Thinking with You
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How to Flirt

This may sound like an awkward topic – but it’s actually a pretty key area of dating that can make or break an initial introduction.

Whether you are introduced by a mutual friend, bump into someone accidentally in a bar, or are seated next to someone at a conference or on a plane, the first moments are crucial.  Whether or not you hit it off will depend on the level of  ‘social lubricant’ brought to the table by both parties. 

Social lubricant is exactly that – it breaks the ice, it eases the tension, and provides a way into a conversation.  If you’re an extrovert, this will be easier for you – BUT you have to be careful not to overdo it, especially if you are really anxious or nervous. 

In a romantic sense, social lubricant is basically flirting.  If there’s chemistry between you and the guy, you might start flirting with each other straight away.  Or if things just start off in a friendly manner, you might work your way up to flirting (a bit of light flirting is a good way to show a guy you’re interested, without giving yourself away). 

So, what is flirting and how do I do it?

The main goal of flirting is to leave him wanting more.  You want to make him interested enough to pursue you, but not overwhelmed with information so that he wants to run away.  A little bit goes a long way. 

1. Let him initiate.  LET HIM INITIATE.  He might say ‘Hi’, or ‘Excuse me’ (if he bumps into you) or ‘Nice seats we’ve got here’ or anything.  If he follows it with eye contact and a smile or a laugh, that’s an invitation.  Let him invite you into an interaction.

2. Smile.  This is dating tip #1! Keep it smooth, sexy and measured.  You don’t want to give a huge laugh or massive toothy grin.  Just keep your mouth closed and smile, while making a little eye contact.  Then look away.  Make sure your teeth are nice and white (use these), check for spinach, and ensure you always have fresh breath!  Carry mints in your bag at all times.

3. Keep it brief.  After he initiates conversation, just smile, make eye contact, and perhaps say something short and sweet.  Eg. He says, ‘Hey, they always put me in the front row at conferences!’ and looks at you and laughs.  You can then laugh (just a little), and say ‘Yeah, smart people at the front!’  Then smile again while making eye contact.  (Then look down.) That shows that you’re both funny and confident in yourself, and you’re giving him a compliment as well.  Trifecta!  Make sure that whatever you say is short.  One sentence only!  Let him continue a conversation if he wants to.

It’s typical for Christian women, particularly those who are used to serving and leading, to want to care for the other person.  This means you might find it hard to allow the tension of the moment to build.  You might want to ‘save’ him by filling in the silence, or be ‘kind’ to him by asking him heaps of questions about himself.  But you are not his mother.  You are not his chaplain.  You are not his counsellor.  STOP TALKING.  Close your mouth, smile, and WAIT.  It’s not your job to make him comfortable.  He needs to feel a little bit of nervous tension in himself, to get excited about the interaction.  Let him sweat!

4. Use your eyes.  Your eyes have a lot of power.  They show a man if you’re interested or not, and they draw him in.  Let him initiate eye contact, and always look away first.  Looking down is more coy and more attractive than staring up into space like an idiot.  Either look down, or look down and then away.  This sounds simple but is very alluring!

5. Let him run the conversation, but give him something to work with. The only way you can know if a man is interested in you is if he pursues you.  This means that he continues to talk to you, while looking at you.  If he’s looking around and obviously more interested in something else, excuse yourself and slip away.  He doesn’t deserve your attention, and by leaving you might interest him more!  (Men always want what they can’t have!)

Now, don’t just stand there like a stunned mullet and make him come up with all the conversation topics, nodding and smiling like a puppet.  Try to use some witty repartee, or add some personal information, an interesting anecdote, or some topical news to the mix.  But let him lead.  Let him interest you with what he has to say.  (If he’s not interesting, why are you interested?)

6. Graciously accept compliments.  A compliment is a great way for a guy to start a conversation with you.  Here is the correct response to a compliment: ‘Thank you.’  Or ‘Thank you, that’s very kind.’

Incorrect responses:

‘Oh, no I actually hate this jacket, I only wore it cause my other one has a hole in it.’ 

‘Nah man, don’t be giving me all that flattery!  I can’t handle it!’

‘You’re joking, right?  This was $5 at Cotton On! Got it in the sale bin.’

‘Oh, that was the worst presentation I ever gave.  Usually I’m way better!’

‘Oh, please.  Oh, you are just SO nice.  No one ever compliments me!’

‘Oh no, YOU did such a good job up there; I was SO impressed…’

The man initiates, the woman follows.  The man gives, the woman receives.  That’s how it’s got to be! So receive! Give less, less, less. 

It’s also important to graciously accept whatever he offers you.  For example, if he asks you if you’d like a drink, rather than saying, ‘Oh no, really you don’t have to!  Here, I’ve got money!  Take this!’ Just say: ‘Oh, I’d love a red wine (or whatever).  Thank you.’  Then when he gives it to you, give eye contact and a smile (closed mouth), and maybe say thank you again. That’s it.  If he offers you a lift, and you feel safe taking it, say, ‘Oh thank you, that would be so great.’  Don’t offer him petrol money, or get him to drop you miles away from your front door.  Get him to go right to your house.  Show your value! If he has offered something, he wants to give it. 

7. The main language is body language.  What is your body telling this man?  If it’s saying something like, ‘I am desperate and lonely, please pick me!’ then he will pick up those vibes and it will be a huge turn-off.  Even if you haven’t had a date in years and no one ever gives you much attention, you need to act as though being chatted up by a nice guy happens to you every night.  Be cool, be chill.  This comes from having an inner peace and confidence in yourself. 

You need to know that you are a wonderful, beautiful girl, and that any man would be lucky to have you!  Do whatever you need to do to get your love tanks filled up before you go somewhere you might meet a man.  ‘Prime’ yourself beforehand with some retail therapy, chatting to your girlfriends, a bubble bath or a glass of wine.  If you feel good about yourself, it shows.

In practical terms, you want your body to be ‘pointing’ towards him but not fully square-on facing him.  Allow your body to be ‘open’ but not exposed, invitational but not aggressive.  Try to avoid folding your arms (too bro-ish), having your hands on your hips (school-marm/bossy), and touching your face and hair (nervous).  Just relax.  It’s nice to show some arm and to wear a nice bracelet and have your nails painted.  It will help you feel more elegant, and therefore act that way.   If you’re seated, pay attention to how you sit – are you sitting like a young man in a frat house, or an elegant young woman being cared for by a gentleman?  Act the part, and the reality will follow.

8.  Dress for success.  Your outfit will communicate your intentions for the event.  If you are dressed in a manner that is too worky/casual/frumpy/etc., he won’t think you are there to pick up, and will treat you immediately like a friend or colleague.  To invite some romance, you need to communicate that through your clothing, hair and makeup. 

Rule of thumb: be a touch more overdressed than necessary.  You want to stand out, and men love shiny things.  Girls might look down on you for being the only one wearing red heels at a party when everyone else is wearing Doc Martens – but trust me, you’ll stand out to the men, in a good way.  Dress for men, not for women.  Don’t be afraid to show off your sexy self!

 Do your hair and makeup! To look romantic/sexy and feminine, here are the basic tips:

·      Show some skin: arms, legs, back, or décolletage (preferably only one; you don’t want to look like a hooker.)

·      Wear some colour and/or patternNot stripes or spots – boring!  Think bright prints, fun colours, tassels, lace, leather, silk, leopard print, etc.

·      If you have dark hair, avoid wearing dark coloured tops and earrings.  (Or add a bright scarf.) Try to use contrasts to draw attention.  Find a famous person with your hair and skin colouring, and see what colours they put together. 

·      Mix up the tight and loose parts of your outfit.  Eg. tight jeans with a flowy top, or a flowy dress with a fitted leather or denim jacket.  Unless you have a killer body, avoid wearing tight clothes top and bottom.  And never wear all loose clothing – show yourself!

·      Obviously, dress for your shape.  If you have big boobs and bum, embrace it and work with the hourglass figure you have!  Figure out what your one or two best features are – and accentuate them.  

·      Dress up work-wear with a fun scarf, jacket, earrings or shoes.  Don’t be boring!

·      Wear jewellery – a great way to be on trend – fairly cheap and lots of fun.

·      Wear heels, the skinnier and brighter the better.  Think pink patent leather stilettos, not black chunky heeled suede Chelsea boots.

·      Apply some fake tan all over if your skin tone is that awkward in-between colour, or overly red or blotchy.  Don’t forget your face – fake tan gives an instant glow! My favourite no-fail tan is Garnier Ambre Solair.  No streaks and dries instantly! Buy it here.

·      Great skin is an amazing gift and can drastically improve your appearance.  You can get better skin by drinking more water, and cutting out alcohol, caffeine, sugar and gluten.  And get 15 mins of sun a day. (And wear sunscreen every day!)

·      Invest in good foundation that has been colour-tested for your skin.  I love Clinique – I have red undertones in my skin (ugh) and Clinique has a foundation with green undertones to cancel out the redness.  You do get what you pay for when it comes to foundation!

·      DO your hair – very few older girls can get away with the natural look and actually look great.  A few GHD curls here and there go a long way!  And change it up – if you usually straighten it, try curling it.  Or vice versa.  If you can spend money on your hair and get it coloured, do it.

·      Paint your toenails and fingernails.  Get a professional mani-pedi if you can. Totally worth it!

·      Use a nice, trendy small bag or clutch when you go out.  Big bags are just too bulky, fussy and heavy – you are subliminally communicating ‘I’ve got baggage’.  You want to be light, easy and breezy!

·      I could go on, but you get the point.  And yes, it’s expensive and time-consuming. But that’s the whole idea. Essentially, you want to communicate: ‘Looking good and being romantically attractive is important to me.’ Guys will be able to realise this (or not) so quickly! Feel free to DM me if you want some personalised makeover ideas!

8. Leave the conversation first.  So you’ve flirted, you’ve had some banter, you’ve accepted some compliments.  As soon as you feel the conversation rolling to a pause in momentum, make your excuses and leave.  Eg. ‘It was great chatting.’ Smile, walk away.  Or ‘Good luck with the lunch queue!’  Smile, walk away.  Do not suggest a later meeting, ask for his number, offer your number, say ‘I hope to see you again soon’ or anything of the kind.  Let him do all the work.  If he’s interested, he will find you.  ____________________________________________________________________________________________

If you feel like watching some movies to grab tips, here are my recent Netflix faves.  Check out the following actors in these scenes for some A+ flirting:

Blake Lively in ‘Café Society’ from 57:00-59:00mins.  (Blake Lively is one of the ultimate women for gorgeous, sexy, girl-next-door flirting.)

Morgan in ‘Just Wright’ – from 17:00-21:00mins.  A little manipulative, but her strategy is excellent.

Kate Beckinsale in ‘Pearl Harbour’ – an oldie but a goodie.

Jennifer Garner in anything – she’s sweet and really appealing.

Scarlett Johanssen is an amazing flirt in her movies - but a little on the loose side.

And here are some tips from Steve Harvey – brutal and true:

 Don't be cold

Have requirements

Helping girls flirt

How to attract a stranger

Remember: flirting is for the initial introduction and the first few times you chat.  You don’t have to keep it up forever – it’s just to develop his interest in you!