Oh those secretive Victorians with their strict rules of etiquette! Unless a woman had been formally introduced to a man, it was considered poor etiquette to talk to him, dance with him or address him in any way. So what was a poor girl to do if she spotted a young man that made her heart flutter? Well, just like young people today when told they are forbidden to do something, they will find a way! And so did young Victorian women…. by way of their fashion accessories… with their pretty fans and handkerchiefs.
The Victorians loved mystery and intrigue and this special language allowed women to indulge in “secret” flirtatious behaviour without (they hoped) chancing being caught. The gossipy matrons in the community loved nothing better than a good scandal!
Eventually this “flirtatious behaviour” by females became a socially acceptable way of communicating with members of the opposite sex. Many a young Victorian woman was taught “this language” in finishing schools or by their chaperon.
Here then are just some of the fashion accessory “meanings” used by Victorian women…
* Drawing her handkerchief across her lips – “Let’s flirt with each other”
* Dropping it on the floor: “Let’s meet”
* Holding her handkerchief in opposite corners in both hands: or opening her fan wide “Wait for me.”
(The above excerpts has been taken from http://www.victorianfashionsociety.com/the-language-of-handkerchiefs–fans-by-sharon-house.html ).
As we are unlocking, going out more for walks or whatever, with new rules of masks and physical distancing, the idea of approaching a random stranger has become a thing of the past.
It’s largely fear driven on being approached by a random person and vice versa.
Also, it is a big matter of social respect now, unlike before coronavirus.
However, we are still those animals that have mated since time immemorial.
The idea of physical intimacy with opposite sex is so strong in both genders, that adultery persist even in those countries, where it is punishable by stone to death.
So how do we find that balance between our strong need to mate and not violating new social norms?
This is where, we must take a cue of non verbal approach from those Victorians women, explained above.
Instead of using handkerchiefs, we are armed with masks now.
What I have been doing like those Victorian women, giving non verbal signals to girls who I am drawn to and happen to be in my proximity, by evidently unmasking myself as these girls walk by me or I walk by them, and at the same time looking at them.
It’s a way to let girls know, that you are interested in them.
If I get an hint of approval or acceptance from them by the look in their eyes or even they unmasking themselves, then I approach physically and verbally.
And if I get an indifferent response or instant stern averting of gaze, then I keep moving on.
This way I keep my social bank balance intact. Plus it has an element of respect.