Science Says You Have No Idea When Someone Is Flirting with You


You think you’ve got some serious game but whenever you try to chat someone up, you have no idea if they’re into it or not. It’s a struggle we all face – according to science, you’re definitely not alone.

Related: Why Do Guys Always Think You Like Them?

New research from the University of Kansas shows we all pretty much suck at knowing when people are flirting with us. Jeffrey Hall, a professor at the university and author of The Five Flirting Styles (physical, polite, playful, sincere and traditional – in case you were wondering) says, ‘If you think someone is not interested in you, you are probably right, they’re not interested. But if someone is, you probably missed it.’ Well, shit.

Related: 7 Foolproof Flirting Tips for Shy Girls

To conduct his study, Hall brought in 52 pairs of single, heterosexual men and women. Each couple spoke for 10 minutes, then had to fill out questionnaires about their impressions of their partners. Turns out people were great at knowing when their partners were not flirting – but when it came to detecting whether they were flirting, men got it right about 36% of the time, and women about 18%. ONLY 18, PEOPLE!

Related: When You Fall for a Flirt

How sad is that? Imagine how many times you’ve gone through ‘Boy meets girl. Boy likes girl. Girl likes boy. Nobody picks up on it. Everyone goes home’…

So why don’t we pick up on flirting cues? According to Hall, we don’t generally assume everyone wants to get in our pants. Perhaps we should be assuming these things a bit more often…

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