What you need to know:
- Once you have established the right areas in which you’re more likely to find a date, flirt with everyone, but in a decent non-sexual manner.
- If the person you’re interested in isn’t responding to any of your glances or finding your eyes as often as you have done, it is time to cut your losses.
- Flirting should be about lighting the spark to your personality and letting people see it shine through.
Flirting is an aspect of dating that you can easily get wrong. Bad flirting will make you look undisciplined and uncouth. This is why you need to know your way around flirting, what works and what doesn’t, what to say and not to say, and the body gestures you should make and those you shouldn’t make. Here are a few tips to guide you:
Do not always wait to be spotted. You can take initiative but in a manner that will not leave you with an egg on your face. Dr. Chris Hart, a psychologist and the author of Single & Searching, says that in the dating game, it is actually women who start most relationships. “They choose the men they want to attract by subtly indicating their interest,” he says. For example, if you’re in a restaurant, you may deliberately sit next to the person you’re interested in and launch a light conversation. The trick is to keep it simple, social, and decent.
The eye contact
There will need to be eye contact before any flirting can occur. Usually, you will catch the eye of the person you are interested in. How you convert that eye contact holds the key to any positive outcome. One of the subtlest ways to do this is by looking into his eyes first rather than at him. Looking at his eyes indicates your interest in him. When he catches your gaze, lock your eyes with his for 1 to 3 seconds, look down, and then look at him once again. “This will tell him that you want him to know more about you. But if you look away or break eye contact towards another direction, he’ll interpret it as a don’t-try-anything warning,” says Dr. Hart. This means that how your eyes react when a guy looks at you might determine whether he’ll approach you or let you be. According to Dr. Hart, if a lady breaks eye contact in any other direction when a guy looks at her, she’s indicating that she doesn’t want any advances. “But if she looks down and then right back at him, that says she wants him to get to know her better,” he says.
Be conscious about how you want your body to move and the message you want to pass. “Good bodily movements include turning your head backward and, or lifting up your face briefly or resting your chin on your shoulder with a smile, raising one hand and pushing it through your hair, and when in closer contact, moving your upper body forward and leaning closer to him,” says Dr. Jeremy Nicholson, a personality psychologist.
Is it working?
Dr. Nicholson says that one of the telltale signs that your maneuvers are working will be a positive response from the person you’re eyeing. This will include a change in his body language. “His shoulders will relax. They will lean into you more and will make eye contact, smile, and perhaps even start to open up to you,” he says. But if the person you’re interested in isn’t responding to any of your glances, or finding your eyes as often as you have done, it is time to cut your losses. He just isn’t interested.
Flirt to network
According to Dr. Hart, once you have established the right areas in which you’re more likely to find a date, flirt with everyone, but in a decent non-sexual manner! “That’s because making everybody you meet feel good about themselves is a wonderful practice when you need to charm someone special,” he says. Nonetheless, adds Sue Ostler, a relationships coach and author of Flirt Diva, you should not just aim at getting or giving out your phone number through flirting. “Flirting should be about lighting the spark to your personality and letting people see it shine through. By flirting, you should be able to open up to new people and opportunities, socially and in your career,” she says.
Guard your tongue
Do not go overboard in your flirting. For instance, unleashing a set of messages full of sexual anecdotes may cast you as being solely interested in a sexual hook-up rather than a stable relationship. In the same vein, take note of your surroundings. For instance, go slow in flirting at a professional occasion where your corporate identity is on the line. Keep yourself in check. Be clear if you’re simply looking for a sexual encounter or whether you’re using flirting as a catalyst to a relationship. “You must take note of how flirting is projecting your intentions,” cautions psychologist Martin Njue. “He will either take the cue to pursue a date or a sexual liaison.”
If you end up in a relationship, bring flirting into your intimate moments. Aaron Ben-Zeev, the author of The Arc of Love says that flirting is a highly effective conduit for sexual arousal. He nonetheless says that you should not only use flirting as a launching pad for sexual intimacy but also as an alternative to sexual intercourse. In effect, it will boost your love life by adding diversity to your intimacy.