Emily Duncan is a New York-based writer and comedian. She received her BFA from New York University.
Honestly, this is something I used to Google and I never got much of a straight answer. That’s probably because each person has their own qualities – strengths and imperfections – that make a uniform style of flirting, frankly, impossible. Plus, wouldn’t that be creepy? However, what I can give you is some basic tips and tricks that can be adapted to your personality.
Ask Questions – Everyone loves to feel interesting. Everyone, no matter how altruistic, loves to talk about him or herself. It’s the only topic you know you can’t screw up. You know where you’re from, what you do, what you like; you’re not going to slip up or go into controversial territory. That is, talking about oneself puts one at ease. Don’t overdo it, it’s not an interview, but if you’re interested in someone, asking him or her questions about whatever they’re talking about – especially focused on opinions or biographical details – is an easy way to show it.
Offer Information – Talk about what you love, what you’re good at and what interests you; you could find things in common, or better, things the other person doesn’t know much about. Learning titillates people. Offering up personal details makes you seem open and shows that you trust them enough to share. Again, cut yourself off before you over-share or talk their ear off, but it’s a good way to get a conversation going. Plus, they get to learn whether or not they’re interested in you.
Smile – Have fun, for goodness’ sake! Even when you’re not with them, try to enjoy yourself (or at least look like it, but really). You’ll have more fun and you’ll appear to be someone who is fun to be around, which is attractive. It’s a win-win.
Make Eye Contact – Make good eye contact but not constant eye contact. That said, if you’re looking to get kissed tonight, they say that if you stare into someone’s eyes for a full minute, you’ll either end up making out or screaming at each other (it’s a risky proposition, though). Strong eye contact indicates interest in and focus on the person you’re talking to. Flirting involves taking it away sometimes. Trying to seduce? Just remember to blink. If they become uncomfortable, they’re probably not into it.
Make Physical Contact – Make light physical contact; figure out when you can get away with an arm brush or a light pat, grab, rub, what have you. It establishes a willingness to touch and, honestly, is something guys are told to look for from girls as a sign of interest.
Open The Window – Open the window of opportunity for future plans. If you’re not the kind of girl who wants to ask someone out point-blank, you can mention a movie you want to see, an event you’ll be attending, some activity you’ve always wanted to do – as long as it’s natural to the conversation. Try to make it something you know he’s interested in; if he wants to do it and wants to see you again, that makes it pretty easy.
Be Yourself – More than anything else, people are attracted to honesty and openness. It can seem counterintuitive, but better relationships are based on trust. You don’t want to end up dating someone who expects you to be anything other than who you are. It’s exhausting and it’s no fun. Someone who loves you for you will be a way better long-term companion (and a better short term one, too).
In short, don’t force it and be yourself. Make sure he likes and appreciates you. You’re awesome.
P.S. Ladies, play to the top of your intelligence. If he can’t keep up, maybe he’s not the one for you. Find someone who challenges and stimulates you mentally; it’ll last longer.