If you are trying to meet a lady outside of your usual circle of friends, then one of your most powerful tools (after a good sense of style and a great scent), is flirting. Flirting is the mating dance that we use to try out our sexual chemistry with new potential partners.
This is not to say that you need to restrict your flirting to only women you plan on asking out. Once you get the hang of it, flirting is fun to do in many situations. It is great for your ego, and great for the egos of the women you are flirting with.
Flirting is indeed an art form. Flirting has many goals. As mentioned, it can simply be a way to stroke the ego (nothing feels better than a new woman responding to your well-played moves), it can be a way to play the market and get a few dates, and it can simply be a fun way to pass the time.
Regardless of your endgame, there are some basic rules to good flirting. The intent of this article is not to lead you by the nose (every man needs to find his own style that he is comfortable with), it is a general outline of Dos and Don’ts to help you shape your game.
While many men think that it is the perfect line that is going to get them past Go with a woman, in reality, what you are putting forth physically is more important. This does not mean that you have to be a supreme physical specimen to get though the front door with women. It does mean that you need to think about and moderate your body language so that it is passing along the best parts of the message.
When you first meet someone, the first impression is generally be broken down into the following: 55% appearance and body language, 38% style of speaking, 7% what you actually say. By far the most important element of flirting is your attitude. If you go into it with a sense of humour and confidence, as if your self-esteem is untouchable regardless of the outcome of the flirtation, then your chances of getting a favourable response increase exponentially. If you are tentative and unsure, you are going into it with the wrong attitude.
Flirting is a game of wits and of chemistry. There are ways of bending the odds in your favour, however.
When you first notice a girl that you might want to approach, the best beginning is to catch her eye. Hold it for a second or two (but no longer—you don’t want to be creepy Intense Staring Guy) and then look away with a grin. The opener is like good foreplay. Don’t rush your first contact. Be a bit of a tease. Wait a few minutes and see if you can catch her eye again. Smile or wink if you do.
Winking may seem silly or childish, but I know very few women who don’t blush when a guy winks at them. There’s something old fashioned and playful about it. Once you have made eye contact a couple of times, find a reason to approach her. If you are in a bar or at a party, going for a drink at the same time is a good strategy. Or, if you are comfortable, just walk up to her.
Again, your first line isn’t super important (unless it’s a total cliche). Don’t move too closely into her personal space just yet, as you are still strangers and she doesn’t want you all up in her face. Try to open with a comment or question that invites a response. Ask what brings her out that evening, or make a comment about something you find striking about her.
Girls love compliments, although she will probably be wary that you are trying to rope her in with a line. Which, of course, you probably are. You can also try teasing her gently if you have some material. The funnier you are, the more points you are likely to get. The more outrageous you are, the stronger the impression you will make, and remember: self-depricating humour is funny once in a conversation. More than that and you start to sound insecure.
Body Language, Again
The most important tool you have in your arsenal is sending the right signals through your body language, and reading her signals properly. Don’t crowd her right away. Keep eye contact, but not so intensely that she feels she needs to look away. If she is not keeping eye contact with you, but rather, looking in the other direction, it is a signal that she might not be interested.
Likewise, if you are looking around the room while you talk to her, it make sit seem like you aren’t interested, and in fact, like you are checking out other prospects in the room. When you are talking to her, make her feel like what she says is the most interesting things you have ever heard. Make her feel as though she is the only woman in the room that can hold your attention.
Studies of interpersonal relations have found that one of the most effective ways to open the lines of communication with a person is to mirror some of their physical gestures. For instance, if you are talking to a girl across and table and her hands are folded on the table, you should fold your hands. If she leans in, you should follow suit. Mirroring someone’s posture makes them feel at ease and will make them perceive you as like-minded.
It is a difficult call to figure out when to first touch someone. When you touch someone, you are breaking a personal space barrier that displays intimacy. The best way to test these waters is to first touch her arm. The arm is the safest and least-threatening place on the body to initiate touching.
The first time you touch her, make the move very gentle and brief. If she reciprocates with a touch of her own, then you can go from there. Don’t be too aggressive, however, as you’ll give her the impression you just want sex (which, to many women, isn’t much of a compliment).
Aside from her arm, another good place to touch her (once there is a connection established between you) is the small of the back if she is walking ahead of you. This is a reassuring gesture to show that you are there without her having to turn around to check.
Flirting is not just about bringing your A-game: it is about being able to read women’s signals as well. Signs a women is interested: she tilts her head when listening to you, she flips or touches her hair, she faces you throughout the conversation, she participates in the conversation, she makes eye contact. Signs that a woman is not interested: she continues talking to her friends in between answering your questions with single-word responses, she keeps her arms crossed or her body turned away, she makes little eye contact.
If a woman is responding to all of your signals, then you can make the decision to close the deal or not. This usually entails an exit line like “I have to get back to my friends, but I would love to call you sometime.” A line like this tells her that you are interested enough to want to keep talking to her, except that you are a stellar friend and have to get back to attend to them. From here, she can either give you her number or not.
Either way, best to bow out gracefully and with dignity (you never know when you might want to flirt with her friend). Something like, “Well, it was awesome meeting you regardless,” with an award-winning, sincere smile to let her know that whether you got her number or not, you are unaffected. Her number is just a bonus on top of your already fantastic life.
The best advice for the novice flirter is to have fun and take risks. Have a sense of humor about the whole thing. Really, you have nothing to lose every time you approach a woman. Whether you close the deal or not, most of the value of flirting is in the intrinsic excitement of meeting someone new who is potentially amazing. Go into it with that attitude—and with the attitude that you are equally fun to be around—and you really can’t lose.