Along the physical continuum, we initially connect, instinctually, through our eyes. When a love prospect enters our visual range we make an immediate decision about their potential as a mate, or at least the potential for a date based simply on our level of attraction to their face and body. It seems that through our instincts, we are continually poised for a yes/no decision based on looks alone. Grandpa taught us to never judge a book by its cover; however, he was referring to our conscious mind and judgment on looks comes quite subconsciously from a lower level of intelligence, our instincts, which is exactly what happened to him when he met grandma.
Among mentally healthy, mature, sober adults most instinctual level attractions based upon looks alone, even when consciously and mutually acknowledged, are quickly dismissed when the social situation is prohibitive. Through our eyes, from afar, in addition to looks we quickly add other instinctual snap judgment on the desirability of a dating prospect’s appearance and health. Upon receiving a yes, yes, yes from our instincts the internal struggle for control between our instincts, emotions and intellect begins as the modern dating ritual opens with flirting.
Flirting is a natural and necessary part of the initial dating process. It is through flirting that we gauge availability and interest. While, speaking the same flirt language, women and men employ different facial expressions, body language and gestures via perceptual intelligence to communicate interest, acceptance, invitation, etc… and both defer to the emotional level of mind to correctly read and interpret the information provided.
Unfortunately, many people flirt for a variety of reasons other than to entice a dating prospect. Flirting is misused for personal validation for the insecure, to create jealousy in a current partner, to trade up from a lesser partner without ending the existing relationship first, to swing, or because of an underlying ego need or pathology – to satiate the appetite of a megalomaniac for example. Do not be confused or feel dejected by this type of flirting if it does not lead to a date, simply move on to the next prospect.
There is another situation when men and women will flirt where progressing to a date is not in the cards. Even men and women in a well-balanced relationship will flirt from time to time when they both sense strong mutual physical attraction. This is natural, can be fun, and usually does not go past the first few sentences of an approach when one proclaims their lack of availability.
Flirting, the approach, the impromptu meeting, first date, second date and ultimately infatuation represent the natural progressive steps from first glance to relationship formation. A copious analysis and the keys to success for each step of the dating process is provided in The Artful Science of True Love, paperback or electronic edition.