THURSDAY, Jan. 31, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- People looking for a date might want to wait for better weather. Flirting is most effective when the sun is shining, according to new research conducted in France.
The study involved an "attractive" 20-year-old man who approached women aged 18 to 25 walking alone in the street and asked them for their phone number. These advances were made on both sunny and cloudy days when the temperature was about the same.
Women were more receptive to being approached and flirted with -- and more likely to give their phone number -- on sunny days (about 22 percent) than on cloudy days (about 14 percent), according to the results of the study, which were published online recently in the journal Social Influence.
The findings suggest that flirting is more likely to have a positive result on bright days, said study author Nicolas Gueguen, of the University of South Brittany in France.
It's the first study to examine how weather may influence courtship or dating behavior, he noted in a journal news release. But the association between weather and flirting success noted in the study does not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.
Previous research has found that other environmental factors -- such as romantic music, pleasant smells and certain colors -- make people more likely to flirt or exchange phone numbers, according to background information in the news release.
Other studies have also found that the weather can affect certain social behaviors. For example, sunshine makes people more likely to help strangers, answer a survey or leave bigger tips in restaurants, the researchers noted.
Helpguide.org offers dating tips for finding the right partner.