Some people really seem to have their sh*t together when it comes to flirting. Without even having to try, they collect phone number after phone number, and effortlessly leave a wake of admirers in their path. They are dreamy, calm, collected — and excellent at wooing everyone they meet.
But then there are the rest of us. You know, the ones who think flirting means turning beet red while fumbling over our words, and then running home to ruminate over how awfully things went wrong. We’re the same people who passed love notes in elementary school, only to tear them up in a panic before they were read.
Clearly, flirting has never been a strong point for us awkward types. And it’s a shame, too, since it’s such an important part of dating life. As relationship expert Mara Opperman tells me, “Flirting…a way in which two people can closely interact with one another, while also allowing the other to know that you are attracted to them and they caught your attention.”
Sure, this may come more naturally to some. But it is a skill you can brush up on, once and for all. Read on for some essential flirting hacks, so you can coolly score yourself more dates — no embarrassment required.
1. APPROACH THEM HEAD ON
Let’s say you’re out on the town and spot an interesting stranger. You can sneak up behind them and awkwardly tap their shoulder until they turn around. Or, you could go the better route and approach them from the front. “Approaching them from the front … gives you both a chance to catch each other’s glance and gauge interest,” said lifestyle writer Patrick Allan on Lifehacker.com. Plus, it shows that you’re a confident lady, and that’s always sexy.
2. KEEP YOUR COOL
Some people believe more is better when it comes to flirting — eyelash batting, over-the-top laughter, lots of touching, etc. But this isn’t actually as cute as you might think. “Subtle indications that you are interested are way more effective,” says Opperman. So keep your cool, and go for that relaxed-chick-at-the-bar vibe instead.
3. PERFECT THE ART OF SMILING
When I get nervous, I tend to slap a perma-smile on my face that I’m sure comes off a bit… scary. If you do this, too, you’re sort of on the right track. “[Smiling is] certainly one of the most effective tools,” Opperman says. Just make sure it’s genuine. If you can master the art of the well-timed smile, you’ll give off the utmost of friendly and approachable vibes.
4. DROP SOME COMPLIMENTS
Everyone appreciates a compliment, so go ahead and pepper some into your conversation. Keep it interesting by avoiding the usual “I love your smile” lines, and go for something a bit more special. Are they reading an interesting book? Compliment their taste. Are they drinking a sophisticated drink? Tell them you like their style. This will go far in terms of sparking a conversation and showing that you’re actually paying attention.
5. GET A BIT TOUCHY
Accidentally touch your date’s arm while reaching for something, or subtly bump into them while you walk. You can also bring attention to your best assets by touching yourself. “For women … subtle self-touches, like running your fingers through your hair, can not only soothe nerves but also let the other person know you are interested,” Opperman says. So easy, yet so effective.
6. TEXT BACK IF YOU’RE TRULY INTERESTED
While it’s tempting to play hard to get — and your friends may even suggest that you do — it’s actually way more interesting to forgo this whole tradition. “The good [ones] don’t want to play games and will be completely turned off if you follow ‘the rules,’” said relationship coach Marni Battista on YourTango.com. So go ahead get that flirty texting going, ASAP.
7. HAVE THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF EYE CONTACT
In the same vein as the aforementioned smiling, eye contact is another thing that can easily get out of hand. As Opperman says, “While it’s important to have good eye contact, staring can make the other person uncomfortable.” Keeping it to a happy medium (looking at them, then casually looking away) will make you seem confident, as well as calm. And that’s a winning combo.
8. TEASE THEM (IN A NICE WAY)
To let someone know you’re interested in a super cute way, go ahead and do a bit of teasing. Pick on them a bit, or point out awkwardness. “Keep it playful, friendly, and make it abundantly clear that you’re teasing,” said Allan. “Do it with a big smile, have fun … and while you’re at it, use your teasing as an opportunity to do some flirty touching.”
9. BE AWARE OF YOUR BODY LANGUAGE
The next time you find yourself on a date or chatting someone up at the bar, be aware of your body language. If you’re aiming to be flirty, then lean in. “It makes you appear friendly and warm while giving off the vibe of ‘I think you’re pretty interesting and I’m starting to like you,’” said dating coach Lisa Copeland on HuffingtonPost.com.
10. DO THE OL’ OVER-THE-SHOULDER
To punctuate your efforts with one last flirt, give your date a quick glance over the shoulder as you walk away. This is an incredibly romantic way to say goodbye, according to Cheryl James on LovePanky.com. Plus, it shows you’re interested and that you definitely want more.
And that’s really all it takes to emulate those love experts you’ve always admired. Follow some of these hacks, and you’ll be scoring phone numbers with the best of ’em.
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