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Flirting: an easy guide

By Steph Haase Friday, January 3, 2014 - 12:40
Flirting comes naturally to some, but feels strange and scary for others. Letting someone else know we're interested can be a minefield! Here’s how we can help.

The first steps...

You happen to see someone you like but don't know what to do next? Try to make eye contact and see how the person reacts. Once you’ve made eye contact a couple of times, smile! Smiling makes you seem interested (and you are!) in a friendly way. Does he or she smile back? Congratulations, you’ve just taken the first step!

You can smile a few more times. Watch your flirt partner's body language, too. Is it open and inviting, or even imitating you, in a good way? Great, those are positive signs! Eventually, you will need to build up the courage to approach your target and start a conversation. So, take a deep breath, smile and go!

… and the next steps

Now you need to start a conversation. Start by introducing yourself and try some small talk. Ask about job or family, or hobbies. Be friendly and show a sincere interest in your flirt partner. It's also very important to be yourself! Don't try to be something you are not. And don't forget to smile!

By the way, women don't like men who come on too strong, scientists found out. Women rate men who flirt just to try and have sex as less attractive physically and socially than those looking for a relationship, say researchers.

Flirting and culture

How you flirt will depend highly on where you are from. Body language or hints that may work in one culture may not work in another. They may even be misinterpreted. Things like the distance you feel comfortable standing near someone are determined by your cultural background. So it's always good to watch your flirt partner. Does he or she seem uncomfortable? Take a literal and physical step back and see if that changes anything.

Some cultures even use props for flirting. A long time ago, the fan seemed to be a favorite in many cultures. Hiding your lips with a fan in Japan would show that you are interested, while a fan pointed to the heart was an old British non-verbal way of saying 'I love you'.

Online flirting

Flirting on the web may be a great option for those who are too shy to flirt in 'the real world'. Just like with other flirting, be yourself! Show respect and an interest in your flirt partner and try to have a pleasant conversation.

Keep in mind though that people may present themselves as more attractive than they really are on the web. And, just as with all other flirting, stay cautious, don't give away personal information to anyone you don't know and keep a trusted friend informed if you decide to go on a date with someone you’ve met online (or in the 'real' world).

The Anti-Flirt Club

Sadly, not everybody is fond of flirting. In America in the 1920s, there was even an Anti-Flirt Club! Its goal was to keep women from having to deal with unwelcome male attention. They had some pretty stern advice, too: Like 'Don't use your eyes for ogling – they are made for worthier purposes.' And 'Don't fall for the slick, dandified cake eater – the unpolished gold of a real man is worth more than the gloss of a lounge lizard'.

Now, we know lots of great guys who eat cake. But it’s true that too much flirting can get you into hot water. So go easy on the ogling and beware of glossy lounge lizards!

 

Do you have any flirting tips that have worked for you. Tell us about it! Or join the join the discussion on Facebook.

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