Pssst, Men! Here's How to Flirt With Women.
Yes, for guys, sometimes it seems we missed the memo. When was this taught? Is it genetic? Gender-based? Cultural? The male half of The Dating Gurus had a short, toady, unattractive friend years ago who nonetheless managed to pull down hot women--all because he knew how to flirt. Such is the power of flirting. Wouldn't you like some of that?
The Meaning of Flirting (Don't You Dare Skip This Part)
Here at The Dating Gurus, we're big into the meaning of words, because words have meaning. And "flirting" has another connotation that is often forgotten.
You've heard the term "flirting with danger." It means to edge closer and closer to danger--perilously so--but not go all the way. In the business of dating, it takes on the same meaning: Edging closer and closer to romance, but pulling back before going all the way. It's this skating on the edge, this restraint, this dichotomy, that makes flirting so much fun.
Realize Flirting is Interplay, Not YOU Playing HER
Oh, those pick-up artists (PUAs). We love 'em and we hate 'em, mostly hate 'em. On the good side, beginning around 2004-2005, with the publication of The Game, by Neil Strauss, ordinary men got a glimpse into the dynamics of male-female mating rituals. While the PUA community passed on some positive ideas (i.e., men need to lead), it shoveled all sorts of toxic information into the minds of men. The worst idea is that flirting involves the man running set routines on the woman, as if he were a door-to-door vacuum salesman and she were a potential customer.
Cast from your mind this notion of you as the purveyor of wit and charm, with her as the glad recipient of your efforts. Flirting is an equal exchange of words and body language between the two of you, not one vessel pouring into another vessel.
Keep It Light
By "light," we do not mean humor, though this may be part of it. We mean steering the conversation toward the positive, away from the negative. This is more about setting the right tone for your flirting rather than flirting itself. So, you'll be discussing things like: movies, TV, books, local fun news, music, food, shared friends.
Avoiding everything negative, though, will not only make you seem like a bimbo, it's not realistic. Just keep the majority of the conversation light.
Break Her Balls a Little (She'll Break Yours)
The science behind this is interesting, and here we'll start with one of the Oxford English Dictionary's definitions of flirting:
A smart tap, a blow, a rap
Not a meaning we use much anymore. But its application to romance-type flirting is perfect. Flirting is mild push and pull. It's the friendly tweak to provoke a reaction.
Romance has oppositional dynamics. It's not all lovey-dovey, hearts and flowers. Yet it's not (obviously) all hate and anger. Ever had make-up sex after an argument? Well then, you know how powerful oppositional dynamics can be.
The science part is that social researchers have found that "breaking balls" tactics used by men and women during dating are like miniature versions of the same tactics that long-established and happy (not bickering) couples use. So by breaking balls, you're establishing familiarity. The message: If I'm saying this to you, I'm comfortable with you.
Eye Contact and Even More Eye Contact
When she is talking, keep full eye contact on her. Actually, that's not flirting. That's just good conversational skills.
But here's flip-side. When you're talking, keep full eye contact on her. It's harder than it seems. Most humans have a tendency to let their eyes drift away when speaking. It's unnerving, but in a good way, when someone keeps full eye contact on you when he is speaking.
Flirt With No Outcome in Mind
Maybe your immediate goal is to get laid. But push that out of the forefront of your mind. Instead, revel in and enjoy the actual process of talking--that is, flirting--with this woman. It's one of the Zen-like bits of advice most men discard but it's far more powerful than you can imagine.
This is the trickiest part of flirting, and you'll need to read the situation carefully. Some women will freak out at physical contact in this early stage, no matter how innocent that contact.
Think about casual physical contact with other people. Tussling with a son or nephew...or tousling their hair. A quick squeeze on your Dad's shoulder as you pass him in the kitchen. Even smacking a buddy "upside the head" is physical contact.
Non-sexual physical contact with a woman on a date does two things:
- Communicates Ease: As with "breaking balls," it says to her that you're comfortable with her. People who are uneasy with each other do not touch.
- Changes the Meaning of This Date: She will take notice of your touch, will she ever. No matter how mild and innocent that touch, it will not go unnoticed (thus, you can keep it mild and innocent and still affect her).
If you've gauged the situation and it seems right, you might want to start with something as simple as a light tap on the side of her arm with the backs of your fingers to make a conversational point.
If later in the conversation, she touches you, you're golden. Doesn't mean you'll be in bed together in under 45 minutes; just means things are progressing upward, not downward.
What Flirting is Not
- Lines and Routines
- Canned Jokes
- Sexual Innuendos