Universal Guide to Flirting
Flirting is a universal first step in generating a romantic relationship. Whether you’re trying to connect with a cute person across the bar or taking a friendship to the next step, flirting is your best friend. However, for most of us, flirting isn’t always as easy as we’d like it to be. Simply rattling off some cheesy pick-up lines just isn’t going to cut it. Luckily, there are some general principles to flirting that are going to help you in almost any situation.
Rule #1: Flirting is a Two-Way Road
Always keep in mind that your goal in flirting is to forge a connection with another person. In an ideal world, the object of your affection will be just as interested in flirting back at you. If the other person is flatly not interested, however, no amount of flirting, not matter how good, is going to make a difference. At all times, do your best to stay aware of the other person’s signals. This can tell you a lot about how quickly to move forward and whether your interest is shared. Pay attention to things like body language, eye contact, and conversation. If the other person seems engaged and like they’re reflecting your signals back at you, that’s a good sign. If they’re not connecting or seem to be turning away, you likely want to back off.
The Basics: Eye Contact and Smiling
Making eye contact is the easiest way to form an instant connection. Even in a crowded room, someone can feel the pull of your eyes. If you want to signal interest in someone, try holding eye contact with them for a little over a second at a time. More than that might seem threatening or unnatural. Smiling as you look away helps to make you seem approachable and attractive. If your crush smiles or seeks out more eye contact with you, that’s a good sign. If you end up talking, continue to make regular eye contact to show that you’re attentive and engaged.
Body language can go a long way, but it can also be one of the hardest things to judge. Things such as facing the other person, moving closer, and leaning in can all indicate interest, so look for those signals in your crush. As you talk, try moving slightly closer, but leave about a foot or a little more for personal space. If you’re sitting, you might try letting your leg gently touch theirs. If they cross their arms, move away, or appear uncomfortable, back away a little bit. If things are going well, you may want to try a light touch to the arm. Avoid touching the face or other personal areas. A brief touch can start to form a physical connection, but be aware of how your crush reacts; you want to make sure they’re comfortable with physical contact. Always respect other people’s boundaries.
Focusing on the Other Person
Once you get to the point of having a conversation, flirting becomes largely about building up a connection. You can do this well by focusing on the other person, rather than talking exclusively about yourself (although do share your own interests and stories). Ask questions, and make sure you actually listen to their answers. If you have any common interests or experiences, it’s a great idea to point those out. One or two genuine compliments won’t hurt either; just make sure to keep them honest, and don’t overdo it with a constant stream of flattery. Remember that you can compliment someone’s personality or intellect as well as their appearance.