The science of flirting (and much more)


Don’t let the title scare you, it’s not quite the type of article you’d see in a glossy magazine. The talk about flirting is just a cover up to the talk about human interaction. But it does sound catchy, isn’t it?

I’ve been in Denmark for an improvisation course with a bunch of talented people (whom I miss already! :) ). And we had to play (truthfully) a lot of scenes. But by far the most entertaining, maybe except for those when we had to hit each others’ butts (yes, but shhh!), were those about flirting. We like to see it and we like to do it.

There were plenty of exercises and we flirted a lot, during and after the course hours – just for the sake of scientific inquires, of course!



There are tons of “how to” on this topic. Too many maybe. What we tried were basically two approaches:


It’s when you look at flirt, decompose it and then take every move and recompose it back when you need it. So you take the outside and try to interiorise it.

For example, we had this list with things to do to flirt, a list taken from a scientific study actually. And from time to time we would look at the list and we would do something from there. Sometimes, the more we tried to do it right, the more awkward would become. Other times, it worked brilliantly.

And when we used some small gestures to play with the power balance between the two, things got really-really interesting. And that could have an effect on any type of interaction: selling or buying something, giving an interview for a job, making friends…

Sometimes nodding your head or not, touching your face or not, the way you face your toes can make a huuuge difference on how you are perceived and how the interaction goes. We’ll be working with these types of things in the workshop we’ll launch this autumn, just keep an eye on


We worked with some sort of “mantras”: either alternating “I want to kiss you” with “I want to punch you” or some other ones. And this was so incredible powerful as well!

In real life, when you like someone everything you do goes in the desired direction: you tend to get closer, you smile more, you “hit” them in a joke when they say something stupid or you just simply try to find ways to touch them…or you know, all the other stuff we do.

So when you work on the mindset…the body follows easily. When you don’t necessarily focus on what gestures you do but on what’s in your head, the body will know and will act, and the other person will not even know what hit her (metaphorically speaking, of course).


It’s amazing to see how sensible we are to the messages the other person transmits, although most of the times we are not even aware we are receiving them. Or she that she sent them. And this is what makes flirting so exciting and maybe this is why we find human interaction so damn catchy.

Although, I must confess, when not on stage, I’m rather old fashioned…I prefer not to overthink it, to just let the flow has its course. And then truthfulness is at its highest and magic really happens. There’s time to talk about it later…


On a more funny note, I started to think how much the flirting changed. Back in my teenage days one of my favourite parts was discovering the other person…we would send each other pictures, talk about the latest places we visited, find out what friends we have in common or how we were at the same time, in the same place at who knows what event. Now, I can just open Facebook and discover all those things by myself, because everything you are most proud of and your best pictures are most probably there already, with no need for the actual encounter. I still wonder how these “met on the internet” couples keep the butterflies in their stomach enough for them to evolve into a relationship and don’t die when they meet in person. Let me know if you know! Scientific inquiry, of course. :)

Enjoy your flirts and all the interactions you are lucky to experiment!

Yours, half of me still lost somewhere in Denmark,

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