Nonverbal Communication: Flirting in Films

Proceedings of The 2nd International Conference on Gender Studies and Sexuality

Year: 2022



Nonverbal Communication: Flirting in Films

Mikayla Roell , Nikkie Saldivar Hodgson



Do you ever wish you could be the girl in a Hallmark movie that lives in a tiny, romantic Christmas town where all your dreams come true? The girls in these movies seem like they live the life that many of us dream of. They usually find their soulmate just by walking down the street or maybe by dropping their coffee while shopping for the perfect gift for their best friend. Movies tend to lead us wondering why those types of moments don’t happen in reality. Most women tend to want the romance that is seen within films, but it’s often hard to find when reality is focused on online dating and casual relationships. Flirting has changed within the dating world, but there are many nonverbal and verbal flirting techniques that are still used from the past. Nonverbal communication plays a huge role within the dating world. For example, in many Hallmark movies the characters usually show that they are interested in each other by the use of eye contact and smiling. Also, in almost every Hallmark film there is a crumb or smudge on the girl’s face while she is cooking or eating, which leads the person of interest to wipe it off with their finger. Scenes like this allow the characters in the film to realize that the current relationship is not just a friendship. These examples are signals of flirting that are usually provided within a new relationship. Films and other media content make the audience fantasize about these flirting signals, but they also provide knowledge on what nonverbal communication looks like within a new romantic relationship.

A simple smile or touch can be examples of nonverbal communication within a relationship. These examples can be used as evidence in order to tell if that person is interested in pursuing you. Social media has changed the dating world, but when we are off our phones it is interesting to see how we use nonverbal cues to interact with one another. The purpose of this study is to compare and contrast the nonverbal flirting techniques used in today’s films versus the one’s used in older films. This research will focus on how flirting techniques have changed within today’s time. The upcoming section will provide a review of literature of previous studies on flirting techniques used verbally and nonverbally. These previous studies will help guide the current research on flirting techniques that are commonly used and one’s that are preferred and disliked. The techniques used in this past research will be used as a guide to compare what is appearing in the films. Next, the methodology will be addressed followed by a results section discussing the techniques found within the films. In the final sections, a discussion and conclusion will provide an overall summary of this research.

keywords: Nonverbal communication, gender, flirting, sexuality, films.