Five types of courtship

Five types of courtship

According to data based on a sample of 5,000 men and women, it was found that there are five different ways that people flirt:

  1. The physical type of flirting communicates sexual interest in another person. People that flirt this way usually rapidly get involved in relationships with more “chemistry” and more intense emotional attachment.
  2. The traditional type of courtship is that in which the man approaches the woman first and the woman maintains a more passive role. People that flirt with the traditional way tend to be introverted and men usually create relationships with women who know some time ago.
  3. The polite type of courtship is based on polite and considerate manners for communication of interest.
  4. The sincere type of flirting involves communication of sincere interest and desire to create a strong emotional relationship. This type is more common in women.
  5. The playful type of flirting is usually done as a game that is not aiming to initiate a relationship.

People who flirt that way, usually do so to pleasantly stimulate their own confidence.

Sometimes the way we flirt may not serve our aim. For example, a woman who prefers the traditional courtship is likely to struggle to attract someone she wants. Also, the polite courtship may attract those interested in friendship rather than a love affair.

The researchers concluded that it is more beneficial to practice different types of flirting and not only follow a specific strategy, especially when we see that this does not serve our goals. It is useful to think about what messages we communicate when weflirt and different ways that we can use to express our attraction to a person.

Hall J, Carter S, Cody M et al. (2010) Individual Differences in the Communication of Romantic Interest: Development of the Flirting Styles Inventory. Communication Quarterly 58: 365-393.


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