More on flirting
Encouraged by positive reader reaction to my treatise on "the art of flirting," I now share my more serious hypotheses on the subject.
In the communication space defined by the axes of seriousness and desperation between two people, flirtation is somewhere in the centre. Flirtation is non-existent in the serious or the very desperate. When you are desperately serious, you don't have the patience to flirt. Equally, in the totally not serious end of the spectrum, everything is a joke --- not to be taken seriously. It is impossible to flirt then.
Flirtatious communication flourishes when there exist both desire (not the extreme of desperation) and intention (not the extreme of seriousness.)
Flirtation is about rubbing the other person's ego by giving attention to their positive qualities through use of flattery, tease, and compliment. Such attention leads the recipient to the conclusion that he or she is desirable.
Flirtation as a means of communication succeeds if both parties have similar goals, that is, either both are not serious (no intention of having a relationship) or both desire a relationship. If one desires a relationship and the other doesn't, flirtation can lead to misunderstanding, disappointment, or even repulsive feelings.
While flirting can be defined as the pursuit of the serious by not so serious means, a lack of reciprocation soon dries up the rapport.
The early revelation of something very personal, such as the cause of failure of a previous relationship or other vulnerability, can lead to immediate intimacy. It is human nature to want to reciprocate. Premature intimacy often ends all flirtatious activity.
31 August 2004 Tuesday