Flirting for some comes naturally, but for others, it's terribly uncomfortable and impossible not to feel like a creep. But new research has found what works for men and women.
New research out of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology suggests the best tactics differ depending on your gender.
The research shows that women want men to be funny and generous for the ladies. In contrast, men prefer women to appear sexually available and to laugh at their jokes.
'What's most effective depends on your gender and whether the purpose of the flirtation is a long-term or short-term relationship,' said Leif Edward Ottesen Kennair, a professor at the University.
'Flirting involves different signals that people send to each other. It's done to attract potential partners. Men and women both flirt to get the attention of the desired partner, and perhaps to achieve a sexual or romantic result from it,' said Professor Kennair.
'Flirting can be done verbally as well as non-verbally,' said co-author Joel Wade, a presidential professor of psychology at Bucknell University.
Women who just want a short-lived fling from flirting need to signalise this clearly to their potential partner, the researchers said.
'People consider signals that you're sexually available to be the most effective,' said Kennair.
'People think that humour, or being able to make another person laugh, is most effective for men who are looking for a long-term relationship,' said Kennair.
'It's least effective for women who are looking for a one-night stand. But laughing or giggling at the other person's jokes is an effective flirtation tactic for both sexes.'
While humour is a strong method for attraction, the researchers said that people shouldn't necessarily start with it.