This is the Playful Flirt. With charm that could melt an ice cap, he makes you feel on top of the ozone layer. He chats you up, knows how to flatter without being obvious, and never takes his eyes off of you.

His romantic profile: He probably hits on a lot of women. And, while he might jump into a relationship with one of them—and it could be hot—he's not likely to take it terribly seriously.

Is he really that into you? Sorry, but no. "These people are just looking for a self-esteem boost," Hall says. "He's flirting simply because he loves the way it makes him feel. It's like a sport to him—not necessarily an avenue for a relationship at all. He may even already be in one."

The Physical Flirt
How you'll recognize him: You won't miss this guy. He displays his sexual interest like a 12 million-LED sign in Times Square—but so appealingly, it's hard not to light up. At home in a bar or dancing at a club, he's ultra-comfortable with his body language, and an expert at reading yours (so he doesn't push where he's not wanted). And he's a master at the kind of private conversation that nuzzles easily into romance.

His romantic profile: This type tends to get hot and heavy pretty fast.

Is he really that into you? He's definitely attracted, but he's a big flirt. So while getting together is a pretty good bet, the long haul is more iffy.

The Sincere Flirt
How you'll recognize him: You might meet him at work or through a neighbor, and mistake him for a friend. But you'll notice he likes to talk and wants to get to know you—the inner you—and he's out to connect emotionally. "He might be cautious to make that first move," Hall warns. "These people believe it's respectful to let the woman develop romantic interest without having to be pushed or prodded or touched."

His romantic profile: He goes a little slower than Mr. Physical. But he's the kind of guy who has serious girlfriends with both sexual and emotional chemistry—the good stuff.

Is he really that into you? Very likely yes, and he's looking for his next close, meaningful romance.

The Traditional Flirt
How you'll recognize him: Depending on your point of view, you'll either think he's a chauvinist or refreshingly old-fashioned. Because this guy follows traditional gender roles, he'll make the first move, pay for dinner, decide where to go—or try. You may wonder about his romantic leanings, since he moves things forward about as fast as a growing stalagmite.

His romantic profile: He forms solid relationships. And he doesn't play the field.

Is he really that into you? Absolutely. By the time he makes a move (be patient), he's pretty certain you're the one he wants.

The Polite Flirt
How you'll recognize him: You probably won't. These guys hate anything to do with dating, and often the whole singles scene. If you even find him in a bar, he's the one hiding in a corner, having been dragged there by five other guys. Not that he's a shut-in. He wants to meet somebody. He just doesn't like the way people go about doing it. Often you'll think his interest is purely platonic.

His romantic profile: The Polite Flirt only bothers with someone he thinks is worth getting seriously involved with.

Is he really that into you? Most certainly, yes. Now, how you'll even get that far with someone who's such a non-romancer, is another question. "You might have to subtly up the stakes," says Hall, admitting to knowing a bit about the Polite style himself. ("Some of this research is actually me-search," he says laughing). If you have lunch plans, change them to dinner with a few drinks, or suggest a spontaneous walk to see the sunset. "I sympathize with singles," adds Hall, who ended up marrying a coworker (she had no clue he liked her until friends said something.) "Once you get past the initial flirting, it gets a little easier."

So, for the ladies out there...have you met any of these flirtatious male types anytime in your life? (You can think back to your teens, twenties...or, you know, last week...) Seen them in action? Are there other kinds of guy flirts (not listed here) that you've encountered? Do you remember the best pick-up line you've heard in real life or on TV? And, for any man brave enough to weigh in, turnabout is fair play--got any comments on female flirts?


Edie Ramer said...

What an interesting post. I recognize the Physical Flirt. A strictly for fun guy. My husband was the Sincere Flirt, except for the talking part. He's more action than talk. (Which might make him a good hero!)

The next book I write, it might be fun to come back here, look at the categories, and decide which my hero will be.

Marilyn Brant said...

Edie~I liked their list as a characterization tool, too! A Sincere Flirt--whether he uses talking or action--is definitely 'hero' material... A+ to your husband ;).

I know a young single guy who falls into the Playful Flirt category (not with ME, btw! with the women he dates), and it's always so interesting to hear about his bar adventures and the way it's like a sport to him.

Pamela Cayne said...

I just love the research you're able to do for your books--how fun! And I think I've met at least one of each type across my years, probably playful the most. Be curious to see how they match up to girl flirts!

Robin said...

This was so much fun to read! Thanks! And I agree, a great tool when developing a hero.

Funny story - my oldest son (he's 17) was at a restaurant with a friend and according to him, they had a totally hot waitress. (Lucky for me he shares lots of stuff.) When she asked them if they'd like any dessert, he says to her, "Are you on the menu?" I still crack up thinking about this. I couldn't believe he said that! So, uh, sounds like he might be a playful flirt?

Marilyn Brant said...

Pamela~It *would* be interesting to see a similar list for the ladies! I'll keep my eyes open on Yahoo... ;)

Robin~Your son is good--wow!!--and really gutsy! I'm impressed... Did he tell you what the waitress said back??!

Nancy J. Parra said...

Oh, gosh, I loved this post, Marilyn and I think I saw a description or two from the characters straight out of your book!!
See how good you are. :)

Have a great week and thanks for posting.

lainey bancroft said...

First: BIG SQUEE for the previous post. Go you!

Second: Great post. I tended bar for years and I've seen all these types in action. (once had a customer gaze sincerely across the bar and ask, "If I told you that you had a nice body, would you hold it against me?" lol)

Although, now that I'm seeing this lest written out I am trying to categorize (remember?) just what sort of flirt my husband was. lol

Robin said...

Marilyn, she was so stunned she couldn't speak. :)

Maria Geraci said...

Fun post! Of course, there's always the flirt-with-an-ulterior motive. Like the waiter who flirts with a group of women b/c he wants a big tip, etc... Flirting is fun, but even when I was single I always discounted it. It's actions that speak, not words!

Marilyn Brant said...

Ack!! Why do I always run around like a crazy person at the beginning of the summer??? (Not that I manage to embrace a Zen-like calm during the school year, but still... ;) I've been more off-line than on lately, and I missed my wonderful blogging buds! xo

Nancy~LOL! Glad you thought that was intentional!!

Lainey, thank you!!!! So good to see you again ;). And, wow! Some guy really said that?! Must've been *fascinating* to be a bartender--all the "characters" you'd meet! Makes me wish I could mix drinks with some skill... (Sadly, I'm terrible at it.)

Oh, Robin, that's funny!! Please give your son a high-5 from me ;).

Maria~Oh, you're so right about that type! I usually *can't stand* waiters that do that. A few can pull it off without looking like unctuous jerks but most...not so much. And I like what you said about actions speaking, not words. I think that applies well to friends, acquaintances, neighbors, everyone--not just flirtatious guys ;).