- This article is about flirtation. For the movie, see Flirting (movie).
Flirting is often described as casual conversation with a romantic touch. But it need not be spoken interaction at all.
Flirting is a way of treating serious things (such as sexual attraction) with an almost mocking or self-mocking air of ease. It can be either pleasantly diverting or wildly exciting, depending on the context.
People who flirt can speak and act in a way that suggests greater intimacy than is appropriate to the relationship (or to the amount of time the two people have known each other), without actually saying or doing anything inappropriate. One way they accomplish this is to communicate a sense of playfulness or irony.
Flirting consists of stylized gestures, language, body language, postures, and physiologic signs, some of which are also part of foreplay. Among these are (the Cultural bias here is specific to Western society):
The etymology of the verb "to flirt" is an interesting one: it comes from the old French "Conter fleurette", which means "to (try to) seduce" by the dropping of flower leaves. This expression is no longer used in French, but the English "frenchisism" to flirt has made its way and has now become an anglicism.