Think flirting is all fun and games? A new study suggests there’s much more to it than that.

Research from the University of Kansas found that a person’s flirting style can predict success in the romance department.

“Knowing something about the way you communicate attraction says something about challenges you might have had in your past dating life,” lead author Jeffrey Hall, an assistant professor in communication studies, told Reuters. “Hopefully, this awareness can help people avoid those mistakes and succeed in courtship.”

Hall says that people who flirt more “playfully” do so to boost their own egos and self-esteem. He found that they have less luck with lasting, meaningful relationships than those who show their attraction in other ways.

Hall, who co-authored the study with eHarmony’s senior director of research Steve Carter, quizzed more than 5,100 dating adults and broke flirting styles into five categories: physical, traditional, polite, sincere and playful.

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