THE FIVE PHASES OF OFFLINE DATING
Givens’ (1979) developed a five-stage model to explain the traditional courting process. In his model the first phase is the ‘attention phase’. During this phase an individual (typically a woman) will try to attract a person of the opposite sex by displaying non-verbal signs of attraction, such as primping, object caressing and using quick glances towards and away from the target. The second phase is the ‘recognition phase’, where flirting behavior consists of head cocking, pouting, primping, eyebrow flashes and smiles. Givens suggests that ‘interaction’ does not occur until the third phase. This is when conversation is initiated. During this stage, participants appear highly animated, displaying laughing or giggling. Interestingly, Givens notes that men are generally hesitant to approach women without some initial indication of interest from the woman. The fourth phase in his model is ‘sexual arousal’, which is finally followed by ‘resolution’. As Whitty (2003) has argued, Givens’ work not only demonstrates that women make the first move, but also highlights the importance of non-verbal cues in the signaling of sexual attraction. These signals are crucial in the game of flirting. Given that flirtatious behavior features heavily when one is trying to initiate contact with a potential romantic mate off-line, this chapter now turns to examine flirtation in a little more detail.