30 Juli 2009

Flirting Don'ts

1.Don't take it too seriously.
* Remember that most flirting is all in good fun and just a way to meet new people. Most folks you flirt with you'll never even talk to again. Let's face it—that may be a good thing for some of those situations.
A cold stare is none too inviting. (Creative Commons photo by Michelle Jones)
A cold stare is none too inviting. (Creative Commons photo by Michelle Jones)
2. Don't act like a stalker.
* Surprisingly, people don't enjoy being creeped out.
* Things such as staring ominously, humorless flirtatious remarks, and saying you want to have children with someone after first meeting them are usually quick turn-offs.
* If the object of your menacing attention actually responds positively, you might be a bit weirded out yourself.
3. Don't flirt in inappropriate places.
* Flirt at your own risk in the workplace. If you do decide to attempt this, keep it G-rated unless you enjoy a good sexual harassment lawsuit.
* Use your best judgment as to whether a situation is conducive to flirting or not. It is generally frowned upon to flirt at a funeral, for example. Use some common sense.
4. Don't be arrogant.
* Confidence + humor can be a magical combination when it comes to flirting. Even a little bit of cocky humor can go a long way. But misjudge the balance and you'll come across as arrogant.
* Although you want the other person to get to know you a little, don't talk about yourself too much. If you catch yourself doing this, start asking them questions about themself instead.
* Arrogance is neither funny nor flirty. It's really just irritating.
5. Don't be too forward.
* Don't lose sight of the fact that you've just met this person. If you try to gently segue a compliment about the person's sense of style into a comment that they would probably enjoy meeting your parents before you get engaged, you're likely to see that smile fade into a look of horror.
* Although this applies mostly to the fellas, girls should know that coming off as desperate or overly aggressive can be just as unattractive to the male species.
6. Don't talk about your ex.
* The last thing anyone wants to hear about is what your ex was like. They don't care. Leave your exes out of it!
7. Don't be rude.

7. Don't be rude.
* Most flirting is done in public places, so inevitably others may try to join in on the chatting. Even if you're truly "in the zone" while flirting with someone, don't purposely exclude or shut someone out of the conversation. Acting rude won't impress anybody.
8. Don't overstay your welcome.
* Some quality conversations can last for a half hour. Some of them can last 10 minutes. If you hit a lull, it's time to decide if it's been going well enough to ask for some contact information, or if it's about time you moved on.
* If they begin talking to someone else and ignoring you, you can pretty much consider your conversation over.

9. Don't over do it with the cologne/perfume.
* Yes, you want to smell nice. No, you don't want your skin glistening with aftershave when you approach someone new. A true friend will help you learn the art of scented subtlety.
10. Don't keep trying with someone who just isn't interested.
* Sometimes you just need to cut your losses. If they're playing hard to get when you first meet them, they're probably not playing at all.
* It's really not worth your time to go after someone who doesn't appreciate your advances. Try not to test the line between persistence and restraining order.
11. Don't flirt with someone you shouldn't be flirting with.
* Other people's significant others should be considered off limits. Seems obvious, right?
* Sure, sometimes you won't know if they're in a relationship. But as soon as you establish that they have a boyfriend/girlfriend, you'll probably want to knock it off or risk being knocked out.
* This goes double for husbands and wives.
* If their boyfriend/girlfriend comes up in conversation, don't be rude and immediately storm off in frustration. Either keep flirting in friend-mode or politely excuse yourself at an appropriate time.
* Flirting with your boss or any professional superior is not the best idea, no matter how much you want that raise.

Flirting by Gender

* If you feel like you have a pretty good handle on the fundamentals of flirting, it's about time you got into some more detail to really fine-tune your courting ritual (and recognize when someone is flirting with you). It's about this time that the specifics start to depend on the gender you're dealing with. Read on for a few pointers.

Tips for Girls

1. Look nice.
* Guys tend to be a little more visually-oriented than girls. You don't have to overdo it, but you should be conscious of your appearance.

2. Smile!
* We did already go over this, but it's very important to look genuine and approachable instead of cold and nasty. Otherwise the flirting may never even begin.
3. Be yourself.
* Don't try to dumb it down. Most guys would rather talk to a girl who can actually carry on a conversation.
* Don't try too hard. Just be yourself and be friendly!
4. Give the right signals.
* Play with your hair, laugh at his jokes, bat your eyelashes, touch his arm. Giving signals that you're interested and enjoying yourself will encourage the flirting to continue, possibly to the next level.
5. If you're into it, go for it.
* In this day and age, it's not always up to the guy to make a move. Especially if you are dealing with a shy person, it's perfectly acceptable for you to initiate the next step in the flirting process.
6. Don't flirt with someone you're not interested in.
* Guys often mistake regular friendliness for romantic flirting. If you're not interested in someone, flirting with them will only lead them on and possibly create an awkward scene later (even if you thought you gave some pretty obvious signals).

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Tips for Guys

1. Listen!
* It's true, we already went over this before. But this is extremely important for the gender that's most listening-challenged.
* Listen for key words and phrases that she says that you can bring up later or ask questions about to keep the conversation going.
* Listen for open-ended questions that may be a set-up to ask her out. This can work with common interests ("do you like mini golfing?") and especially anything having to do with dinner, movies, or other date-like activities.
* Because listening can be so difficult for guys, she will notice if you do it well.
2. Keep relaxed body language.
* Lean back instead of in when talking to her. You want to come off as confident and relaxed, not desperate and needy.
3. Be naughty and nice.
* Mixing the occasional compliment with playful teasing can keep her guessing what you'll say next.
* Keep your sense of humor in full force. Just insulting her will end your flirting before it's begun. The idea is to add an element of mystery and unexpectedness.
* Simply gushing over her with a steady stream of compliments can actually make you seem desperate.
Add up the signals to see if she's interested (Creative Commons photo by ThisParticularGreg)
Add up the signals to see if she's interested (Creative Commons photo by ThisParticularGreg)
4. Add up the signs.
* Math may not be your strong suit, but you can't take any one signal as your guaranteed ticket in. Women tend to be naturally flirtatious, and men often mistake friendliness for romantic interest. Also, some signals may be a false alarm (crossing her arms could just mean she's cold). Therefore, you need to assess as many signals as you possibly can in order to establish whether she is interested or not.
* Some positive signals include:
1. Constant eye contact with dilated pupils
2. Touching your arm or leg during conversation
3. Crossing her leg towards you
4. Playing with her hair
5. Hearty laughter at your jokes
6. Eyelash batting
7. Compliments
* Some negative signals include:
1. Crossing her arms
2. Not retaining eye contact/looking distant or uninterested
3. Leaning away when you lean in, or turning her body away
4. Constantly repeating how great her boyfriend is (some guys just don't get the hint)
5. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
* The only true way to guarantee that nothing will come from your attempt at flirting is to not flirt at all.


* You can talk all day about the concepts and principles of flirting, but nothing will help you more than going out and doing it. This page should give you a great place to start from, but eventually you will learn to recognize even more signals and develop your own flirting style. If you ever need to brush up, read through this page until you internalize it a bit better. Now get out there and have some fun!

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