Freshman psychology major Danielle Mai sat alone at Starbucks one day when she was approached by a stranger. He sat next to her and began asking questions about where she lived. Uncomfortable by the end of the encounter, she ended up giving him her sister’s number when he asked for hers.
There are many rules to flirting etiquette, most of which are unconscious, according to Social Issues Research Centre (SIRC). People are usually unaware of the natural laws of flirting until someone breaches one, like asking too many personal questions. Kate Fox at the SIRC said that colleges, like Chapman, are a “hot-bed” for flirting because everyone already has something in common. Classes can provide more frequent and casual flirting than trying to go to a bar or nightclub.
But, how is it done?
First, smile and hold eye contact for only a few short seconds.
“Not in a creepy, now-we-have-to-go-find-security-and-ask-for-help kind of way, but in a ‘Yes, I noticed you, and I think you’re cute’ kind of way,” said blogger Miss Wingman.
Miss Wingman runs a blog about “female musings for the modern man.”
Freshman business major Jimmy Vanni said that if a girl wants to do the approaching, “First make eye contact, then smile and say ‘hey.’ Don’t surprise me.”
Vanni advised that if the boy can’t see who’s approaching him don’t tap his shoulder or otherwise make contact. Getting his attention with eye contact is key.
The key to a successful first step, according to Fox, is letting the person know someone is interested in them.
Body language is important, but engagement is the key to keep the ball rolling.
“I’m pretty oblivious when people are flirting with me,” said freshman strategic and corporate communications and political science double major, Madi Murphy.
Asking for the person’s cell phone number or asking to walk them to their next class is a good way of letting them know they’re being flirted with.
Another factor of attraction, according to Freeman, is the ability to converse. Participating in the two way street of the playful conversation that’s characteristic of flirting displays a sense of intelligence.
“Seem interested in me and ask a question; get me thinking,” said junior biochemistry major Andrew Stepien.
Stepien said interesting questions include ‘what did you learn today?’ ‘How’d that project go?’ ‘I like your shoes, where’d you get them?’
Society, however, is in danger of losing that natural talent for playful, harmless flirtation, according to Fox.
“Don’t try to show off and be cocky,” said Mai.
On all ends of the flirting spectrum, whether a student is approaching a male or female peer, Mai said that it’s not smart to agree with everything the other person says.
“Casual and confident is best,” said Murphy.
She recommends starting by hanging out with the person and beginning a friendship.
“It’s not that big of deal,” said Murphy.
Being as friendly as possible and laughing with the person is part of playing it cool, according to freshman creative writing major Joey Mannino. He felt compliments help, too.
“Stupid, funny pickup lines work better than the dirtier pickup lines,” Mannino said.
Stepien also agreed that something to get the receiving party laughing works.
“If you get laughter out of a girl or guy, that’s a good sign,” Stepien said.
Mannino also said that ambushing the person is probably not a good idea. Once when he was eating alone, someone came and sat with him without asking permission. It also didn’t help that he already let her know that he wasn’t interested.
“Don’t keep pursuing someone who already said ‘no.’ If it doesn’t work on the first one, there’s someone else out there who it will work on,” said Mannino.