Have you ever wondered why we flirt? I mean, we've all done it at some time but it's one of those things that we do without really giving any though to why or how.
Quite simply, flirting's our way of letting the opposite sex know that we're available. What it says we're available for depends entirely on how we flirt but for the sake of this article, I'll concentrate on the flirting that's done when you're with somebody you might like to develop a committed relationship with.
If you're a bit on the shy side, perhaps lacking in self confidence after being away from the singles scene for a long time, flirting can be quite a daunting task. It isn't difficult. It's like everything else; practice makes perfect so if you want to be a successful flirt on the serious dating scene, you need to start sticking your toes back in the water before you dive in after the big fish. Find a few fellas who you think are nice but are unlikely to bump into at the local post-office or your regular watering hole and practice your flirting skills on them. If you get it wrong the most you'll lose is the time you spent flirting but you'll have learned a lot. When you start to feel confident, that's the time to home in on the guy of your dreams and show him what you're made of.
Picture the scene. You're sitting at a pavement cafe on a warm, sunny day. A reasonably nice looking guy walks past, glances in your direction but looks as miserable as sin. Five minutes later another reasonably nice looking guy walks past. This one looks across as you and smiles. Which of them would you most likely want to get to know better? My bet's that you'd go with the second guy, simply because he smiled.
A smile immediately gives your appearance more warmth so you'll seem more open and inviting to others.
When he talks, smile in appropriate places. Don't sit there grinning like a Cheshire cat; at best you'll appear false, at worse he'll think you've forgotten to take your medication.
A smile shows interest and best of all, it's contagious.
* Eye Contact
Everybody enjoys looking at something they find appealing and you don't want him to think you don't fancy him, do you? If you're shy or insecure about flirting you'll perhaps find it difficult to hold his gaze for a moment longer than you should but you really MUST look at him when he's speaking. Looking at everything else will just say "that crack in the pavement's more interesting to look at than you" and that's hardly what you want, is it?
If, on the other hand, you're super confident, don't go making the reverse mistake and spend the evening staring at him. Men may love to boast to their mates that "she couldn't take her eyes off me" but in reality, being stared at makes a person feel awkward and embarrassed.
* Touch Him
A difficult one, this! Especially if you're shy.
Think back to primary school and that boy who fancied you (or fancied your mate, or whoever). Remember how he used to push you in the corridor or pull your hair in the playground? It's hardly strange we find it difficult to understand the opposite sex when that's how they behave when they fancy us but it was all about having the opportunity to touch us.
Now that we're older we have to find other ways of touching one another without appearing to be too intimate. Dancing's a good solution, as is touching his arm or knee when laughing together. Losing your balance slightly whilst walking together so that you have to reach out and balance yourself against him's another good ploy, as is asking him to help you on with your coat.
* Feel Sexy
Dress to feel sexy but remember that sexy isn't about showing it all. In fact, it isn't necessarily about showing anything! The way the fabric feels against your skin, heels and wearing your frillies underneath your dress can all make a woman feel sexy without looking cheap. The really good news though, is when a woman feels sexy she'll automatically appear sexy to the opposite sex.
* Show Interest
Sounds pretty obvious doesn't it, but sometimes it's easy to think we're showing interest even though the signals are actually saying something else. Showing interest is a mix of all what's gone before; not looking at the floor instead of at him, touching him when you have the chance, looking him in the eye and smiling, but above all, it's about listening to what he's saying and asking questions. If you were interesting in buying a house, I'm should you'd listen keenly to what the owner or estate agent had to say and ask plenty of questions, wouldn't you? Do the same when you're interested in a man! After all, how important's a house compared with a loving, supportive life partner?
* Appreciate Your Date
Whether you've had lunch, taken a walk around the park or spent an evening together, thank him for it and tell him how much you've enjoyed it. Don't go OTT; just say you've had a lovely time and that he's been good company.
Whatever you do, don't leave the date without letting him know that you're available for another. By saying nothing you're likely to leave him believing that you don't want to see him again. At the very least, you'd leave him feeling confused and if his self-confidence isn't right up there next to the likes of Mick Jagger and Peter Stringfellow, he's hardly likely to call again. Saying something like "give me a call if you fancy doing it again" will open the way for him to make further contact. Playing hard to get rarely works.
Now it's up to you to get out there and start practising your flirting skills. It may seem like a daunting task right now but believe me, it won't be long before flirting becomes second nature and you'll be wondering what the fuss was all about.
About The Author
Sharon Jacobsen is founder/administrator of FriendsYourWay.co.uk (www.friendsyourway.co.uk), a web service designed to help women meet other women for platonic friendships in their local area of the UK.
Having grown up in East London, Sharon moved to Norway at the age of 19, where she remained until 1998. She now lives in Cheshire with her partner and two of her three children. Contact Sharon on: firstname.lastname@example.org