Time for a crash course in flirting! A lot of us think nothing of bantering with the opposite sex. But every time you flirt – whether it’s with the Starbucks barista or your partner – you subconsciously want something. Experts define flirting as “ambiguous behavior with romantic overtones that is goal-oriented.” In other words, we flirt with a purpose. That’s according to Dr. Dave Henningsen, a communication professor at Northern Illinois University. So, here are the 5 reasons why we flirt:

  • It makes you feel better about yourself in seconds! For example, exchanging flirty smiles with a stranger on the subway can give you a quick self-esteem boost.

  • It’s fun - period! Our expert says that “fun flirting” is usually zero percent sexual – it’s playful banter that often happens at work. When you exchange teasing emails or witty chit-chat with a certain coworker to make the workday more enjoyable.

  • Some of us do it to get what we want! Like admiring the flight attendant’s watch - hoping they’ll trade your middle seat for an aisle seat.

  • We’re looking for a mate! Our expert says that cute banter lets you quickly evaluate whether someone’s compatible and potential partner status.

  • And do you flirt with your spouse? You’re boosting your bond! In fact, a University of Kentucky study found that couples who regularly flirt with each other experience less conflict and are happier in their marriage than couples that don’t flirt.

Lesson Expert

Meredith McKenna