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Experts reveal why Adam Levine’s flirty DMs are seen as ‘cringe’

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By now, it will have been difficult to avoid the screenshots of the flirty messages Adam Levine sent to his fans – and the resulting memes.

The Maroon 5 frontman is married to model Behati Prinsloo, with whom he has two children, and she is currently pregnant with their third.

But, over the last week, five women have come forward accusing 43-year-old Levine of sending them explicit messages in recent years.

The first was Instagram model Sumner Stroh, 23, who uploaded a bombshell TikTok video in which she claimed the two had had an affair last year and revealed a slew of flirtatious DMs.

Then comedian Maryka and a woman named Alyson Rose shared screenshots of their alleged Instagram conversations with the singer.

Levine’s former yoga teacher, Alanna Zabel, next accused him of sending a dirty text to her, before fitness influencer Ashley Russell claimed he started messaging her on social media this year.

While many have expressed sympathy for the rock star’s pregnant wife online, they couldn’t help but poke fun at the ‘leaked’ messages.

These include ‘I may need to see the booty’ and offering to buy one woman’s ‘a**’ ‘a steak dinner and whisper sweet nothings into it’. 

However, it is unlikely that Levine intended for his messages to be received in this way when he pressed ‘send’.

The Maroon 5 frontman is married to model Behati Prinsloo (pictured left), with whom he has two children, and she is currently pregnant with their third

Levine's 'cringe' messages include 'I may need to see the booty' and offering to buy one woman's 'a**' 'a steak dinner and whisper sweet nothings into it'

Influencer Dana Omari (pictured) shared screenshots of Adam Levine's alleged flirty messages to comedian Maryka on her behalf

Levine’s ‘cringe’ messages include ‘I may need to see the booty’ and offering to buy one woman’s ‘a**’ ‘a steak dinner and whisper sweet nothings into it’. Influencer Dana Omari (pictured) shared screenshots of Adam Levine’s alleged flirty messages to comedian Maryka on her behalf

A 1982 study from Northwestern University found that males are more likely to perceive friendliness from females as seduction, which can be cause for confusion

In a now viral TikTok video, Alyson Rose also shared screengrabs of Levine's alleged messages to her, including one in which he said: 'I shouldn't be talking to you you know [that] right?'

In a now viral TikTok video, Alyson Rose also shared screengrabs of Levine’s alleged messages to her. A 1982 study from Northwestern University found that males are more likely to perceive friendliness from females as seduction, which can be cause for confusion

Research suggests that his spelling and grammatical errors may make him appear inattentive and unintelligent, while his comments about women’s bodies seem immature.

Chartered psychologist Dr Audrey Tang believes that the messages ‘have echoes of the DMs which romance scammers send’.

She told MailOnline: ‘These ‘scripts’ can even be purchased by scammers for whom English is not their first language. 

‘Therefore, if anyone is familiar with [them], they will already likely ‘cringe’ because they know that romance scammers are quoting lines verbatim without thinking of the meaning.

‘Many people get a message worded like that and simply delete it.’

Here, MailOnline takes a look at the studies and expert opinions that reveal what Levine did wrong – or right – in his attempts at seduction.

While many social media users have expressed sympathy for the rock star's pregnant wife, they couldn't help but poke fun at the 'leaked' messages

While many social media users have expressed sympathy for the rock star’s pregnant wife, they couldn’t help but poke fun at the ‘leaked’ messages

WHAT DID ADAM LEVINE DO RIGHT AND WRONG IN HIS DMS? 

What he did right: 

Used humour

Made his intentions clear through emojis and overblown compliments

What he did wrong:

Caught out cheating

Poor spelling and grammar

‘Immature’ comments about the recipient’s body

Humour

A study from this earlier year revealed that using humour is one of the best ways of flirting with someone from the opposite sex – with many women wanting a man who is ‘funny’.

A team of researchers, led by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, surveyed around 1,000 students in Norway and the US.

Each participant rated how effective 40 different types of flirting were for a long-term or a short-term relationship, and whether the flirter was male or female. 

The researchers took into account the participants’ extroversion, age, religiosity, how willing the person was to have a relationship and ‘mate value’, that is, how attractive you are in the dating market.

Professor Leif Edward Ottesen Kennair, a professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, said: ‘People think that humour, or being able to make another person laugh, is most effective for men who are looking for a long-term relationship.

‘It’s least effective for women who are looking for a one-night stand. But laughing or giggling at the other person’s jokes is an effective flirtation tactic for both sexes.’ 

Levine appears to try a joke on Sumner Stroh, when he writes: ‘You are 50 times hotter in person. And so am I hahahah’

He also writes: ‘I’d buy it a steak dinner and whisper sweet nothings into it’, when referring to comedian Maryka’s bum.

While it is unclear if these comments made their recipients laugh, Twitter users certainly saw the funny side.

One wrote: ‘I know I shouldn’t be laughing but wow, Adam Levine’s sexts are insanely bad.’

'Another issue with these texts is that they are focused on the physical,' Dr Tang told MailOnline. 'With #MeToo and the recognition that healthy relationships are about far more than that, this unfortunately for Levine makes him sound immature.' Pictured: Screenshots of flirty exchanges between Instagram model Sumner Stroh and Adam Levine

‘Another issue with these texts is that they are focused on the physical,’ Dr Tang told MailOnline. ‘With #MeToo and the recognition that healthy relationships are about far more than that, this unfortunately for Levine makes him sound immature.’ Pictured: Screenshots of flirty exchanges between Instagram model Sumner Stroh and Adam Levine

While it is unclear if Levine's comments made their recipients laugh, Twitter users certainly saw the funny side

While it is unclear if Levine’s comments made their recipients laugh, Twitter users certainly saw the funny side

Spelling and grammar

Correct spelling and grammar play a key part while flirting online, a study has revealed.

Researchers worked with members of an online dating service and asked them to read fake profiles that had language errors as well as ones that had no mistakes.

The study of more than 800 people on a dating site in the Netherlands found that errors such as writing ‘teh’ for ‘the’  and putting capital letters in the wrong place suggested sloppiness and a lack of attention to detail.

This inattentiveness can be interpreted as a lack of effort and interest in putting time and effort.

If a profile has spelling mistakes and grammatical errors they were also more likely to be perceived as less intelligent. 

‘This is subsequently likely to be perceived as unattractive,’ says report author Tess Van der Zanden from Tilburg University.

Levine makes a number of spelling errors in his flirty messages, including typing ‘thjs’ instead of ‘this’, and ‘richt’ instead of ‘right.

He also does not use a question mark when he asks influencer Dana Omari ‘How are you such an hourglass’.

The lack of attention to detail may have contributed to the poor reception of his messages. 

In a statement posted on his Instagram account, the lead singer of Maroon 5 said he had used 'poor judgment' and had been  'inappropriate' by speaking to another woman in an flirtatious manner

In a statement posted on his Instagram account, the lead singer of Maroon 5 said he had used ‘poor judgment’ and had been  ‘inappropriate’ by speaking to another woman in an flirtatious manner 

Lack of subtlety

Research has found that both men and women are not good at detecting when someone is flirting with them, and therefore subtlety is not the way to go.

However, Levine’s crude and overblown compliments such as ‘that body of yours is absurd’ and ‘how are you such an hourglass’ make his intentions clear.

Jeffrey Hall, an associate professor of communication studies at the University of Kansas, conducted a study to see how often pairs of strangers correctly identified when the other was flirting.

‘If you think someone is not interested in you, you are probably right, they are not interested,’ Hall said.

‘But if someone is, you probably missed it.’

The study, published in Communication Research, brought together 52 pairs of single, heterosexual college students.

The pairs of strangers sat alone in a room and talked for 10 to 12 minutes in what they thought was a study on first impressions.

At the end of the study, the students were asked to fill out questionnaires in separate rooms.

Among other things, students had to note if they flirted and if they thought their counterpart had.

While the pairs were more than 80 percent accurate in knowing when their counterpart was not flirting, they were far less accurate in detecting when they were being flirted with.

Only 36 percent of men judged correctly, and for women, the number was 18 percent. 

Additionally, a 1982 study from Northwestern University found that males are more likely to perceive friendliness from females as seduction, which can be a cause of confusion. 

‘Behaviour that is flirtatious is hard to see, and there are several reason for that,’ said Hall.

‘People aren’t going to do it in obvious ways because they don’t want to be embarrassed, flirting looks a lot like being friendly, and we are not accustomed to having our flirting validated so we can get better at seeing it.’

While Levine’s messages may fall flat in many ways, his lack of subtlety at least meant that his advances were understood – and could be called out.

Emojis 

The singer appears to enjoy embellishing his messages with emojis, using at least one in conversation with each of the women he approached.

He sent the ‘rolling on the floor laughing’ emoji four times while flirting with Stroh, and sent a ‘man shrugging’ prior to requesting her consent to name his child after her.

This may suggest that Levine has more than friendship on his mind, allowing the recipient to better understand his intentions.

A 2016 study from Match.com found that between 36 and 40 per cent of people who think about sex several times a day use more than one emoji in every text they send.

Another group of slightly less sex-crazed survey participants aged between 18 and 70 said they regularly used emoji, but not in every message.

Finally, individuals who only think about sex once a month said they use emoji the least. 

 Match.com's 'Singles in America Survey' found that between 36 and 40 per cent of people who think about sex several times a day use more than one emoji in every text they send. Another group of slightly less sex-crazed survey participants aged between 18 and 70 said they regularly use emoji, but not in every message

Match.com’s ‘Singles in America Survey’ found that between 36 and 40 per cent of people who think about sex several times a day use more than one emoji in every text they send. Another group of slightly less sex-crazed survey participants aged between 18 and 70 said they regularly use emoji, but not in every message

Dr Helen Fisher, biological anthropologist at Rutgers University told Time: ‘Emoji users don’t just have more sex, they go on more dates and they are two times more likely to want to get married. 

‘Sixty-two per cent of emoji users want to get married compared to 30 per cent of people who never used an emoji’.

The top reason for using emoji in messages is that they give them personality, according to just over half of men and women surveyed.

Around 37 per cent of men and women said the ideograms make it easier for them to express their feelings without using words, with around a fifth claiming they are simply faster and easier than typing a full message.

Fitness influencer Ashley Russell, 21, claimed married man Levine started messaging her on social media this year. The singer appears to enjoy embellishing his messages with emojis, using at least one in conversation with each of the women he approached

Fitness influencer Ashley Russell, 21, claimed married man Levine started messaging her on social media this year. The singer appears to enjoy embellishing his messages with emojis, using at least one in conversation with each of the women he approached

Lack of inspiration and ‘immature’

With writing credits on romantic ballads such as ‘She Will Be Loved’, one may assume that Levine would have a way with words.

However, Gigi Engle, sex educator and sex expert for dating app 3Fun, was shocked that the singer could not send better compliments.

She told Cosmopolitan: ‘It’s like: ‘How are you such an hourglass?’ – do you really have nothing more original, Adam? 

‘You write songs. You are a literal songwriter who writes love songs and that’s what you’ve come up with. Great.’ 

‘Another issue with these texts is that they are focused on the physical,’ Dr Tang told MailOnline.

‘With #MeToo and the recognition that healthy relationships are about far more than that, this unfortunately for Levine makes him sound immature. 

‘Perhaps he was trying to be funny – and thus ‘endearing’ that way. 

‘If he was, that humour missed the mark, as evidenced by the fact that someone chose to leak the message!’

Engle added that the key to a flirty message is to ‘sext with caution’ and to ‘sext with the small knowledge that someone could read those at some point’ .

In one undated, alleged exchange with Maryka, the musician tells her to 'Distract yourself by f**king with me. A large reason why Levine's texts have not been perceived as intended by the general public is likely due to their context. The public figure is known to be married and have children, and that his wife was pregnant at the time some of the DMs were sent

In one undated, alleged exchange with Maryka, the musician tells her to ‘Distract yourself by f**king with me. A large reason why Levine’s texts have not been perceived as intended by the general public is likely due to their context. The public figure is known to be married and have children, and that his wife was pregnant at the time some of the DMs were sent

Cheating

A large reason why Levine’s texts have not been perceived as intended by the general public is likely due to their context.

The public figure is known to be married and have children, and that his wife was pregnant at the time the DMs were sent.

His request for consent from a mistress to name his unborn child after her has also been slammed as ‘next level deceit’

Findings do suggest that people are actually more likely to flirt for pleasure if they are in a committed romantic relationship.

Furthermore, scientists say that the desire to make advances to others with the intention of making their current partner jealous could be a sign of narcissism. 

Narcissists do this to gain power in their relationships or to get a self esteem boost, the University of Alabama researchers found through a survey of 200 students.

However, empathy with his wife, Behati Prinsloo, means that many people who have read the messages are unable to take them seriously.

It has been found that human empathy is so strong that individuals cannot differentiate between what happens to a close friend or family member and themselves. 

Sumner Stroh claimed the two lost contact after a few months, but said Levine later came back into her life this year when he revealed his wife was expecting their third child and asked if he could name the child Sumner, leaving her horrified

Sumner Stroh claimed the two lost contact after a few months, but said Levine later came back into her life this year when he revealed his wife was expecting their third child and asked if he could name the child Sumner, leaving her horrified

Despite the growing raft of women coming forward, neither Levine nor his pregnant wife looked bothered as they were spotted strolling around Montecito, California with their daughter last Wednesday

Despite the growing raft of women coming forward, neither Levine nor his pregnant wife looked bothered as they were spotted strolling around Montecito, California with their daughter last Wednesday

A study by the University of Virginia used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to examine the brains of adults who were made to feel ‘under threat’.

The threat was of receiving mild electrical shocks to themselves, as well as to a friend and stranger.

The researchers found that regions of the brain responsible for threat response – the anterior insula, putamen and supramarginal gyrus – became active under threat of shock to the self.

When the threat of shock was to a friend, the brain activity of the participant became essentially identical to the activity displayed under threat to the self.

UCL-trained psychologist Dr Tang concluded that, in normal circumstances, it’s not the place of a third-party to judge how someone flirts.

‘One person’s ‘cringe’ may be another person’s ‘charmed’,’ she told MailOnline.

‘However, the fact that flirty messages were sent with the background of his wife’s pregnancy seems to negate the fact that people are poking fun at something which they were never meant for them in the first place. 

‘If Adam Levine was ‘in the wrong’ for sending them, then it’s OK to mock him for them.’

From posing with a dog to ditching the sexy photos: How to create the perfect dating app profile, according to science 

‘Swiping left’ and ‘swiping right’ have become ubiquitous with whether we find someone attractive or not, all thanks to the rise of dating apps.

The likes of Tinder, Bumble and Hinge have made online dating pocket-sized, and singletons can whip out their phone wherever they are to search for a partner.

But this accessibility has arguably made it more difficult than ever to stand out from the crowd, with an estimated 300 million people are currently using dating apps worldwide.

Fortunately, experts are here to help the lonely hearts, and have worked tirelessly over the years to find the secret formula for success in online dating.

Studies have shown that having a dog in your photos or an Apple product increase your chance of getting a match. 

However a direct chat-up line like ‘your lips are so sexy’, and even saucy pictures, could be putting off potential dates.

To celebrate Tinder’s 10 year anniversary this month, MailOnline takes a look at the top ten ways to create a dating profile worthy of a right swipe.

Read more here 

Studies have shown that having a dog in your photos, or an Apple product, increase your chance of getting a match

Studies have shown that having a dog in your photos, or an Apple product, increase your chance of getting a match

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