Steve Harvey wanted it. Playboy radio wanted it. So did the New York Post and Cosmopolitan magazine.
So University of Kansas professor Jeffrey Hall gave it to them: the lowdown on flirting.
Hall, who’s been studying the topic for seven years, recently put his research into a book, “The Five Flirting Styles: Use the Science of Flirting to Attract the Love You Really Want.”
Scientifically dissecting the heterosexual flirting habits of more than 10,000 people — including 5,000 users of eHarmony online dating service — Hall has identified five flirting archetypes: physical, playful, polite, sincere and traditional.
Everyone is typically a mix of the five styles, he says, but one style is usually dominant.
(Of course, we asked Hall, married 10 years to his grad-school sweetheart, to identify his own romantic modus operandi. But he preferred that the research, not the researcher, be the story. What a tease.)
Hall makes clear that there is no right or wrong way to flirt and that his book is not a pickup artist’s guidebook. (Though one reviewer did call it “a GPS for singles looking for the most direct route to finding love.”)
Knowing how you express your romantic interest in someone is invaluable because it gives clues to why you end up in the relationships you do, he says. That playful flirt, for instance, is so not interested in a long-term relationship.
Knowing your flirtatious tendencies also can help you steer clear of behavior that could be making others run away. And wouldn’t you rather that they stay?