How to flirt
Flirting is not only a skill useful for attracting a partner, it is also a skill that is essential in non-sexual relationships such as making friends, or developing relationships with colleagues. It’s normal to be nervous, but having an idea on how to approach new people and situations will give you the little bit more confidence- something that is an attractive quality in itself.
1- Get her/his attention.
Depending on the setting this can take many forms, but the key here is moderation. Act confidently but to not be over the top with your attention seeking. Even if you are not a very confident person, you can still ‘act’ confidently. In the first circumstance it is useful if you can get noticed without her/him realising that you are trying to attract her/his attention as, unfortunately, it is base human nature to want what you can’t have. Being slightly mysterious in the initial stages of courtship can go a long way further down the line. Wearing bright colours (“Peacocking”) is a subtle approach to this.
2- Initiate contact.
Once you have her/his attention, begin initiating eye contact. Eye contact is an incredibly powerful tool in enticing interest, however be aware that spending too much time in this phase can make an approach much harder and sometimes quite uncomfortable. Once you have made eye contact, make an introduction. Introductions ‘out of the blue’ may seem a little alien to most people so if you can be introduced by a friend who knows her/him already, this could be useful. If you are making an introduction ‘from scratch’, be forward and confident. Things will only ever be as uncomfortable as you make it! Providing that you are not sleazy with your approach, smile, and have not prefixed the introduction with eye contact that has been going on for way too long, at the very least the introduction will be politely received (if it’s not then the young lady/gentleman in question is most likely not worth your time). Providing you have followed step 1 and have judged the situation well, conversation should develop. Try and let the young lady/gentleman talk whilst you carefully listen, as remaining attentive yet still mysterious (i.e. you haven’t divulged your life story un-prompted), paints you in more attractive light.
80% of conversation is non-verbal. Face the person, keep an open posture, gesture gently towards them, touch their elbow in passing (suggests a sign of trust)- physically engage them in your conversation.
Flirting is about being forward, fun, but most of all, non-threatening. Smile, maintain eye contact, and avoid small talk.
3- Stay out of the friend zone.
Whether on a night out or developing this relationship in college, if the proceedings are not carefully managed, it is far too easy to fall into the ‘friend zone’. Keep conversation fun and flirty (but not sleazy), and make subtle yet un-invasive contact whenever possible. Slight moments of discomfort and pauses in conversation are good as they keep the nature of the conversation flirtatious. In these brief moments, do not make it look like you’re trying to think of conversation, instead fill them with an action such as ordering drinks, or even making a compliment. Test the water by starting to throw out low-level “bait” i.e. subtle jokes that hint at sexual interest. A good baiting statement should be un-intrusive, playful, and fairly ambiguous. She/he will hopefully reciprocate with the same kind of “Baiting” so pay attention to what she/he says! Make it clear through a cheeky smile (or similar) that you have understood any subtle messages of this type that she/he may have sent you. Wait for her/him to continue conversation.
Paying a compliment may help you to stay out of the friend zone. Something fairly simple and not too intrusive such as eyes, hair, lips or smile, are reasonably safe things to compliment on. Deliver the compliment in a softer, lower tone than usual and it will be better received.
4- If text flirting, ambiguity can be both your friend and foe.
With the absence of readable body language, stand alone texts can often be misinterpreted. To avoid confusion, double read every text before you send it and approach the message from a different angle to ensure that the recipient will understand your intended message. Leaving a text deliberately unclear (perhaps very subtle innuendo) can actually engage the recipient in thought about you, contemplating whether a hidden message was intended or not.
5- Always leave them wanting more.
Be the first to exit a conversation (be it live or text), before conversation starts to dry up, but be sure to suggest communication at a later date. Before exiting a conversation, suggest that you had a good time conversing with them.
6- Make a move/ask her/him out.
Unless in a night club or in the spur of the moment, it is not appropriate to move in for a kiss at this stage. Usual social protocol suggests that you ask the young lady/gentleman out on a date. Although you may not wish to use such language, make sure that the request is delivered in a manner whereby the lady/gentleman cannot misinterpret the request as 2 friends meeting up. Be confident in your delivery of the question, just as if you were enquiring into her/his favourite colour. Smile in the silence as she/he formulates a response and do not offer her/him an alternative.
Give them your number, don’t ask for theirs! If, like me, you tend to get a little over excited in these circumstances, give them your number rather than asking for theirs. This will ‘put the ball in their court’, and will stop you from seeming too keen by messaging/calling them too early.