Oh, I am having flashbacks. Yet, I feel the need to share. I was a horrible flirt. It was sad. I had to relearn everything I once knew about being a flirt. Talking with strangers was generally easy for me yet, I felt uncomfortable. I said the wrong things, at the wrong time, it wasn’t funny. Awkward was an understatement. I felt like anything I said to a man, said, “I am attracted to you.” That was largely untrue and took some time to change my brain.
With a lot of encouragement from friends and a little practice – flirting became fun! In my pursuit, I looked for the easy lines and the magic words from authors and videos. I quickly learned that magic phrases come from inside you, mostly from your character. A canned pick-up line sends a synthetic message and doesn’t get your relationship off to a good start. Investing in authenticity is your best bet. Trust yourself. Natural flirts are the best!
To be clear, flirting is defined by Webster for our purposes is as follows.
- To behave amorously [romantically] without serious intent
- To show superficial or casual interest or liking
(A note to be clear, hyper-sexual language is seduction and not flirting. Innuendo is the desired language.)
It’s all just a moment in time. It doesn’t take long to show a flirty side. I learned that just being a little more playful with strangers was all there was. My uneasiness made it more difficult than reality demonstrated. Trying to inflect a deeper meaning or intention in my flirts was unnecessary. Yet, the potential for deeper could exist if this was fate. Harmless flirting is a challenge on some level because it requires witty banter. It is a brain game.
Additionally, if you are already in a relationship, flirting clearly has intent. Flirting can help you form a deeper relationship simply by being playful, whether you are just getting started or clearing a few cobwebs from an existing relationship. Here are six flirty actions to boost your game.
- Make eye contact. Nothing more is required. Simply make eye contact and try to hold the gaze for a moment. (Staring is rude.) Hold it and look away and then look back again. It is a non-verbal- Hello, you caught my attention. Level one flirting at its best. You can do this even if you are in a relationship. I look into a set of deep brown eyes as often as I can. It’s expressive. (I’m blushing a little right now.)
- Flash a smile. Best after a moment of eye contact, a little grin, or a big show of teeth is an invitation for a Hello. It says I am friendly, and you are welcome to approach me. It can warm a heart and make people feel connected from the other side of a room. Even if you do not ever speak, you can make a connection that leaves a positive impression. On any level, this is a great social tool.
- Use your surroundings to be playful. A few years ago, I was standing in a long line at O’Hare for a bagel. There was a man behind me looking sort of serious. The clerks were telling people they were out of bagels. I thought for a moment and said to the guy behind me. So now what? Lemon or blueberry muffin? He said, lemon. He wanted the blueberry. I smacked my lips and said lemon makes me pucker. He laughed and said I should have the blueberry instead. We bantered for a minute, and it was fun. No expectations for any further conversation but he was no longer looking grumpy, and I got a blueberry muffin. Nothing overtly made this romantic or sexual, and yet there was a lip pucker (innuendo). If I had tried a canned line on him, it would have blown up. Practice using what is in front of you. It’s authentic.
- Light touch and light hitting are the same thing depending on your circumstances. Try to touch someone in a way that communicates. Since good flirting is innuendo, non-verbal messages are worthy investments. Get hypersexual, and you are saying, take me home. So, if you touch someone’s knee and start your hand up their leg, know what you are saying. If you are slapping a leg after a sarcastic comment or a bad joke, you are not expressing the same sentiment. I am comfortable enough to touch you is about the extent of the message.
- Complement a style rather than an appearance. Calling out a personal style or aura is a positive way to be impactful with words. You want to say something unexpected to catch and hold an individual’s attention. Plus, it is more meaningful and gives you room to play. For example, “I like your shoes” limits your room to play. “You have a femininity that seems to be an expression of 21st century, vintage, French. Care to explain yourself? (Wink)” This statement represents a variety of paths to go down. Enjoy the scenery.
- Talk to strangers. This one is difficult for so many single people. Organic meetings happen like this. So, if dating apps are not your thing – talk to strangers! Strangers provide an opportunity to connect. While this is not always appropriate for people in relationships, it is an opportunity to be friendly and witty without being sexual.
If it has been a while or you want to spice up your connection, consider that flirting is natural and yet, takes a little experimentation and courage. Leaning into being flirty is a behavior that also takes some time. Give yourself some grace. Allow flirting skills to develop naturally, or it will be awkward, and cringe-worthy flashbacks may haunt you too.
Sharpen your skill. When you are learning, practice with those who will flirt back. An established relationship is great to experiment around with spicy innuendo. If you are single, think about anyone you tip, such as a waiter, a bartender, or a barista. They will likely receive your attention, assuming they are not beyond busy. Keep in mind that they are working. Overt sexual flirting is sexual harassment. That is never appreciated. However, what is, is a fun, social, and friendly flirt. Just leave a good tip. (If you are in a relationship, practice your flirt methods with your partner, you can still leave a good tip.)
Have confidence in your actions. Being flirty is part of a relationship mindset. Fundamentally, we are all here to make a romantic connection and deepen a relationship.
Confidence comes in knowing what you are doing. Lean in, flirt, and own it. If the receiver is open-minded, you get a good reaction and game on. If the receiver is not open to it, walk on. Not flirting is the true risk in my mind. Keep your flirting simple to begin. As you gain confidence, try something more. It might not go anywhere, but what if it does. 😉