Scientists reveal 11 of the most off-putting flirting tactics to avoid

Flirting can be great or really horrible (Picture: Getty)

Flirting usually goes one of two ways.

It can either be fun and enjoyable or a complete disaster.

Now, scientists from the University of Nicosia in Cyprus have discovered the 11 most off-putting flirting tactics, which they deem as ‘dealbreakers’ for many people.

They found that using a ‘slimy approach’, swearing or being too touchy are tactics to avoid.

The same goes for bad hygiene, narcissism, and low self-esteem.

Previous studies on the matter detailed that when it comes to flirting, people’s abilities are widely different. They also found that poor flirters are more likely to be single.

This latest study hopes to develop this theory by identifying bad flirting techniques.

More than 200 participants were given open-ended questionnaires about the flirting tactics they find the most off-putting.

Their responses were then tested with a group of more than 700 separate participants, who were asked to rate how off-putting they found these traits in a partner.

The results saw ‘a slimy approach’ as being the most off-putting, followed by bad hygiene and lack of exclusive interest.

Differing views, vulgar vocabulary and lack of intelligence were next, followed by narcissism, lack of humour and low self-esteem, and excessive intimacy.

11 most disliked flirting tactics

  1. Slimy approach
  2. Bad hygiene
  3. Lack of exclusive interest
  4. Different views
  5. Vulgar vocabulary
  6. Lack of intelligence
  7. Narcissism
  8. Lack of humour and self-esteem
  9. Excessive intimacy
  10. Poor looks
  11. Stinginess 

To finish the list, participants said that poor looks and stinginess were also flirting dealbreakers.

‘People can become more effective flirting-initiators if they work on their approach, avoid making for instance slimy and sexist comments, touching and being too intimate, and avoid also flirting with more than one individual at a time,’ the researchers, led by Menelaos Apostolou, wrote in their study, published in Personality and Individual Differences.

‘People can also improve their flirting by improving their looks (e.g., look after their skin), and by not being stingy (e.g., offer to pay the bill).’

In the research, women were found to be more sensitive to almost all 11 dealbreakers than men.

‘One reason is that women carry a larger portion of the obligatory parental investment of child-rearing, so they face a higher risk than men if they make a mistake in mate choice,’ the researchers suggest.

A romantic date, two male characters standing opposite each other, a red rose, an LGBTQ+ coupleAvoid being slimy (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

‘Accordingly, women have evolved to be more selective and risk-averse than men, which is reflected in their higher sensitivity to dealbreakers.’

Older participants were also found to be more sensitive to the flirting dealbreakers than younger participants.

The researchers wrote: ‘Younger people aim more towards getting relationship experience with different partners than establishing a long-term intimate relationship.’

‘Towards this end, they lower their standards, becoming in effect less sensitive to flirting dealbreakers. 

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‘On the other hand, as people age and they acquire more relationship experience, they become more interested in finding long-term partners, and so they have higher mating standards, and are thus, more sensitive to flirting dealbreakers.’

They concluded their research by adding that they hope the research will help others in their quest for love and aid mental health professionals in their work.

‘The findings of the present research could be useful for people who want to improve their flirting skills, and for mental health professionals who want to help clients who face difficulties in the domain of mating,’ they added.

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