Flirting. It’s one of those words that typically strikes a pleasing chord with most people. Flirting is a playful way someone lets you know they’re interested in you, finds you attractive, feels a sense of chemistry, and wants to get to know you. Even if you’re attached to someone else or married, it gives you a boost to know you are still attractive to others. And isn’t that the point of flirting?
When done right, it makes the other person feel good about themselves and more open to meeting you. Right off the bat let’s do away with the notion of cheesy pick-up lines (“I’m not a photographer, but I can picture you and me together.”) and offers to buy a drink as an introduction. It’s not that they don’t work, because sometimes they do, but if you want to be taken seriously and get someone’s attention in a favorable way, go with a more sincere, less intrusive approach.
People want to see and feel your charisma, good manners and a sense of humor (but still no pick-up lines!)—it piques their interest. The way you approach someone is also their first impression of you, so make it a good one.
Don’t forget to also check out these romantic flirting quotes that will make your crush blush.
How To Flirt 101: Where to Start
Does the idea of flirting with someone cause you to feel instant pangs of nausea and lightheadedness? You’re not alone. Flirting is putting yourself out there and can be a bit nerve-wracking for the best of us. Talking to someone you don’t know, even when you’re not flirting, can be intimidating for some people. Think of a business meeting you’ve attended and you’re standing next to a coworker you’ve never met, making initial introductions and small talk. It can be downright awkward. So understand that it’s perfectly normal to feel uneasy. Try associating the butterflies in your stomach with pleasant feelings—a bit of a natural high—if you will. If it’s the fear of rejection lingering in the back of your mind, remember there’s nothing gained if we don’t put ourselves out there once in awhile. And chances are you may never have to see this person again if you so choose. If you’re nervous and wondering how you’re going to appear confident, there are techniques to appearing confident even when you’re not. Whether you’re flirting over text, online or in-person, remember to be yourself, strike a balance between revealing your feelings and keeping the person intrigued. Here are a few clever ways to engage someone new in a positive way.
Start off with a great “eye smile.”
A good eye smile will communicate interest non-verbally. It also will give you a sense of the person’s openness. Try not to appear overly confident, go with poised and cool. Don’t be put off if they seem a bit weary because being on the other end of someone’s flirting can cause nervousness, too, especially if they are shy. Take note, make eye contact through multiple glances, but don’t stare, break the eye contact here and there to keep things from getting too intense. You do not want to come off creepy or like a stalker. If you’re a woman attempting to flirt with a man, lowering your gaze and looking up at the guy again through lowered lashes is usually a winner.
Wondering how to kick off a conversation once you are in front of the object of your flirtation?
Start the conversation off with a non-cliché type of compliment (“I really like your outfit” or “Have you been here before?”) or mention the setting (“This place is really hopping tonight, I’ve never seen it like this before, have you?”). Are you at a mutual friend’s birthday party or maybe a business networking function? Say something about it. Open up the conversation with something lighthearted that will engage the person. Your best bet is leaving the ice breaker open-ended giving the other person a reason to answer, even if it’s simply to say “thank you.” What you say isn’t important, you are simply inviting the person to talk with you. Make sure you’re using eye contact when you’re initially talking to the person. There’s nothing odder than talking to someone for the first time and their eyes are looking everywhere but at you.
Keep the conversation relaxed yet interesting.
Ask them light, easy to answer questions and tell a few original jokes (keep them clean and avoid any political or religious based jokes) to lighten the mood and get a laugh. Make the other person feel comfortable so you can begin to develop a friendship, which is the basis of a great relationship later on. Keep in mind how many women say one of their favorite traits in a man is one that makes them laugh. This is closely followed by a guy who really listens. And men, if a woman approaches you, appreciate her confidence. Guys are usually the ones expected to make the first move so it takes a bit of stress off if the woman is making the first move. Even if the connection is initially there for both of you, remember not to be clingy. Give the person some space after you’ve talked for a while. Walk around, grab a drink and talk with other friends. Don’t project neediness.
One of the most important parts of flirting with someone new is knowing when to walk away.
You should know relatively fast if the person isn’t into you and your flirtations go unreturned. If they don’t respond or seem preoccupied or disinterested, it’s time to graciously make your exit. With that said, try and read their body language and expressions. There is a chance they’re just shy. If you can’t quite tell, go ahead and excuse yourself and your reason for moving on (“I have to go meet up with my friends. Maybe I’ll catch you later” or “I’m going to go grab a drink, hopefully I’ll see you again tonight”). Never feel embarrassed or bad for flirting and attempting to meet someone new. You really have nothing to lose and everything to gain and pat yourself on the back for trying. Connections are missed every day because someone was too scared to make that move.
So you think you’ve made a love connection, what do you do now?
Be sure to do your due diligence before handing out your phone number and setting up a date. Take the time to learn more about who they are, their values, interests, background, etc. to make sure there’s a fit. If you have mutual friends, ask them about your potential date. Then start small by meeting for a cup of coffee and build from there.
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