Flirting is fundamental to all animals not just human beings. It’s important that we attract the right mate for survival. Most animals can’t naturally breed alone; they need the help of a compatible partner and the competition is fierce. To succeed in the mating game, animals use all sorts of colours, sounds and often some very strange behaviour – which begs the question, straight, gay or non-binary, are we really that different?
Flirting is goals orientated and can be driven by a desire to date someone, have a casual relationship with them, or perhaps be a signaller to something much deeper and more romantic. Flirting can also be initiated just for fun, or to schmooze someone at work, or if you are trying to close a deal perhaps. Maybe you are just trying to get out of the washing up.
Flirting is entrenched in gentle persuasion and can be a complex process. Some of it is conscious, some subconscious. You may play with your hair, initiate coy glances, or flutter your eyelashes. Maybe you flirt through physical touch – whereby you brush against someone’s arm. P,erhaps it’s the spoken words that you use, your eye contact, your body language, how you portray yourself intellectually, how you portray your personality and sense of humour.
Flirting is not a trivial activity. There is a lot going on and is very much skills based, however, anyone can learn how to be a better flirt. Once accomplished, you take a key step towards initiating a first date, and a potential giant leap towards a longer lasting romantic relationship.
Researchers Dr David Henningsen and colleagues have been studying flirting for many years and have countless papers published on their findings. In a 2004 study, Henningsen suggested there are six flirting motivations, sex, relational, exploring, fun, esteem and instrumental. They found that men tend to view flirting as more sexual than women do, and women attribute more relational and fun motivations to flirting interactions than do men. No gender differences emerged for esteem, exploring or instrumental motivations. However, they did note that miscommunication can occur during flirting interactions, so it’s important to be clear in your mind on your desired goal or outcome, and not to overstep an individual’s boundaries. Equally, most flirting messages are driven by a desire to initiate a relationship.
5 ways to be a better flirt for romantic success
Have a Positive Mindset – the shared human experience.
The way we think affects everything we do, when you think positively, you feel happier. Of course, life sometimes gets in the way of this. If you often feel anxious or nervous around someone you find attractive or want to get to know better, it’s important to reframe those thoughts in your mind. We are all part of the shared human experience, and if you feel anxious as a single person, you can guarantee the other person also feels this way. Understanding and acknowledging this, in a positive way, diffuses not only your anxious feelings but helps the other person relax too.
Eye Contact – glance don’t stare
How many times have you come across an attractive potential love interest only to do absolutely nothing about it. Ignoring them isn’t going to work, you have to give them an ‘in’, and this usually starts with maintaining eye contact, even if it’s just for a few moments, and then glance back, a few moments later. It can be that simple to indicate to the other person that you are interested in getting to know them. However, don’t stare as this can have the opposite effect and initiate an uncomfortable feeling in the other person if they feel their boundaries are being overstepped.
Smile – flash those pearly whites
Laughter is the gateway to the soul. Shown to be beneficial for both emotional, as well as physical wellbeing, smiling and laughing is an immediate mood enhancer, whether it’s you smiling, or you are the recipient of someone you like smiling back at you. Laugh if you are with your friends and have fun with it all.
Confident Body Language – fake it till you make it
Slouching, staring at the ground, fidgeting, having your arms folded, can all indicate disinterest in the situation you are in, and will therefore be very hard to attract someone in a positive way. Just the simple act of standing tall, thinking about how you are breathing, relaxing your arms, and perhaps playing with your hair oozes confidence, in a natural and authentic way. Even if you are feeling uncomfortable, being more aware of your body language and adjusting it can portray self-assurance, which is super attractive.
Take Your Time – rinse and repeat
Give yourself some time to develop your flirtatious skills, you will need to lean into the discomfort, and it will take time to build your confidence. Taking small steps by practicing each of these suggestions, in different social situations, can help you develop a strong flirt game, and ultimately help you attract your amazing future life partner.
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