The Art of Flirting

I recently hosted an interactive workshop on the “Art of Flirting.” Like a painting, sculpture, or dance, flirting is a work of art. Employed to initiate contact and express interest, the effectiveness of flirting is in the eye of the beholder. Successful flirting is navigating the rules of conversation and the unwritten laws of etiquette governing social engagement and interaction. It’s like a game of red light/green light. You move a few steps forward if you’re getting a green light. If the light turns red, stop and regroup. Below are some tips to initiate a new contact and/or fan the flames of an existing relationship.

1) Hold eye contact.

Prolonged eye contact between two people expresses intense emotion; either love or hostility. Ladies, if you see a man across the room and want to let him know you’re interested, catch his eye two or three times and hold contact for around three seconds. If you stare too long, you run the risk of crossing into the creepy territory. The appropriate stare technique will encourage the desire of your heart to cross the room and engage you. And if you’re with a current love interest, holding a sexy stare will let him know you still like what you see.

2) Smile.

The ultimate goal of flirting is to encourage engagement. Nothing communicates a green light to engage like a full, open-lipped smile. And as the interaction progresses, use a sensual pout to keep your heart’s desire interested.

3) Create a rhythm.

Great flirting is a dance of timing and pacing. Ladies, create a rhythm that is sensual by twirling a lock of hair, alternating the cadence in your conversation, or playing with charm on your necklace. Gentlemen can twirl the straw in their glass, twist the cufflink on your sleeve, or melodically tap your foot against the table. You aren’t creating an annoying distraction. You’re creating comforting tempo for your dance.

4) Move in.

If your flirting is going well, the object of your affection will gradually welcome you into her personal space. As you ask engaging questions and listen attentively to the answers, move in a little closer, touch her lightly on the arm, or tuck a stray hair behind her ear. Watch carefully for the red light/green light signs. If you lean in and she smiles at your proximity or mirrors your posture, green light means all systems go. If she shifts uncomfortable in her seat or jerks away from your closeness, pull back.

5) Close the deal.

One of my favorite Seinfeld episodes is when George Constanza resolves to end every conversation on a high note to leave them wanting more. Gentlemen, if your flirting is an initial contact, make sure to ask the lady for her phone number. Don’t cling all night overstaying your welcome. Engage, flatter, offer to buy her a drink, converse, get the digits, and walk away. If your flirting is with an existing love interest, reminiscence on old times adding in new twists and details. Let your partner know that you appreciate having him/her in your life and then move in for a breathtaking, Hollywood kiss.

For some, flirting comes naturally. For others, it takes some practice to get it right.  Flirting is an essential foundation for every romantic relationship. Use your instincts and feedback from your partner to help you flirt like a Picasso. Happy dating.

Deanna is the author of Voted “Most Creative”, a collection of poems and essays that inspire creativity, growth, and self-expression and Single Girl Summer, the story of three women navigating the ups and downs of life during one special summer in Chicago.