A London flirt interpreter is urging single women to stop waiting for Prince Charming to sweep them off their feet and instead take control of their dating destiny.
Social anthropologist Jean Smith studied the flirting behaviour of 250 people in London, Paris, New York and Stockholm to see what makes them tick.
And it seems Londoners are tying themselves in metaphorical knots when it comes to playing the field.
“One of the biggest discrepancies I found was between London males and females,” she explained.
“Women thought that men liked one thing and the men actually said that they liked something completely different.”
It appears that women still hold old-school attitudes when it comes to who should make the first move.
Jean said: “One of the questions I’m asked the most is ‘is it ok if I approach a guy?’ or ‘what if he thinks I’m too easy to get/’ or ‘are men naturally hunters?’
“But that doesn’t apply to our modern dating scene and if it does, it’s more of an individual preference.”
Those who approach Jean for help appear to be focused on the end goal of securing their happiness with a long-term relationship and less on how to get there.
According to Jean this is where the problem lies.
“When it comes to the area of flirting, love and dating, it’s especially helpful to be logical about it,” Jean explained.
“Most of the times people think, if I’m able to flirt then I’ll be able to attract my future partner and I’ll be happy.
“But with my coaching I help them change their perspective and say ‘I already am happy, I don’t want to wait I can be happy now, I’ve a great life, why am I waiting?’
“It’s just a matter of breaking through the comfort zone and doing it.”
Even when some singletons have worked up the courage to put themselves out there, Jean explained that sometimes people are their own worst enemies when it comes to making the first move.
Jean said: “People let their mind make up situations and outcomes and so they never actually go through with it
“Their mind is never saying ‘oh, yeah, you should totally talk to him, he’s going to love you!’
“No, the mind is saying ‘don’t do it, he’s going to think you’re stupid’. Flirting is all about having fun in life.”
A final obstacle that Jean noted in people’s quest to find ‘the one’ are unrealistic expectations.
She said: “People pay too much attention on the initial spark factor.
“If you’re looking for a one night stand or you’re staring in a rom com that’s perfect – but as far as finding a compatible partner goes, initial sparks are highly overrated.
“Just put yourself out there and have fun without expectations.”
Image courtesy of Alan, with thanks