As you grow older, you come to realize that people can usually be categorized into two groups: Those who were born to flirt–those for whom batting lashes comes naturally and just know what to say to the people they are interested in–and those who were…not.
Historically, I have been known to be a member of the latter group. I think that I am missing the gene that most people have that lets them know when someone else is flirting with them, when the right time is to engage in flirting, and, probably, when you should stop saying things like “engage in flirting.” I don’t bat my lashes, generally speaking, unless I have something stuck in my eye. The first time someone asked me out on a date, I didn’t know what to do so I pretended that I didn’t hear them which, looking back on it, was a very transparent avoidance strategy considering that we sat at the same table (as in, literally two feet away from each other) in our Biology class. One time, I was talking to a guy and he asked me what I would get as a tattoo, if I were to get one. I panicked and said, “a potato.” This was meant to be an homage to Wayside Story Is Falling Down, obviously, but I don’t think he really “got” it.
So, yeah, I’m not a natural flirter (or flirt-ee, for that matter). But I’ve definitely gotten better and, if I can do it, you definitely can too. Here are seven foolproof flirting tips for total beginners:
Don't Get Caught Up On Being 'Sexy'I think most people get freaked out when they think that flirting means that they have to be conventionally sexy, too. Don't fall into this trap! In fact, don't even think of it as flirting--just focus on being yourself. This is easier said than done (what IS 'you,' anyway?) so, to be yourself, talk about things that you genuinely love and are passionate about. Image source:Giphy
Don't Be FakeThis goes along with the sexy idea--basically, don't feel like you have to act a certain way in order to attract someone. It's generally very easy to tell if someone is being genuine or not, so don't pretend to be someone you're not. (Also, here's a tip: If someone, especially a guy, tells you a joke and you don't think it's funny, you don't have to pretend to laugh. Really.) Image source:Tumblr
Find The Right Balance Of How Much You Want To SayBasically, you don't want to go into a conversation with your crush without planning anything out, but you don't want to have a script, either. So, think up a few talking points before approaching your crush. What common interests do you share? Are you in any of the same classes? If you pick some subjects you know you'll be confident with, flirting will be easy. Image source:iStock
Hold Eye Contact (Within Reason)I mean, do everything that you usually do--blink, look around, glance away for a second. But I've found that most people don't really realize how much they don't hold eye contact with people. Make a point of looking at them when they're talking. It makes you seem interested. (Which, hopefully, you are.) Image source:Ad Week
Listen UpIn general, people LOVE talking about themselves. So, if you common logic, that means that if you ask your crush a lot about themselves, they'll love (or, you know, like) you too. I mean, don't interrogate them--no one likes being grilled--but if you display a genuine interest in what they like and who they are as a person, that will make an awesome impression. Image source:iStock
Throw In Some (Genuine) ComplimentsObviously, there's no need to get all 'Love Actually' on them, but if you compliment them on things, this will also make a great impression. It doesn't even have to be anything big--do you like their 'Arrested Development' banana stand t-shirt? Tell them! Thought that they made a good point in the Socratic Seminar in English class that got super heated? Let them know! They'll remember this for sure. Image source:Photobucket
Do NOT Stalk Them Obsessively OnlineI know--we've all been there. But if you go on a Facebook bender that leads to their Twitter that leads to their Instagram that leads to their great-aunt's knitting blog, that's a problem. You don't want to blurt out information that, really, you have no way of knowing, during your first real conversation. So, other than a cursory social media friend/follow request, stay away from their online presence. Image source:Flickr
Are you a flirting newbie? What questions do you have? Let us know in the comments!