It can happen just about anywhere – you’re standing in line at the bank, or at the grocery store, and then you feel someone brush up against you accidentally. You turn and find it’s a very attractive person. Then you start to think… maybe it wasn’t an accident! But how can you know for certain? You have to test the situation out, so you look at them again, for two reasons: one, to check them out a second time, and two, to see if there are any signs that the brush was on purpose. After all, it might have been a legitimate accident, and you don’t want to make a fool of yourself by assuming they’re into you when they may not have the slightest interest at all. So before you do anything, stop and think about what’s at stake, and ask yourself if this is just another mundane everyday event, or if this is the moment when everything changes in your life.
Take our quiz and see what you know about flirting: Answer True or False, then add up and click here for answers)
1. When someone goes out of their way to talk to me they are flirting
2. When someone makes prolonged eye contact (more than three seconds) they want my attention
3. When a woman is flirting it’s obvious
4. When a man is overtly flirting he generally has one thing on his mind
5. There’s a difference between being flirtatious and flirting
6. There are right ways and wrong ways to flirt
7. Saying inappropriate things in the name of flirting is acceptable
8. Flirting when you’re in a committed relationship is fine as long as you don’t act on it
And now, some tips to help you flirt effectively and without embarrassment:
First of all, focus on yourself, not the other person. Ask yourself, what are you hoping to accomplish by flirting? What is it that you want from this situation? A fun conversation? Casual sex? A relationship? The answer to this question will tell you what signs to look for. If you want a relationship, for instance, you’ll be looking for things like an bare ring finger, a shopping cart devoid of baby formula, and no spouse or kids hanging around. Don’t make a move if anything indicates the person isn’t available.
Step two, once you’ve decided the coast is most likely clear, you need to determine your own safety. No, this part is not particularly fun or spontaneous, but what’s REALLY not fun is being reckless and ending up in a situation where your personal safety is threatened. So check in with your intuition and make sure your body is not giving you any cues that it’s time to get out of the situation. You should be feeling completely comfortable and safe before you do anything at all. If not, don’t risk it or adopt a wait-and-see attitude – just get out of there.
Thirdly, let the fun begin! Believe it or not, most people are way too anxious when it comes to flirting, because really we’re all born with the ability. You may not buy that if you think you’re particularly awkward, but most awkwardness comes only when we become conscious of things that were unconscious. Many times we give off signals without even noticing we’re doing it! Checking to see who brushed up against you, and then checking a second time just to be sure – this is all part of the flirting process! If you can find something authentic to say in the moment, even better. Keep it simple and have fun above all else. The more you can relax and enjoy yourself, the more your flirting will be a sincere reflection of who you really are, which of course is exactly how you want to present yourself.
Remember that even though meeting people on the internet is all the rage, there’s nothing like connecting with a person in real life. So don’t be shy, practice connecting with people wherever and whenever, and load your tool belt up with these three things: your intention, your safety, and your natural ability to flirt!