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Flirting is the art of playfully showing someone that you’re romantically interested in them. It is a delicate art form and mastering it involves indicating your desire while maintaining an air of mystery.
Psychologist and Harvard Professor, Justin Lehmiller suggests that ‘Despite what you may have heard otherwise, playing hard to get seems to pay off if you’re looking for a long-term relationship. Research suggests that making yourself a little less available may lead others to think you’re more desirable. However, this doesn’t mean you want to take things to the extreme. In other words, if you make yourself too hard to get, this strategy could backfire.’
Flirting then, is the blend of demonstrating your affection but also leaving your date guessing about your feelings somewhat – they need to suspect you having feelings for them, without being sure. Ultimately, flirting is a game and here’s how to play.
Flirting tips 101
We’ve split our advice to give you the best tactics for every circumstance. Below find our general flirting tips for all, how to flirt with a girl, how to flirt with guys and flirting over 50. Whatever your age or sex, flirting really works and most importantly is fun!
Flirting Tips: The Basics
1. Offer an original compliment
Let’s be honest – male, female, old, young – everyone loves a compliment. But not a cheesy, unoriginal pick up line, but rather something genuine. Look at your date and see what you actually like about them or something that stands out to you and comment on it. They’ll be secretly delighted.
2. Remember details
Being engaging and interested in what your date has to say is a key part of flirting. If you remember small details about their stories you can bring them up later and maybe even tease them a little about it. They’ll be flattered that you’ve remembered what they’ve said and teasing can be a great part of flirting with someone.
3. Make them laugh
Obviously it’s not easy to be hilarious all the time but if you’re laughing together, it’s usually a pretty solid sign of flirting. Up your wit and seek opportunities to say something funny. If you’re paying attention to what your date is saying, you should be able to find plenty of moments to make a small joke and keep the mood light.
4. Body language – Instigate gentle contact
Body language is undeniably a huge part of flirting but there’s a very fine line between being uncomfortably physically forward and being flirty. When you do initiate contact, keep it short – for example if you’re laughing at a joke or teasing and then you touch their shoulder, this is an effective flirting technique. The other person will certainly notice the contact but it will be hidden within the conversation and seem much more natural.
5. Smile and look happy
This may sound odd but people who are constantly smiling and looking genuinely at ease in their surroundings, radiate attractiveness. Even before a date, a man or woman who looks like they’re having a great time just with their friends in a bar will draw the eyes of the opposite sex. There is nothing more attractive than someone who seems happy and confident with themselves and you’re likely to catch people’s attention that way.
6. Lean in to your date
Again body language is significant when it comes to flirting and the simple gesture of leaning in towards your date across the table signifies your interest in them. Obviously don’t get uncomfortably close but if your body language is facing towards your date they’ll certainly notice and be flattered. Supposedly mirroring your date’s body language also indicates your interest and results in you being closer physically.
How to flirt with a girl
The flirting tips above are an indication of the basics but there are certain tricks that are more effective on the individual sexes. How to flirt with a girl specifically, is underlined below.
1. Do NOT use pick up lines
According to Social Psychologist and author of the blog Sex & Psychology Dr Justin Lehmiller; ‘Avoid the crude and cutesy pick-up lines. Psychologists have studied how women rate the appeal of different pick-up strategies and the results suggest that simply saying hello or offering a compliment is a far more effective way of breaking the ice.’ It’s true; women are not impressed with a generic, cheesy pick up line so do not use them! Approaching girls with a simple hello will have a much more pleasing effect.
2. Chivalry and gentlemanly gestures
Despite the modern age, chivalry is not dead and women still appreciate some gentlemanly behavior. Simple gestures like holding the door open or pulling her seat out for her will have a positive effect and make her feel special. It also indicates your interest in her because you’re making the effort to treat her well. Also using these gentlemanly gestures on strangers is sure to impress your date too. Holding a door open for an elderly lady or helping her is likely to be noticed by your date and looked upon favorably.
3. Confidence is key
When it comes to dating, women like confident men, much as they may hate to admit it; they usually do want the man to lead and initiate conversation and subsequently flirtation. This comes entirely through confidence. Any awkwardness or nervousness and they’re likely to be put off pretty quickly or find you endearing and you’ll be friend zoned. Be confident, articulate yourself well and just flirt.
How to flirt with guys
When it comes to considering how to flirt with guys, it’s actually pretty simple. Physical actions in particular are noticed instantly and men also enjoy hearing their name and being made to feel strong.
1. Tease him
This stems right back from people’s school days but boys and girls love to tease each other when they’re flirting. Making gentle jokes about something they’ve said or like is a good way of adding this playfulness to the conversation. Keep it light though, there’s no need to get too personal or accidentally offensive.
2. Use body language
According to Biological Anthropologist and Relationship Expert Helen Fisher, ‘Women worldwide flirt with the same expressions: lifting their eyebrows and making eye contact, tilting their head down and to the side, then looking away.’ It’s pretty straightforward. Often women don’t even realize they’re doing it but intense eye contact followed by looking away indicates your interest. As well as the classic hair twirl. That will get his attention.
3. Leave him wanting more…
In order to maintain your date’s interest, it’s important to not give too much away too quickly. As stated by LehMiller earlier: ‘playing hard to get seems to pay off if you’re looking for a long-term relationship,’ particularly when it comes to men, keeping them a bit keen with the chase certainly seems to work. Force yourself to resist messaging him straight away – he will message you.
Flirting over 50
Flirting over 50 is different. It can be delicate and needs to be executed with consideration.
1. Less is more
In this age bracket, subtlety is definitely advantageous. Cheeky advances that you can maybe get away with in your twenties are unfortunately just a bit strange in your fifties. So men: steer clear of sexual innuendo and women, don’t wear really revealing clothing. Less is certainly more and just engaging in a really interesting, intelligent conversation will get you much further.
2. Use formal etiquette
Many people over 50 still appreciate traditional formal etiquette and polite gestures. These classic actions will make your date feel special and is a good way of demonstrating your affection without creeping them out.
3. Be honest
As stated previously, pick up lines don’t work but they really don’t work in the over 50s category. Flirting over 50 works better with honesty. Of course you can pay your date compliments and be honest if you like them but any kind of premeditated lines will get you nowhere. Demonstrate your interest with genuine flattery and emotion.
So ladies, gentleman, seniors, everyone: get yourself out there and speaking to someone special with our flirting tips and see where you’ll end up.