Although many individuals self-report specific characteristics and qualities labeled as “ideal” in a romantic partner, the variables related to romantic partner selection can be difficult to identify. Mainly, how can our own behavior influence specific behavior from others in romantic partner selection (e.g., saying “yes” to going on a date, keeping an initial chat going, choosing to interact with a romantic partner across multiple dates, etc.). Based on chats as short as five minutes, a variety of specific variables can be identified in relation to preferences for future interaction with the same individual, extending the initial interaction beyond five minutes, and the function of the interaction itself. How we say something is often more important than what we say; however, effective strategies are also highly dependent upon the specific audience.
Research utilizing both observational and experimental methods in accordance with traditional speed-dating and online dating paradigms will be presented in discussion of a functional account of complex verbal behavior as rooted in a psychological perspective. The relevance of better quantifying “successful flirtation” is apparent in categorizing successful initiation of romantic relationships and as an opportunity to support individuals who may encounter challenges in establishing romantic relationships.