We all do it, even if just a little. Come on, admit it!

If you don’t consider yourself a flirt, or you don’t know how to flirt, chances are you still fall into one of the five categories shown below. All you need to do is recognize these styles to know if that person who has caught your eye is flirting with you!

According to a study done at the University of Kansas, there are five main types of flirting: traditional, physical, sincere, playful, and polite. Understanding which flirting style fits you best may help you achieve first date success and even enhance your current relationship. Let’s see what type of flirt you are!


In this category, men are much more likely to make the first move, while women are happy to sit back and wait for their knight in shining armor to come galloping along on their white horse. Okay, a girl can dream! A good example of where you can see this style of flirting in action is in online dating. Traditional flirting is increasing in popularity, and women can sit back and, literally, take their pick. If traditionalists are your style, then it is important to have an appealing profile picture to entice them to make their move! Here’s even more on the secret science of flirting.


Like to flirt without saying a single word? Or do you like to let your body do all the talking to grab the attention of that special someone you have your eye on? Picture this scenario: When you start laughing, your hand naturally goes to touch the other person’s knee. This is a surefire way to drive that point home that you are super interested, without a word passing your lips! If this is your style, learn more about the physical touch love language here.


This is by far the most common type of flirting. Seeing someone who takes your fancy from across the room, and wanting to break the ice with them by complimenting their style or what newspaper they may be reading, is an easy and subtle flirting style. This manner of flirting is a quick route to finding common ground that may lead to emotional ties which flourish into a relationship. Even if it doesn’t go past a friendship, that’s still a bonus. You can never have too many friends!


This method of flirting could be classified as the most controversial. People who use flirting as a tool, rather than actually engaging in flirting because they are interested in someone, fall into this category. For example, do you flirt to get your own way or to manipulate a situation? Or perhaps flirting is a means to an end for you? Then you are a playful flirt! Some advice: Keep in mind all those hearts you have broken from sending mixed signals. They may come back to haunt you!


The last style is also the least obvious, and is loved by the quietly reserved and the introverted among us. There is a downside to being polite, though, and that is: no one may even notice you are flirting! However, the upside of polite flirting is that it is often the most genuine. So, what’s not to love?!

About Vanessa Van Edwards

Vanessa Van Edwards is a national best selling author & founder at Science of People. Her groundbreaking book, Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People has been translated into more than 16 languages. As a recovering awkward person, Vanessa helps millions find their inner charisma. She regularly leads innovative corporate workshops and helps thousands of individual professionals in her online program People School. Vanessa works with entrepreneurs, growing businesses, and trillion dollar companies; and has been featured on CNN, BBC, CBS, Fast Company, Inc., Entrepreneur Magazine, USA Today, the Today Show and many more.

3 replies on “How to Flirt: The 5 Types of Flirting Styles”

  1. potted plant lover

    I had absolutely no success with anyone, including my potted plants, until I read this article! thank you so much for your help! Now I can flirt! My potted plants thank you as well!

  2. ogbonna Innocent ugochukwu

    To me, if you are in a relationship flitring with others that is not your partner is not good, depending on the type of relationship that person is into with each other.

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