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Flirting Is All About Mixed Signals

The Daily Mail is at it again, this time with research from Indiana University that examines the way men and women understand social signals, specifically in relation to flirting. As it turns out, men were less likely to pick up on the typical social cues than women. The article explains:

When shown images of women making advances, men tended to misread the sexual cues as friendliness. At the same time they mistook photos of women merely being friendly for sexual interest.

Following suit, research showed that women tend to assume men pick up on body language far more than they actually do, leading women to incorrectly think that a guy isn't into her when in reality, he's just not getting the message. What I found most interesting about this is that sending mixed signals is not always a conscious choice, but more often than not, a simple issue of miscommunication. Do you agree? Do you think the problems and anxiety around dating might be a matter of inadvertent mixed signals?


Join The Conversation
northofantastic northofantastic 9 years
It took my BF and I more than 6 months to finally hook up because we are both so bad at flirting, so I completely agree with this. From personal experience, when you're shy it makes it a lot harder IMO to interpret signals from the opposite sex. There's always that nagging voice in the back of your head going, oh he didn't mean that, he's just being nice. Or the guy really WAS flirting with you and is wondering why he didn't get a reaction. LOL.
gummybears123 gummybears123 9 years
i definitely do think that flirting has a lot to do with mixed signals. and i agree with masqueraded_angel that it can be challenging to be nice and act friendly to a guy without giving the guy the wrong signal that you are interested in him. i know for me i can just sense when a guy is flirting with me. it's kinda like a gut feeling. maybe men are just more obvious when flirting.
Masqueraded_Angel Masqueraded_Angel 9 years
I'm undecided. On one aspect, there is NOTHING more uncomfortable than a man at a bar thinking you're interested when all you want to do is kick him in the b*lls. On the other hand, it's frustrating when the man you're interested in has no clue even though you're practically throwing yourself at him. So my question is this: In the future, how would a woman relay interest in a man so that he would notice, but without being slutty? And how so would that prompt the man to respond in a desired manner? Hmmmm...things to think about.
Sun_Sun Sun_Sun 9 years
i very much disagree with the article. from my personal experience, a friendly smile or a polite "hi" were more often than not misinterpreted as flirting from my side. what the hell! u smiled, i smiled back. its made me so paranoid! and for the record i am not who would call a flirtatious girl. whatever, its all good ;)
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