Flirting means loving

Mirror neurons and love

Sympathy and flirting

Mirror neurons already work when we are sympathetic to someone. Sympathy has a lot to do with empathy, because people who are compassionate and understanding with regard to our person and our life situation have a sympathetic effect on us. But the sympathy effect is only transmitted if the person is authentic. What someone expresses should be in line with their attitude.

Every interpersonal relationship begins with two people sending out signals and at the same time looking to what extent they are being reflected back by the other person. We perceive intuitively what the other person's gaze says about their emotions and needs. We feel what moves the other person.

When flirting, both parties get in the mood through mutual eye contact. The couples also perform flirtation gestures that are unconsciously understood by the other.

It is typical for women to stroke their hair, the so-called "hair-flip". Men take a typical flirtatious attitude, the "pose". You sit there with your legs apart, push your sleeves up or cross your arms behind your head.

It is crucial that both are aware of the mutual attention. For the first kiss you don't need any more words, both look at each other and know what's going to happen.


When two flirtatious people make the same movements, so that it happens almost synchronously, the scientists speak of the so-called chameleon effect. There is an "imitation effect" that is not consciously perceived.

Both participants perform the movements synchronously, for example, on a rendezvous, they cross their legs, prop their chins on or reach for the glass synchronously, every smile is recognized and returned.

What matters is not what is done, but that it happens at the same time. The flirtatious attunements to each other's emotions. Newly loved ones perceive almost 100 percent of the other's signals and react to them.

But the task of the mirror neurons does not end with the flirtation. During love, the inner image of the partner plays an important role. The reflective resonance system is particularly active. We can feel what is moving in the loved one, and we are ready to increase the mood that has been triggered in us.

An experiment showed that in couples who are intimately connected, not only the pain center of the brain was stimulated when the test subject was inflicted pain, but also when they experienced the pain in their partner.

If, however, the willingness to mirror the other's feelings is lost, love is already on feet of clay. This becomes noticeable when two partners avoid mutual eye contact and are no longer ready to get involved in the mood of the other. The close bond between the two disappears.