If you've ever watched Sex and the City - heck, if you've ever watched anything at all - there's a good chance you already know a thing or two about flirting. Well dressed man enters bar. Buxom blonde catches his eye. Man says, "Can I buy you a drink?" and they both live happily ever after.
Unfortunately, it's not that easy in the real world but don't worry, flirting is a skill and like any other skill, it can be learned. Some of us—the lucky ones—are born knowing how to bring a man to his knees with the bat of a mascara-coated eye, but I certainly wasn't and it's okay if you weren't either. Practice makes perfect.
Set the StageRemember Lesson 5: Where to Meet People? Well by now you should have a few favorite spots so head out and strike a pose. Seriously. Make sure your body language says "approachable" by sitting or standing so that you're facing the room. Don't plant yourself in the middle of the floor - less is more when it comes to flirting - but angle your shoulders so that you look open and inviting as opposed to closed off.
If you're nervous, grab a drink (or a book if you're at your local library, or a head of lettuce if you're at the grocery store). Having something to do with your hands can help you to remain calm and, if you're feeling up to it, use that something to your advantage. My partner recently confessed that I drive him crazy whenever I drink wine because I have a habit of running my fingers up and down the stem of the glass. I didn't even realize I was doing it (I guess I was born with a few flirtatious instincts after all…) but it's often those absent minded, subtle gestures that are the most seductive.
The Eyes Have ItOnce you've assumed the position, start scanning the room. You can refer back to Lesson 4: Confidence, Get Some, for a quick refresher on eye contact but basically, you'll want to take a look around and find someone (or several someones) to zoom in on.
For women, its best to play coy. Look a man in the eye but pretend it was accident. Lower your gaze immediately if he notices you, but don't be afraid to "accidentally" catch his eye again a few moments later. Men can be a bit dense sometimes so don't give up if he doesn't pick up on your subtle cues right away. Keep on trying until he does.
For men, confidence is key. Look a woman straight in the eye and hold her gaze. It's okay if your natural inclination is to look away or smile self consciously - it shows that you're human and there are plenty of women out there who think this is cute - just don't look at the floor. And don't be embarrassed. If she's looking at you, chances are she's interested.
Body LanguageOnce you've made eye contact, it's time to work on your body language. Touch yourself. Not in an x-rated way of course, but don't be afraid to tuck your hair behind your ear or play with your dangly earrings. If you're feeling up to it, give your wine glass an absent minded caress and let your target's imagination do the rest.
Take a look at your stance as well. If you want to be bold, face the room head-on with your weight distributed evenly between both feet. To add an air of mystery, however, switch your weight to one foot, or lean one elbow on the bar while twisting your torso away from your friends and towards the new object of your affection.
Speak!Don't wait too long to break the ice. The longer you wait, the more nervous you'll become and if you sit around practicing what you're going to say, it's going to sound stale and rehearsed as opposed to spontaneous and fun.
Ask questions. If you're surrounded by strangers, ask for directions, or drink recommendations, or even a simple, "Is this seat taken?" Compliments are great too but don't bother with cheesy pick up lines. If you already know the person you're flirting with (and you're angling to turn your friendship into a relationship), try some gentle teasing to let them know you're interested. Double entendres can be a lot of fun, but go easy. You want to sound suave, not creepy. So listen and be curious. Pay attention to what's being said but focus on keeping the conversation lighthearted. Flirting should be fun, remember?
Physical ContactIf you're at a nightclub, a frat house or a particularly raucous party, you might be able to get away with simply slipping your arm around a stranger's waist and hoping they'll make out with you. If, however, you're in a more civilized environment, you want to tread lightly when it comes to physical contact.
That said, touch can be your friend. A strong, protective arm slipped behind a woman's back says, "I've got you," while a light touch on a man's forearm signals, "I think you're sexy." You can also try "accidentally" bumping into someone or casually touching their arm or leg and seeing how they react. Pay attention to their body language before proceeding and remember: slow but steady wins the race.
The more you practice the better you'll get. Keep in mind that less is more but don't be afraid to go for it - you want to be subtle but not invisible.
- Lock your bedroom door, play your favorite song and strike a pose. Experiment with different looks and stances in front of a mirror until you find one that feels comfortable but sexy.
- Find a trusted wingman and hit the town. Make eye contact with at least five people.
- The next time you find yourself in a social situation, strike up a conversation with at three new people. Don't worry about getting shot down - you're just practicing.
- Experiment with "accidentally" bumping into people or pretending to be lost so you'll have an excuse to ask for directions. Figure out what sort of physical contact you're comfortable with and start initiating it.