1. halisme

    halisme Contributor Contributor

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    Women, how do you flirt?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by halisme, Dec 24, 2016.

    Okay, as a person who has never written or been in a romantic relationship before, and as person of the wrong sex/gender, I am not an expert on how women flirt, quite the opposite really. This is a bit of an issue as, while writing, my male MC and female side character have started developing feelings for each other. He comes from a culture that is pretty repressive in terms of emotions, so he's not prone to making the first move. After looking at things online, a lot of them seem pretty cliche, and some of them were "is she flirting with you" stuff which I don't really class as reliable information. So, to the women of WF, how do you flirt?
     
  2. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Okay so I'm a man - but drawing on my 'vast' experience of dating I'd say indicators of interest are laughing at your jokes , playing with her hair, prolonged eye contact , expressing an interest in whatever drivel is spilling from your lips...

    and of course the more unmistakeable ones like writing her phone number on a beer mat or whispering "lets go back to my place" in your ear. :D

    It depends on how forward you want your FMC to be
     
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  3. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    Does your character actually need to flirt? Like, is it in her character to be playful, not entirely direct, etc.?

    If so... I'd say there are different kinds of flirting. There's a sort of low-level flirt which is just holding eye contact a bit longer, smiling, laughing at jokes, maybe doing some casual touching of shoulder or hands... and there's a much more extreme, much more overtly sexual style that's really kind of like a mating dance--everything from licking lips to leaning over to display body parts, etc. The jokes can be more sexual, every possibly innuendo picked up on, etc.

    I think it's important to still write your character, not jump into some "generic female flirting" pattern. How would your character flirt? How does she interact in other situations?
     
  4. Spencer1990

    Spencer1990 Contributor Contributor

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    Body language is a huge factor in flirting. It often goes undetected consciously and picked up heavily in the subconscious. Brief touching, open body posture, facing the other person directly are all signs of interest. Eye contact is huge as well as playful quips, banter.
     
  5. halisme

    halisme Contributor Contributor

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    Pretty much what I'm trying to avoid by asking :)

    This is my main issue. The culture she's from is matriarchal, so she expects herself to be making the first move, and, while she is very business like, she's not going to do a mating dance as she's from a noble family and was raised to see herself as elegant and should not be lowering self to such displays. Not to mention that they're meetings are in quite unromantic, he's investigating a murder and she's a coroner. The first time they meet she's cutting up a cadaver. At the moment you're making think just having her ask him out makes sense. Maybe I'm used to novels where the relationship builds and is fully formed in the end.
     
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  6. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    What is she attracted to about him? Like, why is she interested? Flirting can be based around the aspect you're interested in - if you're looking for something purely physical, your flirting might be more physical, but if you're attracted to someone because of, say, his sense of humour, then flirting would likely include laughing, jokes, etc.

    But I'd definitely say that flirting isn't for everyone, and is in no way required for a romantic relationship.

    Whose POV are you in when they're maybe going to flirt? If in hers, you can just have her notice a few things she likes about him and then ask him out and his surprise can be part of the fun. But there are also lots of relationships that don't really start with conventional dating... I know Speed wasn't exactly a cerebral movie, but I think it's a good example of a couple who bond through trauma and never really have time for flirting or dating or any of that but are nevertheless fairly compelling as an at-least-short-term couple. They work together, they respect each other, good things happen. Aliens is good, too, I think, for acknowledging a respect-based attraction without a lot of conventional romantic behaviour.

    So, would your female character ask the love interest out, or would they work together on the case and find a relationship building from there?

    If you aren't comfortable writing flirting, maybe you don't have to write it - yay!
     
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  7. halisme

    halisme Contributor Contributor

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    Little collum A, Little collum B. Anyway, thanks for the major help. Just having someone to talk it out through has helped.
     
  8. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    This makes me think that she might "flirt" just by being fractionally less formal, or perhaps by expressing approval. I'm remembering Rachel in Orphan Black saying about Paul, her new bodyguard, "He performed admirably." Ignoring a possible double entendre there, the fact of Rachel expressing approval of anyone, any way, any time, was so startling that it functioned in a way that a much warmer sentiment would have functioned from someone else.
     
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  9. NoGoodNobu

    NoGoodNobu Contributor Contributor

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    I don't usually flirt with the opposite sex—quite often with other women & girls, but not men

    So I'm probably an awful example

    Usually—if I know them well—I'm cheeky, cocky, and fairly forward. Like I'll smile, wink, brush a strand of hair behind their ear as I lean in to whisper something suggestive or playful, run my finger along their arm, rest my hand on their waist, et cetera.

    If I don't know them well, I'm usually just openly complimentary and do extravagant acts of gallantry or give lavish gifts. Like one Valentine's Day, I decorated a girl's front step with rose petals positioned to look like full rose buds swirling around pot of orchids. I remember back in high school, certain times of the year I would have the office deliver white rose bouquets to a handful of girls during their classes. Tends to be stereotypical stuff that society says women desire, because I don't know them well enough to personalize their gifts.

    None of the latter applies to men well.

    Perhaps the physical attention to my intimate acquaintances might translate over to men, but as I have quite openly told a boy in no uncertain terms "I am deeply emotionally, intellectually & sexually attracted to you" and it still didn't click with him (this was after telling him "I love you" and he thought I was speaking as a friend/sister type, so I tried to clarify)—I don't think I have a knack for flirting with men. Like at all. Which is probably why I flirt strictly with women now.

    I only forthrightly tell men my intentions and attractions, like "I like you, can we get lunch?" (But that's basically just two men in my short 26 years, so—)

    My best friend flirts by blushing crimson, averting her eyes, and struggling to maintain any form of conversation (but looking impeccably and astoundingly gorgeous from her hair, to her makeup, to her style of dress). This appears to work really well for her—a little too well. Nearly every man of her acquaintance is in love with her, and many even that aren't.
     
  10. Foxxx

    Foxxx The Debonair Contributor

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    NoGoodNobu's response is spot on.

    The girl I'm interested in could be one of those landing strip workers with the glowing sticks, guiding me into the runway. But believe, I'll crash that plane every time, even in broad daylight.

    tl;dr I'm not an authority on this subject.
     
  11. halisme

    halisme Contributor Contributor

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    Amen to that.
     
  12. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    You should read "the Game" by Neil Strauss ... then you know exactly not what to do unless you are aiming to pick up skanks :D

    (actually for the OP the Game would give a fair idea on how a certain sort of girl flirts ... but its not the type of girl you want to take home to meet your parents)
     
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  13. Foxxx

    Foxxx The Debonair Contributor

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    Oh believe me, I know a whole lot about what NOT to do. Lol, makes for good stories.

    To be fair, I've had my successes. I just avoid giving advice on the subject in particular. "Seek first to understand, then to be understood" and all that jazz.
     
  14. pitviper

    pitviper Member

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    I don't. Women just have to *be present*.... guys do the rest.

    ***** from a man's perspective: does she show any interest at all, in anything you are interested in?
    Hint: that is flirting. **********
     
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  15. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    There aren't any set rules.
    Pickup artists make it look easy because they lie their way into getting what they want.
    In my experience as of recent history it is an 80/20 exchange. Man has to be able to
    offer and contribute more to the pending relationship in the form of being attractive,
    his wealth, and a few misc. The woman simply makes a decision on if this information
    is enough to merit if it is worth her while to share her self with him.
    (Guess I have seen too many gold-diggers out in woodwork as of late.)
    So in short being honest is not always the best policy when you are poor. Then again
    since that is a deal breaker for so many, what does that say about the women who
    values your labor(money) more than the investments of commitment and other
    qualities that a man has, what does that say about her?

    What ever happened to having a nice evening of conversation, and trying to find
    an organic connection?
    It doesn't even have to be about the pending relation itself for it to work.

    IDK, all the advice tossed at me doesn't work (at least for me), so anything I say
    is probably nil negative. :p
     
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  16. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    I think this may be a common misconception but it's not accurate, at least not for me. I've too often been enthusiastic about something a guy's saying just because it's interesting, and then had him misinterpret my interest in the topic as interest in him. Like, if a guy has just... I don't know, just gotten back from an unusual trip, or has a cool job, or whatever, I want to hear about that stuff, but that doesn't automatically mean I want to sleep with him!

    Seriously, OP, if you're writing a reasonably serious, thoughtful female character, I'd stay away from the "flirting" idea as a relationship-starter. I think flirting is best for people when there's a physical attraction or shallow chemistry but no deeper connection has yet been discovered. Flirting is kind of a game, a way to figure out if there's potential for something more. But if your characters already know each other, they already probably have a pretty good idea of how they could connect, and they can skip past the game-playing stage.
     
  17. Mumble Bee

    Mumble Bee Keep writing. Contributor

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    It sounds like no matter what you do, since this guy is from a 'repressed' society, he probably won't pick up on what she's sending or will not be confident in what exactly it is he's picking up..

    Since he's effectively a potato in this situation, your two best options, as far as I can see, are:
    1. Have her send progressively more and more obvious signals that she's interested until screaming in his face that she likes him (or gives up). It'll end up being one of those "everyone sees it but you two" situations
    2. She toys around with him and his inexperience, sending conflicting messages on purpose.

    Honestly though, how she flirts really depends on her character.

    Good luck
     
  18. Iain Sparrow

    Iain Sparrow Banned Contributor

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    That only applies to desperate men, those too unattractive or awkward to have much success with women.

    I'm surprised to read this thread and thus far nobody has mentioned how important a sense of humor is to flirting and engaging the opposite sex.
    http://www.sciencealert.com/here-s-why-humor-is-important-in-romantic-attraction
    Engage a woman with lively conversation, be genuinely interested in what makes her tick, make her laugh, and you'll be halfway closer to her jiggly parts.

    Personally, I love when a girl makes the first move. Not too aggressive though. I enjoy a mystery.
     
  19. NoGoodNobu

    NoGoodNobu Contributor Contributor

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    Well, the OP was asking how women flirt with men, and specifically how do we the women on WF personally flirt.

    I just gave my personal experiences, and I believe the other women responders were doing much the same.

    And I love banter and wit and humour, but unfortunately I use it regardless of flirting or a romantic/sexual interest in the other person. I will always playfully joke & tease, try to be clever or funny, play off people's conversations because that's just my preferred mode of conversing. It isn't anyway exclusive to my attempts at flirtation.

    This may be untrue for other girls, and perhaps other woman use banter exclusively for acts of flirting; I just don't.
     
  20. Mckk

    Mckk Member Supporter Contributor

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    I think showing respect and especially trust in one another could be a reliable way of showing they care for and may be attracted to each other. It's not flirting per se that shows someone's into you - it's how much attention they pay you, that extra care they take when they're with you. Sitting next to you when they could be sitting anywhere else; always bringing you a drink or asking if you needed one; offering help that goes above and beyond (say, unnecessary overtime, company when he could have gone home, popping down to the shops just to get her coffee because he's aware she's missing her coffee, even though she hasn't asked); paying extra attention to things you say (how did you know I like mint? Oh you mentioned it like... 6 months ago that you really enjoyed these mints, and it's your birthday, so...); being physically a little closer than you normally are with people (standing that little bit closer than to other colleagues can be enough); being more positive or encouraging about that person's ideas and interests.

    So, for example, one sign my husband gave me that he liked me, before we started dating, was when he helped fix the internet for his housemates and connected it to a big screen so we could watch movies together (with housemates as friends), but guess which movie he specifically put on? The one I liked, but I hadn't asked.

    Anyway, flirting is affected by culture too. For example, in England, if a typically English guy started offering me his coat when we're out and opening doors for me, I'd definitely see that as a sign that he might like me. In the UK, guys don't normally do this, thus the behaviour is seen as something "extra". But for example, a couple of months back when a friend's husband gave me a lift home, he got out of the driver's seat, came all the way around the car to my side, and opened the door for me, and held it open as I got out. The guy's Hungarian. Now I have no clue if that's part of Hungarian culture, but I have noticed gender roles are a lot more traditional in this part of Europe, so I did NOT see that as a sign of anything other than just the guy being very sweet.

    Sorry I know you asked for female flirting and I keep giving you male flirting instead... I'm not great at flirting myself but I'm pretty good at spotting the flirting when someone else does it lol. I think you can apply these principles to women too though :)

    I think the basic principle is: doing something you normally would not do for the sake of that person whom you like. Doing something just to make that person happy or just to look after that person, that you normally would not bother with. Whatever is the norm for your characters' behaviour - go from there, and think what little gestures would make those characters happy, what societal or personal norms would they "break" for that person?

    ETA: in your case, I may have them connect over work first. Overtime would be an easy way in - "Not going home yet?" - "Nah, want some coffee?" - "You need to take a break." - "Says you who's always working past 10pm!" - "Guilty as charged. Coffee?" etc etc etc. Have them have very good conversations and just connect over things, be interested in what each other have to say and respect the other person's insights. They could even just have a really productive conversation about the investigation. Maybe the guy comes to her office late without any reason other than he just wants her opinion on this point in the case, he doesn't know who else to go to, she was the best.

    'Cause that's all you need, really. Time, and some coffee :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2016
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  21. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    Yeah, it's a bit weird, the way the line seems to blur between "being an interesting, social human being" and "flirting". I agree with @Mckk that there has to be something extra for it to count as flirting. Laughing at something that's genuinely funny isn't flirting, it's just... laughing at something that's funny. Taking an interest in an interesting conversation isn't flirting; it would be weird not to be interested in something interesting, wouldn't it?
     
  22. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    It is statements like this that really defeat the purpose of even trying to date.
    Between this and that with which it is responding to, rather depressing.

    Life is unfair and love is a bitch. :superlaugh:
     
  23. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    TBH 99% of the time pick up artists are picking up girls who are out to be picked up so their supposedly "infallible techniques" are a load of cobblers if applied to a woman who is not also just looking to get laid

    In my experience confidence, sense of humor, and a non pressured /laid back manner are a damn sight more effective than any of these false techniques
     
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  24. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    It depends on the guy - personally if we were talking and you were interested in what I was saying I wouldn't take it as flirting (unless you were also playing with your hair, touching your lips, making flirtatious remarks, pressing yourself against my arm etc) , but for some guys a woman showing any interest at all in them = she's flirting with me.
     
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  25. Lifeline

    Lifeline South. Staff Contributor

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    I am awful at flirting :D but for what it's worth - Mckk has put it really well for me.

    Also, there is a special kind of chemistry if both are interested in each other, which I can't describe scientifically. One is always aware of where the other is. Not shifting back when the guy comes into my comfort zone, 'casual' touches which could be just chance. But this has to be mutual. Once rebuffed, that's a pretty good sign that the interest is not from both sides.
     

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