How to Flirt – As Told by Science


Everyone has seen it in films: eyes locked across the crowded room, romantic music, heart-shaped eyeball popping out of heads: the old cliché ‘Love at first sight’. However, research from the BBC suggests that this maxim may be 90 seconds out, stating instead that it can take between 90 seconds and 4 minutes to decide if we fancy someone.  So, that counts for however many ‘sights’ you can make in 4 minutes- take that popular culture! (please note that too many or too few looks may be equally creepy, and result in pepper spray).

If eye-popping persists after 4 hours, consult emergency medical attention.
If eye-popping persists after 4 hours, consult emergency medical attention.

Furthermore, the research has shown that 55% of our decision is based on body language, whilst only 7% is through what we actually say.  So next time you go in for the kill, why not start a thrilling conversation about the art of origami- science says it will work, as long as you have the body language to pull it off!

bad convo

But now, the elephant in the room- what do people actually find attractive? Sit tight folks, the answers to your questions and prayers may be below…

1) Symmetry: Apparently, symmetry is an extremely attractive quality, as survey participants tended to favour faces with more symmetrical features. So if you have an embarrassingly large spot on your face- don’t forget to draw one in the other side too!


2)Eye contact: contrary to the belief that staring is for creeps and vicious staring contests for reasons of honour, gazing lovingly into your target’s eyes is apparently just what Cupid ordered. Psychologist Professor Arthur Arun even conducted a survey where, following forcing strangers to stare into each others eyes for four minutes, two of his subjects married! *suspicions of love potions and witch craft are so far uunconfirmed

creepy stare

3)Mirroring: This is a process wherein you mirror, or basically copy, the physical gestures of your partner, which is a sign of attraction. So don’t be afraid to throw some shapes (preferably symmetrical) on the dance floor in perfect unison- after all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery right? However, there is a cautionary note here, that this process can also take place amongst close friends – so be wary not to lunge across the table in a fit of passion the next time you and your friend happen to blink simultaneously.



And finally, just an enlightening fact for all you lovelorn singletons: studies have shown that one of the criteria that turns us on the most is how much somebody looks like us! Yep that’s right, forget mummy and daddy issues, it’s time to take a cold hard look in the mirror- and say hello to your ideal partner.


So in summary, here are the top dating tips, as told by science:

-you can talk any old drivel, as long as you look good doing it

-make sure you stay perfectly symmetrical at all times

-the more staring the better

-copy like crazy


You don’t need to thank me, thank science (but any wedding cake would be appreciated)


Statistics taken from BBC Science


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