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Challenges (teasing, questions, qualifying, feigned disinterest) serve to increase tension and test intention and congruity.
Flirting behavior varies across cultures due to different modes of social etiquette, such as how closely people should stand (proxemics), how long to hold eye contact, how much touching is appropriate and so forth. For example, ethologist Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt found that in places as different as Africa and North America, women exhibit similar flirting behavior, such as a prolonged stare followed by a head tilt away with a little smile. The Oxford English Dictionary (first edition) associates it with such onomatopoeic words as flit and flick, emphasizing a lack of seriousness; on the other hand, it has been attributed to the old French conter fleurette, which means "to (try to) seduce" by the dropping of flower petals, that is, "to speak sweet nothings".
Flirting or coquetry is a social and sometimes sexual behavior involving verbal or written communication, as well as body language, by one person to another, either to suggest interest in a deeper relationship with the other person, or if done playfully, for amusement.
In most cultures, it is socially disapproved for a person to make explicit sexual advances in public, or in private to someone not romantically acquainted, but indirect or suggestive advances (i.e. Flirting usually involves speaking and behaving in a way that suggests a mildly greater intimacy than the actual relationship between the parties would justify, though within the rules of social etiquette, which generally disapproves of a direct expression of sexual interest in the given setting.
This may be accomplished by communicating a sense of playfulness or irony.
Double entendres, with one meaning more formally appropriate and another more suggestive, may be used.
He subsequently disavowed her as he was after all the future king and she but a gardener's daughter.
The fan was extensively used as a means of communication and therefore a way of flirting from the 16th century onwards in some European societies, especially England and Spain.Anyway, the association of flowers, spring, youngth, and women is not modern and were yet considered in ancient culture, such as the Chloris in ancient Greece, or Flora (deity) in ancient Roman empire, including Floralia festival, and in older poems: “Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, come with me. The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me.” — NIV “Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away, for behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone.Some people flirt simply for amusement, with no intention of developing any further relationship.
For others, flirting serves a purpose and is employed as a tool to achieve a specific (professional) goal (good salespeople will recognise situations where flirting will help a sale).
The story became know across France as a tale of the rich and poor, the powerful and the powerless.