The Multiple Purposes of Flirting…

By: Kevin |

So there you thought that flirting was just fun. And so it is. But it also has some very definite purposes, and those purposes carry through online.

Image credit Flickr

The first purpose of flirting is to let someone know that you are interested, while giving you an easy if they don’t show a reciprocal interest. In other words, no dignity is lost. An example of flirting in the real world, for instance, might be repeated constant eye contact. On the web, it might be constantly clicking ‘like’ on facebook, or consistently responding in a positive light to posts to someone on a forum.

The second purpose of flirting is to introduce oneself. In the real world, one might walk up to someone with a line and saying, “They told me you were a refugee from heaven, but I told them heaven would never let you go.” This would, hopefully, garner a smile from you, and, perhaps, a reciprocal sentence, and soon you would be talking to each other, establishing the beginnings – or not – of an affair of the heart. On the internet, a direct approach with a funny or flattering line would serve the same purpose.

A third purpose for flirting is to find out something about someone. For example, you might like to know whether someone is involved elsewhere, so a smile accompanied by words like, “So you left your wife/partner at home, did you?” Or you might to know if someone is available for the evening and in a friendly way said something like, “So all the girls/boys have a crush on you, and you’re busy tonight…” Flirting can be a lot like gentle teasing, and like gentle teasing, it has a purpose. On the net, this, too, has its equivalent. However, because it’s difficult to put the smile and eye contact so that it shows the other person recognizes it’s flirting, generally smilies are inserted! Generally, the same type of teasing lines work. Better not to ask direct questions, as this steps outside the realm of flirting and can be seen as prying.

A forth purpose for flirting would be to seduce someone. Mostly, by the time one has arrived at this point, it’s welcome. Can the art of seduction begin on the web, or even through a text or two? Absolutely! The eternal line, “My place or yours” has lost nothing by being translated to cyber space.

The fifth purpose of flirting is simply to make someone feel good. There is no hidden agenda – even if one hopes sometimes that there is. Strangely, while this may happen in a pub, a club, or a formal dinner, it’s not that frequent a player on the net or in text.

In order to be effective in flirting in cyberspace, it’s important to establish the purpose, and then to word it more carefully than one would normally. In the real world, body language and eye contact would reveal the answer to the question, even if the words were not that revealing. In cyber space, the only way to get the result one wants is to word the way one flirts with care and consideration.