How to flirt: 6 unexpected ways to improve your flirting skills
Flirting is an integral part of finding the relationship you really want. And it’s easier to do than you might think. Love coach Persia Lawson explains how to flirt
According to the Oxford dictionary, the definition of ‘flirt’ is to ‘behave as though sexually attracted to someone, but playfully rather than with serious intentions.’
Over the years, countless articles, books and blog posts have been written on how to flirt.
Well, quite simply, because being a good flirt is often the first step in attracting the partner and relationship you really want.
But, do the old clichés – maintaining eye contact, giggling like a schoolgirl, and playing with your hair – really work?
In my humble opinion, clichés tend to become clichés because they offer a certain degree of truth (except, perhaps in the case of cheesy pick-up lines…)
However, there are some lesser-known tricks of the trade that I’ve found to be far more effective in helping you learn how to flirt.
The below suggestions have been tried and tested by me – and numerous friends of mine. I challenge you to step outside of your comfort zone and give them a go yourself:
The forearm touch
This little gem was passed on to me by a friend from university who used is as his go-to trick to get women to fall for him.
Having put it into practice, I can attest that it works just as well for women too.
When on a date, or chatting to someone you like at a bar, briefly rest your hand on their forearm at an appropriate time in the conversation. This indicates that you feel safe and connected with them.
It’s a gesture that generates a sense of intimacy and sensuality – without going overboard.
We live in a world that’s increasingly focused on the individual, which is probably why Time magazine dubbed millennials the ‘me, me, me generation.’
A few years ago, the National Institute of Health reported that the incidence of narcissistic personality disorder is nearly three times as high for people in their 20s as it is for the generation that’s now 65 or older.
It doesn’t come as all that much of a shock. Look around in your average coffee shop and you’ll see a dozen or so young people uploading pouty selfies or snaps of their matcha lattes to Instagram.
As technology has encouraged us to become the stars and celebrities of our own lives, we seem to have grown less generous in our interactions with others.
I’ve been guilty of talking about myself far too much in conversations. And I’ve certainly been on dates where the person opposite me exhibited the same unpleasant trait.
To flirt successfully, a sense of flow needs to be established within the dynamic to keep each party engaged in the conversation.
In other words, make it your priority to ask your date interesting questions. Try to ask things beyond where they live, how many siblings they have, and what’s their favourite food. The more interesting the question, the more compelling and memorable your date experience will be.
Listen to their answers
If you ask questions, it’s logical that you should listen to the answer. Yet listening is something that many of us (myself included) still struggle with, even when learning how to flirt.
There’s nothing more irritating than when the person you’re talking to isn’t really listening to you, but looking for a cue to start talking about themselves again.
When you ask your date a question, listen to the answer. Maybe even ask another question to get them to expand more. This demonstrates that you’re an interested and generous person to converse with, and these days, that’s a pretty radical statement.
Share something vulnerable
If you want to establish an intimate, memorable connection with your date, then you must be brave and go beyond surface and superficial dialogue.
The best way to do this is to take the lead and share something (appropriately) vulnerable with them, which serves as an invitation for them to do the same.
Don’t force it – it’ll come off as too contrived. Listen out for cues in the conversation that provide an organic and natural bridge for you to open up more.
Honesty and vulnerability is incredibly sexy because it shows you’re an empowered person who’s not afraid to share the truth of who you really are, rather than simply presenting an idealised, ‘perfect’ version of yourself.
When learning how to flirt, this lesson is key. Too many of us make the mistake of projecting what we want to happen as a result of our flirting, rather than staying open and present to the experience itself.
We flirt to get the other person into bed, for example, or to be our boyfriend. We might even imagine ourselves walking down the aisle with them and starting a family.
The problem is that it’s just so damn obvious when our mind runs away with us like this – not to mention unattractive.
And it makes our date feel backed into a corner, rather than complicit in the interaction.
Whenever you start future-tripping in this way, gently bring yourself back to the present. Take a few deep breaths and focus your attention on what the other person’s saying.
Ironically, being 100% available to the moment is far more likely to help you achieve what you want than obsessing over what your future children might look like!
Leave them wanting more
Finally, the best way to maintain (and increase) your date’s interest in you is to cut off contact before conversation gets stale. In other words, leave them wanting more by being the first one to bow out of the exchange.
If you’re at a social event, use going to the bathroom as an excuse. Afterwards, make a point of going and speaking to other friends (while casting the occasional glance or smile in the direction of your paramour).
Same goes when you’re chatting online or over text. Always try to be the one who exits the conversation first, at least in the early days.
If they ask you out on a date, you don’t need to lie and pretend you’re not free. At the same time, don’t do what I used to do and cancel other commitments to make space for this person.
Show that you’re the interesting, busy and vibrant person you are, and they’ll be far more likely to initiate contact next, trust me.
After all, we always desire the people, places and things that are a little bit more unattainable.