Flirting is essential to building AND maintaining romantic relationships.
Whether you’ve been too self-conscious to start, or you just want to expand your comfort with flirting, this article will help. We’re going to rapidly review the basics…the “active ingredients” of flirting.
When you understand that flirting is nothing more than a language of interest, you will begin to see new opportunities to use it. You’ll use it to increase the energy flowing between you and a man you like.
A lot of people think they cannot flirt. They’re afraid they’ll look stupid or get rejected. But think of it this way, flirting can range from extremely subtle to outrageously daring.
The subtle forms of flirting offer the least intrusive, least risky ways of demonstrating interest. So if you feel nervous, start there. (I’ll show you how in just a minute).
Start thinking of flirting as nothing more than a special language designed to increase the energy between two people.
You send a message that allows the recipient to read between the lines. You are sending a message of unspoken possibilities.
And by the way, everyone has a right to flirt. You don’t need to have a gorgeous figure or flawless skin to get in on this game.
Yes, taking action to build confidence in your looks is important too. That’s another place where it helps to follow a proven system to remove all the guesswork. Something like the Venus factor for rapid weight loss, or The Metabolic Factor if you’ve succeeded with weight loss in the past but your metabolism is too slow to keep the weight off long term.
Do everything you can to feel attractive. If you haven’t already seen it, Leslie Munsell’s amazing shake recipe book can do wonders for your skin, which research suggests is your “sexiest organ.” Maybe that’s because your skin broadcasts a lot about our health.
But good looks won’t necessarily rid you of fear. Some of my most attractive clients feel too nervous to openly flirt with a guy. Why? Because they lack experience.
But I have good news for you. The best antidote to fear is practice, and that practice will be much easier if you start out so subtle that he doesn’t even notice at first.
You’ve got to start somewhere. Get your feet wet, and then gradually wade in to less subtle forms of flirting as it begins to feel less like a performance and more like a language you’re already fluent in. A language of fun and possibility.
Principles of Flirting
I will try to sum up the most important principles for flirting in a single sentence.
Exude warmth while taking risks to demonstrate interest so he feels good about himself and the interaction.
Now, breaking that sentence down, here are some key points you want to keep in mind:
- Demonstrate warmth.
- Be willing to take playful risks.
- Make him feel good about himself.
- Show interest.
I want to add one additional principle here. Flirting is not something you do continuously.
One of the biggest mistakes of a novice is trying to flirt continuously. When I see women do this, I feel like stepping in and apologizing for them.
Flirting should unfold like any other form of communication. There’s a back-and-forth pattern to it. There are natural pauses as you build the ebb and flow of your interaction together.
While the principles above (demonstrating warmth, interest, etc.) apply continuously, you must turn down the active elements of flirting long enough to be receptive to his attempts at flirting back.
Half of flirting is being responsive to the other person’s attempts to connect with you.
If you continuously escalate the messages of interest hidden between the lines of your communication, things start moving too fast. Everyone becomes uncomfortable. Everyone feels a need to cool things off and back down.
Flirting becomes more natural when you allow it to ebb and flow.
If you make a flirtatious comment, and then get back to small talk or business talk, it gives him the opportunity to inject a spark of his own into the conversation. This back-and-forth process is one of the key differences between people who flirt well and people who feel awkward and quit.
Think of flirting as a fun, back and forth interaction that demonstrates warmth and reveals a willingness to take risks to communicate interest, while making the other person feel good about themselves.
Start with a Smile
It may seem incredibly obvious to you, but a smile is essential to flirting. Smiling actually makes you more attractive to other people. The reason is because of the automatic way our mind interprets a smile.
We interpret a smile as an indication that someone else likes us and is happy to see us. There is a powerful human instinct to like the people who like us.
Get comfortable with silence
Too many women drill a man with questions when they feel nervous about avoiding a lull in the conversation. It’s much better to allow a conversation to drift.
Natural conversations have short lulls. People do not talk constantly when spending time with a person they know well and feel comfortable with. When a topic comes to an end, both people allow their thoughts to roam for a moment before starting up a new conversation.
Do this well with a person you have recently met, and he will have a pleasant experience. To him, it will feel as if the two of you naturally melt together in a comfortable silence. But to make this happen, there’s one little trick.
Each time a silence occurs for more than three seconds, orient your face and body toward him, increasing eye contact instead of looking around the room as if anxiously trying to think of something to say. The effect is quite powerful.
The message is, “I’m here because I like you, not because I like the conversation.” It’s the same reason I advise women to respond to a man’s request for a date by emphasizing that you would enjoy him, rather than the activity he has invited you to participate in.
When you say his first name followed by, “I would very much enjoy spending time with you,” you send a powerful message that will make him feel really good about having asked you on a date.
Similarly, during conversation, when you seem to enjoy his presence during the silent moments as much as you do during lively conversation, he will sense your interest and feel the power of your flirting expertise.
Practice “intuitive listening.”
Intuitive listening is what makes a conversation interesting. We’ve all been in conversations that involve a person talking too much about themselves. We’ve also been in conversations that involve too many questions about us in rapid succession. Neither one is very comfortable.
A superior alternative is intuitive listening. You listen to what is spoken, but you allow your mind to read between the lines so you can comment on things that may have been implied but not spoken directly.
The benefit is simple. It demonstrates a deeper level of listening. That deeper level of listening, in turn, conveys interest and makes the person feel more connected with you.
Sometimes people forget to maximize the mileage they can get from the foundational elements of good skills with people. Don’t work on developing fancy new techniques until you have checked to make sure you are smiling, listening well, and comfortably slipping into moments of silence as if they were a natural and pleasant aspect of your interactions.
Prolong eye contact
We just discussed the instinct to fill silence with nonsense chatter. There are a few other social instincts you need to suppress if you want to get good at flirting. The first one pertains to eye contact.
There is a natural instinct to avert your gaze after looking directly into someone else’s eyes for a few seconds. The pressure to look away builds the longer you maintain eye contact.
There are deep biologically-wired social reasons that we won’t go into here, but it’s important to note one thing. Direct eye contact wakes up something inside of us on a biochemical level.
Without even meaning to, you can create some of the hormonal and biochemical reactions of love and erotic desire simply by prolonging eye contact with someone of the opposite gender.
Find an excuse to touch
With flirting, you want to wake up his deeply-rooted biological drives to connect with a woman. Physical touch packs a powerful punch. It triggers feelings of warmth, connection, and desire.
Find any excuse you can to momentarily break the barrier of space that holds you apart. Just be brief and subtle.
Subtlety is key here. The chemical reactions in his mind and brain will do the work for you. All you have to do is find the excuse for a momentary touch.
Own his name
We tend to use the first name of people we know well. We are more hesitant to use the name of someone we just met.
In contrast, charismatic people are good at instantly picking up on names and using them casually while conversing with people. I would like you to develop that same skill.
It’s such an easy technique for flirting. Use it often and it will become second nature to you. Do you think it doesn’t apply to you because you are married and looking to bring the spark back after twenty years together? Don’t be so quick to dismiss the technique for that situation.
There’s a tendency for couples to gradually move to using pet names for each other all the time, only pulling out the person’s real name when they are irritated with their partner. As a result, you can flirt with your husband with the same technique:
“I’m planning a weekend away, and I am going to kidnap you, Larry Summers, which means you won’t be able to bring your laptop or your cell phone.”
What to Say
I’m going to skip over ways of initiating conversation with a stranger, because research and experience have both pointed to the same simple answer. All you have to do to get the best response is walk up to the other person and say, “Hello, my name is _____, and yours?”
You don’t need to use a witty line or start with a complement. All you need to do is indicate interest with this simple gesture. Believe me, it works. Don’t make things more complicated than they need to be.
Let him feel he has an effect on you.
Men like to feel they are able to please their lover. This becomes increasingly important in an established relationship.
Think of it this way. A man will have stronger feelings of attraction toward you if you “ooh and ahh” over the fancy gizmos and plush interior of his new truck. This makes him feel manly and successful because you noticed.
Acting like you are used to such luxury will not elevate you in his eyes. Men have a strong desire to be capable providers. He wants the woman he is with to look up to him in some ways. It makes the relationship more meaningful to him, and it ignites his desire to be chivalrous and romantic.
You’re not getting picked up for a date by your high school sweetheart in his new car if you’ve been in a twenty-year relationship. Nonetheless, the same principle applies. You can flirt with him by mentioning how good he smells to you or how powerful his arms feel when he pulls you close.
These examples may seem cheesy to you, but you would be surprised how powerful this form of flirting can be. It can evoke his desire to be more romantic with you because it makes him feel potent, like he still has what it takes to impress you.
Keep it short. Digital forms of communication are great, but there is one inherent flaw. This form of communication can go on all day and all night. Long text messages and emails can bog a person down.
One of the keys to flirting is playful banter. That means both partners need to have a part in the unfolding conversation. A good way to bring energy and fun to your digital communication is to keep your messages short.
Don’t say everything on your mind. Keep him guessing. Keep him wondering what else you might be thinking.
Don’t play tennis. I’m talking about the mundane, back-and-forth lobbing of messages. It’s exciting for the first two weeks of a relationship, but then it just starts to feel too much like a routine. It can even start to feel like a chore when you know your partner will feel rejected or upset if you do not respond to her latest text within a certain timeframe.
I challenge you to be different. Don’t be predictable. Vary the frequency and timing of your messages. Don’t always respond to messages he sends when there is no particular question or need to respond.
If you can ignore a text message here and there without showing disrespect, do so. Then, send a text message that shows thoughtfulness and provokes interesting ideas or thoughts, but leave no indication that you require any form of reply.
Convey these messages:
- “I am thinking about you”
- “There is a tempting possibility in your future.”
- “I like you.”
- “We share a secret world.”
If you’re going to restrict the number of text messages you send, you should focus on specific targets for the few texts you do send him.
A simple, “I am thinking about you,” text would say something short and to the point like this: “Having pistachio ice cream. Wish you were here.”
When sending a, “There is a tempting possibility in your future,” message, you would say something like this: “I have an idea about something I’d like to do with you next Saturday. Remind me to bring it up later.”
An, “I like you,” message is something like this: “How is my favorite Cubs fan today?” This is an expression of endearment that leaves the door open for some friendly banter about sports.
The, “We share a secret world,” type of message is one designed to share inside jokes, references to pleasant shared memories, or even shared experiences of frustrations or hardships the two of you have been through together.
For example, let’s say the two of you endured an insulting set of interactions with a horrible waiter at a restaurant last Friday. A text that references that shared experience can build a feeling of oneness that comes from having a shared history.
You will find your own unique rhythm and style as you go. To get there, start flirting by showing interest to build more energy in your interactions with men!