An Indiana University study has spent good money to discover something any man over the age of 16 could have told them:
Don't take flirtatious women for granted. They may not be be interested in you at all but are just being friendly, says a new study.
People of both sexes looking for romance are quite good at reading the male's interest, but equally bad at misjudging the female's interest.
"The hardest-to-read women were being misperceived at a much higher rate than the hardest-to-read men. Those women were being flirtatious, but it turned out they weren't interested at all," said study co-author Skyler Place.
Women flirt. Big shock. One of the biggest parts of men's romantic education is learning when women are serious and when' they're just kidding. And no matter how good you think you are at it, there's always one who will fool you. One of the perpetrators of this study says that "evolutionary theory" predicts a certain level of coyness or even deceptiveness in women "because if a relationship is abandoned they face greater costs, including pregnancy and child rearing." Well, OK, I guess, if we're talking about an established relationship. Not sure it explains flirting with every man in sight.
Some women are flirtier than others. Most of the time, it's harmless, even cute. And some women are so over the top that no one takes them seriously. There was a woman in LaPorte County that everybody called "(First name withheld) O'Really" because very quickly in a conversation with any man, her hands would go up to the side of her face (you know the gesture), and she'd exclaim, "Oh, really?"