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Flirtation 101

Updated on September 10, 2013

There are many times in life when we want to approach a member of the opposite sex but we get all awkward and shy, mainly because we really have no idea what to say or how to approach them. You know the feeling, try as you might; some of the only options that come to mind are Ryan Gosling’s ‘Notebook-esque’ quotes and cheesy pick-up lines and tactics that would probably have worked in the eighties.

When it comes to flirting many have their theories about how things work. There is the delicate dance that forms the balance between men and women. Some say that men are the hunters and women the prey, others argue that it is the woman in the first place who initiates flirtation by sending out signals of acceptance and allure to begin with which encourages and brings the guy out of the woodworks.

Let’s face it. We could sit here philosophizing about who came first, the chicken or the egg, until we are blue in the face or we could look at some common sense survival flirting tips that hold true for both men and women.

Keep calm, keep cool and keep focused…

Fear not, help is at hand!

Flirtation 101:

1. Be Normal

Ah… normality, so vastly underrated! Whether you are initiating the flirtation or on the receiving end of it, nothing raises the alarm more than being awkward and acting all out of sorts. Just what is it about romance that has us walking with two left feet and bright spots of red in our cheeks? It’s almost as if you get tongue tied, stumbling over words while your brain trips you up with the sudden memories of all of the silliest things that have ever happened to you. The key to survival in such a scenario is to be prepared and tread with caution. Easy does it now, take things one step at a time!

Flirtation Tip

Breathe in and out and calmly. Remember to think before you speak, even if you have to pause for a second longer than you normally would, it helps to have normal coherent sentences leave your lips rather than ones that will leave you writhing in post mortem discomfort later on. Greet the person in question with a smile on your face. Ask them something that is pertinent to them, their lives and their environment. This will make the world of difference in you coming across as credible, approachable and normal.

2. Know your Onions

If you’re going to talk about the stock market, then by all means, know a thing or two about finances. If you walk the walk in social media and marketing, let your demeanor do the talking. When somebody new talks to us about themselves, we find that we are concentrating intently. Nothing is more obvious and more painful than listening to the diatribe of someone who knows so little about what they are talking about. Stop for a minute and think about how quickly we are able to sniff it out when people start inflating their self-worth to us.

Flirtation Tip

Knowledge is power! Prepare for romance! As rehearsed as it may seem, you need to mentally prepare for a few topics that most commonly do the rounds at parties or when meeting somebody new for the first time. There are the inevitable questions that act as a prelude to most moments of flirtation.

  • What do you do for a living?
  • Where did you study/ go to school?
  • What are your hobbies and interests?

What it ought to look like...
What it ought to look like...

3. Read the Signs

There’s nothing quite like our hearts leaping in anticipation when the object of our affections acknowledges us. It feels simply amazing! Our hearts leaps out of our chests in the same cartoonish fashion that we’ve come to expect from when we were growing up.

That said there are many moments in life when we simply read the signs incorrectly and nothing baffles us more than the person in question slowly backing away and leaving us for dead. We question… Where did we go wrong?

Hint - The situation should not look like this!
Hint - The situation should not look like this!

Flirtation Tip

Learn how to read the signs. One of the most underrated and overlooked tools in the art of flirtation is a person’s ability to listen, keep your ears peeled and be watchful, read the room and get a feel of the situation. Most importantly give the next person an opportunity to speak and express themselves.

It’s not as difficult as you may imagine. If he/she is looking your way for longer than is necessary, there is probably something there. If you see eyes glazing over, perhaps not such a good sign. If you’re getting calls, social appointments, drinks sent your way, open body language; signs of laughter and acceptance then you’re probably onto something special. Keep going, keep encouraged and keep it up! If not you may have to jump ship, cut your losses and simply move on.

4. Humor me, but avoid the cheese please!

You need to walk the line between being witty and all out cheesy. Folks, this is a fine line to tread, and as funny and witty as it is online, if you really don’t want to see your date’s eyes rolling you might want to tone down on the cheese. We’ve all seen, heard of and sniggered at the cheesy pick up lines that seem to run rampant. (Just in case you’ve been living under a rock here are a few samples for your haughty derision and disdain.)

Really? Cheese-o-meter rating: 4/10
Really? Cheese-o-meter rating: 4/10
Cute, but still...Cheese-o-meter rating: 5/10
Cute, but still...Cheese-o-meter rating: 5/10
Tech savvy, but um...Cheese-o-meter: 10/10
Tech savvy, but um...Cheese-o-meter: 10/10
Popular media references? Attention catching, perhaps...Cheese-o-meter rating: 8/10
Popular media references? Attention catching, perhaps...Cheese-o-meter rating: 8/10
No brownie points for song lyrics...Cheese-o-meter: 9/10
No brownie points for song lyrics...Cheese-o-meter: 9/10

Flirtation Tip

The art of flirting (yes it is an art) calls for being present in the moment. This is your opportunity par excellence to shine, put your best foot forward and entertain the person that you’re interested in with your witty repartee. Have the courage to draw on your own life experiences, anecdotes and stories. You ARE interesting enough, just strike the balance between slick and cheesy.

5. The Element of Surprise

This is where you have to be a savvy observer. Assuming that the object of your affections is someone that you see regularly, you want to use your eyes, your ears and your sense of intuition to gauge the correct moment for an opening in conversation. Remember that one well chosen moment is often way more effective and to the point than a number of bumbling ill put together ones.

Flirtation Tip

Surprising the person that you care about doesn’t have to be about as obvious as you suddenly bouncing out from the shrubs down the walkway that they take every day. Surprise them with acts of kindness, do something touching like remembering that they have a preference for a certain type of tea or cookies. Going out of your way to creatively show the object of your affection that you care offers an element of surprise, which is refreshing, touching and simply put will up your stakes in their eyes.

6. Personal Branding and Self Confidence

No matter what the outcome of your flirtation is, remember that at the end of the day, you are making a statement about yourself. Call it personal branding if you like, but even when you flirt you provide a gateway of opportunity within which that person and the rest of the world can view you. It doesn’t have to be perfect but make sure that the message that you convey to the world about yourself is a positive and lasting one.

Flirtation Tip

Take the time to examine your talents, your best qualities and assets before you find yourself heading out in social settings. Being coy, being demure all has its place, but you do also need to look for opportunities, strike while the iron is hot, make those conversations when they are necessary, because at the end of the day, nobody else is going to do it for you, but YOU.

If you’re really stuck and could use a little more clarity on whether or not somebody likes you in the romantic sense, why not check out the following video for some interesting insight and info.

How do you let someone know that you're interested?

See results

Remembering to see the art of flirtation as a little more than the art of persuasion will help you to centre this process beautifully in your mind. Go out, have fun, be seen in and among your element. At the end of the day confidence is a natural and amazing tool that will help you get further in the art of flirtation than any other attribute.

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    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 3 years ago

      I love this hub! You made me laugh this morning. Thanks!