Flirting is not just for men. In fact, ladies can find flirting to be fun and liberating. A new study in the latest Communication Quarterly finds five different types of flirts.

The research is based on over 5,000 adults over age 18. The sample included 52 percent of single, never married adults, and 43 percent who are divorced or no longer in a relationship.

According to Jeffrey Hall, the study’s co-author and assistant professor of communication studies at the University of Kansas, flirting is the first stage of romantic development. “Every person uses a combination of flirting styles, but one style shows more dominant. The vast majority of the sample is people who would consider themselves to be on the market. The rest are casually dating.”

And the results are fascinating! Here’s the categories from USAToday:

1. Physical: People who scored high on this type often develop relationships quickly, have more sexual chemistry, and have a greater emotional connection to their partners. The relationships tend to focus more on sexual interest.

2. Traditional: These people believe that men should make the first move and women should not pursue men. Women are more likely to have trouble getting men’s attention, or getting them to flirt, and men take a longer time to approach a woman. Both men and women with this style tend to be introverted.

3. Polite: The focus is on proper manners and nonsexual communication. People who favor this style are less likely to approach a potential partner and aren’t flattered by flirting, but they do tend to have meaningful relationships.

4. Sincere: The style most often cited in the study. Relationships involve strong emotional connections and sexual chemistry and are typically meaningful; they are based on creating emotional connections.

5. Playful: People favoring the playful style often flirt with little interest in a long-term romance, but they find flirting fun and enhancing to their self-esteem. They are less likely to have important and meaningful relationships and this is the type that is most uncommon.

Professor Hall says that the study doesn’t suggest one flirting style is better than the other, but one can be more effective than the other. “It depends on what you want to achieve. A playful flirt is more likely to have short-term relationships.” Hall continues, “People with playful style of flirting are effective in having that type of relationship but may find it difficult to let people they’re interested in know they want something more.”

So what kind of flirt are you? Sound off!

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