Romance 101

Monica Moore of the University of Missouri did a study on flirting, spending many hours observing and recording numerous situations and learned there is an art to flirting. Her work included describing and understanding flirting and what role it plays in human courtship.

I’ve always wondered about flirting. After all it seems to me it is a negative thing to be called a flirt. To fight the label we females sometimes try to curtail our advances (except in private). I also remember having mixed emotions about it-was I wrong (too forward, or aggressive) to get in his “face?” Maybe so, but it sure felt good. So is it a right or wrong thing to do?….

Ms Moore states that it is simply nonverbal courtship signaling, and that it is helpful to males so that it is not such a burden to make the first move. Yes, a natural thing. She found that nonverbal courtship signaling, which she considers to be flirting, is a process that is a must and that “flirting may be the single most important thing a woman can do to increase her attractiveness.” I wish someone would have told me this way back when…….

Shut up!

At the beginning of Maya’s Gold, my characters, Stanton Black and Maya Valentine argued at the drop of a hat. I like to put that kind of verbal bantering in my stories, because I think it can add humor and, I hope, sexual tension. But in real life, I’ve always thought of fighting as a bad thing or something to prevent from happening.

I learned a lot in the Psychology class I took last spring. One topic I remember very clearly had to do with male female relationships and arguing. Psychologist John Gottman, who is known for his five-to-one-ratio of positive interactions to negative interactions in relationships, says that verbal fighting, whether rare or frequent, is sometimes the healthiest thing a couple can do for the relationship. In fact, blunt anger, appropriately expressed, seems to immunize marriages Gottman also states that, couples who start out complaining about each other have some of the most stable marriages over time, while those who do not fight early on are more likely to face the road to divorce.

What to do with the rest of us who can’t open up like Maya and Stanton? Maintain the five-to-one ratio, Gottman says. And that men should help with the housework, but that is another story.

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