Thursday, February 16, 2006


Italians - Natural flirts

I'll have to start doing this in work from now on...I came across this interesting article by Jane Plunkett which discusses how the Italians are great at flirting unlike most of the rest of Europe. I wonder what Antonio has to say about that? According to Ms Plunkett, a friend of hers received a great confidence boost on a recent visit to Milan:

"After checking in to quaint little Italian hotel for the night she began exploring the streets, museums, shopping and café culture of the city and flew out the next day feeling like the most attractive woman in the world.

"Why? Because, while strolling around Italy’s fashion capital, she was serenaded by a chorus of ‘Ciao Bella’ and attracted flattering looks from every angle.

"Perhaps encouraged by the fact that she was a girl on her own - unaccompanied by a boyfriend or husband - unshaven builders hanging from scaffolding, humourously whistled down at her and even distinguished elderly Italian gentlemen, sipping on espresso, gave her approving flirty glances as she looked up from her tourist guide and caught their eye.

"She was told she had ‘beautiful eyes’ as she paid for items in shops and was even directly approached on the street and asked to sit and have a coffee, by a complete - but handsome - stranger.

"The attention managed to sharpen her confidence and kick-start a smile on her face. Proving that it is perhaps flirtation – when not obscene and vulgar – and maybe not diamonds, that is actually a girl’s best friend."

Wow these Italians could teach us a thing or two by the sounds of it. A point Ms Plunkett acknowledges when she compares Italain culture to that of other European nations:

"But the problem lies however, in the fact that many cultures, unlike the hot-blooded Italians, don’t have the faintest clue how to flirt naturally. If we are going to be stereotypical, we’ll set the ‘direct’ Frenchmen aside and start off talking about the Brits.

"According to a study of flirting published yesterday, British men and their close neighbours - more often than not - need to be tanked full of alcohol before they can muster up the courage to approach a girl they fancy.

"And, when they do manage to talk to her, flirting tends to involve a lot of insults rather than compliments. It can’t often be endearing to be called a ‘silly cow’ if you do not understand the culture of British flirting - that insults often hide attraction."

To be honest, I think Ms Plunkett has a point. Most Irish and British men suffer from what the medical profession likes to term "arseholery". It basically refers to the fact that they couldn't spot signals from a woman if their life depended on it.

Why are Italians such natural flirts unlike the rest of us? Surely it's nothing to do with looks, right ladies? Take the following two men as an example. Italian sports star Franceso Totti and Irish, star? No. Personality? No. Uh, well his name is Ryan Tubrdy and he's on TV. Surely there's little difference when it comes to these two guy's looks?

I'm seeing double here!
I'm a so sexy!I'm sexy, right? Right? Hello?

Ms Plunkett goes on to list the various social norms in several European countries. Firstly, Sweden:

"Visitors there may be deceived into thinking that flirting does not even exist, since two strangers rarely exchange even a glance or a smile says the study."

Hmm. Sounds like Dublin. I think I'd fit in well there.

"And, in the Netherlands, touching strangers, even just a friendly hand on the shoulder, is frowned upon, as is approaching or complimenting a stranger in the street, says American born Catina, who worked in The Hague."

Wow that's strange. So you can smoke weed until your heart's content there but you can't approach a stranger. Interesting...

"The Germans – unlikely candidates for flirting – but, ever anxious to get everything right, have acknowledged the power of flirting and the country is now bumper full of schools offering lessons in flirting etiquette."

Damn, those Germans are so efficient - even with dating. German flirting must be something to behold alright...

"Hey zere good looking. I muzt zay you are looking very zexy, yah? Could ve perhaps arrange a zuitable time and place to exchange furtzer data and informasion?"

Before anyone asks, I have it on good authority that Germans choose to flirt in English rather than their own language, which makes things very convenient for this post I must say.

What can we over here do to improve our own flirting though? Classes surely aren't the way to go. There must be a better solution!

Any ideas? Maybe some of you have some horror stories in relation to flirting experiences? Let's hear from you...


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