A critical transition occurs when the contact moves from visual appraisal and flirty gestures to “talking.” So much is revealed by the tone and conversational style of the other person. The contact can be too stimulating and result in unappealing behaviors; the moments of being out-of-sync can be interpreted as “time to give up.” Also, the initial upsurge of sexual urges can be disconcerting.Larger mental and emotional fantasies evolve, generating a complex landscape of relationship possibilities, both positive and negative.
She goes around the table, and each of the young adults — four women and five men — practices with either Albert or Elina.
Glance up briefly — but repeat the process a few times.
The sharing of “conversational turn-taking” and the ability to tune in to the other person are early indicators of relationship prospects and limitations.
The sound of a person’s voice, especially its animation and musicality or lack thereof, is important.
Attraction can get going rather quickly, often in the first contact, and often in a “split second.” Contact is made and then lost and then reestablished. Speech can reveal a great deal about a person’s background, cultural, educational, and family characteristics, which may fuel or upset the emerging connection.
Eyes meet briefly; smiles are exchanged, as are some anxious, non-verbal courting gestures. Humor, irony, optimism or pessimism, boasting, or dislike of self each suggests personality trends that will become important as this potential relationship evolves.There is a sense of fitting together: a synchronicity, a matching of taste, and a discovery of corresponding experiences.This promising connection suggests the possibility of a relationship and this triggers the emergence of fantasies and needs. The dance of flirtation may not indicate a “readiness for relationship.” These are two different things. Elina, the program's coordinator, and Albert, a Ph D student trainee from the American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, then act out a slightly more successful scenario: Albert glances up with a brief smile, and looks away. Elina, charmed, returns the eye contact and smiles. Laugeson, an assistant clinical professor at UCLA's Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, laughs and turns to the whiteboard to go through the dos and don'ts of "flirting with your eyes:" Don't smile with teeth; don't stare. A kind of “performance anxiety” can interrupt the flow of the “dance” with awkward self-consciousness.The initial connection promises further contact: seeing each other again, long talks on the phone.