You're sitting on the couch at your cousin's New Year's Eve party chatting it up with the woman you noticed minutes after you arrived. During the conversation, you cross your legs. A few seconds later, she does the same. She then leans back on the couch to get more comfortable. You follow suit (but not right away). While the conversation is extremely engaging, you take a quick second to lean forward and pick your Champagne glass off of the coffee table to take a sip. She -- wait for it, wait for it -- does the same.
These simple gestures have made both of you much more relaxed and more willing to continue the conversation into the New Year and possibly on to the second date. Why does this copy-cat dance work so well? Studies show that the chances of strangers bonding depend highly on mimicry, "a synchronized and usually unconscious give and take of words and gestures that creates a current of good will between two people" [source: Carey].
We typically sympathize, relate to or in the case of flirting, like a person who subtly mimics our moves. Marketers and salespersons use this technique to get the general public to purchase their products. Those who flirt use it (whether they are aware that they are doing it or not) to increase the chances of the other person growing to like them. A couple can mimic moves on the dance floor, or by simply ordering the same drinks and appetizers at the bar. By the end of the event or evening, this type of flirting puts both of them in sync and shows each other that the feelings are definitely mutual.