Widgets Magazine

University of Kansas Becomes Cosmo

After putting a man on the moon, curing polio and inventing TiVo, science has finally taken on one of the big problems: a lack of taxonomy surrounding flirting styles. Well, our long national nightmare is over because according to a recent study out of the University of Kansas, there are five styles of flirting: physical, playful, polite, sincere, and traditional. Mary Jo Rapini breaks down the categories:

Physical: People who scored high on this type often develop relationships quickly, have more sexual chemistry and have a greater emotional and sexual connection to their partners.

Traditional: These believe men should make the first move and women should not pursue men. Both men and women with this style tend to be introverted.

Polite: The focus is on proper manners and nonsexual communication.

Sincere: The style most often cited in the study. Relationships involve strong emotional connections and sexual chemistry and are typically meaningful; they are based on creating emotional connections.

Playful: People favoring the playful style often flirt with little interest in a long-term romance, but they find flirting fun and enhancing to their self-esteem. They are less likely to have important and meaningful relationships and this is the type that is most uncommon.

Shockingly, the people who fall under the “sincere” category, which is by definition characterized by making deep, meaningful connections with people had more long-lasting relationship than “playful” people who flirt to build up their own self-esteem.

The study also answers the most important question facing modern 21st century women: how can they snare a man? The study offers suggestions ranging from subtle ways to get attention (“Arch your eyebrows,” “Mirror or copy your potential date’s body behavior”) to the um, less subtle (“Lean forward,” “Thrust your chest out,” “Cross or open your legs”) to the creepy (“Prolong your eye contact at a potential mate,” “Winking”).

The news gets even better, as the University of Kansas—an institution of higher learning, mind you—has put out an interactive quiz so that you can determine which type of flirt you are. This is great news for everyone who looked at the recent merger between The Daily Beast and Newsweek and wondered: “Why can’t that happen to Scientific American and Cosmo? Just imagine the quizzes!”

The most important takeaway though, is that going on likealittle and anonymously telling a female in cowboy boots she should ride you isn’t flirting, it’s just weird Internet weirdness and will never work for anyone ever.