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How to Flirt

Giancarlo Diotaiuti, Photographer

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It’s a dilemma that never seems to go away: you like someone, but you don’t know how to let them know. You could tell them straight up, but that seems a little risky. You could drop some hints, but you don’t know if they’ll pick up on them. No matter what path you choose to take, you might need some help along the way. Here you’ll find a few tips on one of life’s most valuable skills: flirting.

Of course, there’s no universally perfect way to flirt. Each person is different, and so the way to get to everyone’s heart is bound to be a little different. Plus, not every tip here will apply to every single person’s personality. So here’s your first tip: figure yourself out first. Consider not only what you want but how you want to do it. Are you looking for a committed partner? A friend with benefits? How much do you like this person? What are your intentions? Long story short: before you even consider attempting to flirt with someone, be aware of what your feelings are towards them and what you’re getting yourself into. It might be weird, but it’ll make the whole experience smoother in the long run.

Next tip: awkward works, if you’re willing to roll with it. The key here is that every detail doesn’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to have a perfect love-at-first-sight moment for things to work out. Even if you stumble over your words and you forget what your name is, that isn’t an immediate turn-off for most people. A lot of the time, the person you’re attempting to woo will be pretty flattered that their presence makes you so nervous, so it works. But there’s a fine line between having an awkward encounter that makes you laugh and an awkward encounter that makes you uncomfortable. If you make a mistake when you’re attempting to flirt with someone and you just shut down because you’re embarrassed, it’s pretty unlikely that that will go anywhere. However you can make it happen, just make sure that you’re willing to laugh at yourself and roll with any awkward things that come up.

Signs are key. Dropping hints that you’re interested in someone is the best way to let people know that you’re interested in them because it makes them curious about you without necessarily getting the awkward “I’m in love with you” right at the beginning of everything. Dr. Monica Moore, a psychologist at Webster University in St. Louis, has stated that it’s less about physical attractiveness than it is about signaling your availability and your confidence. Just signaling your interest in someone gets you halfway there, Moore said. Be obvious, but not too obvious. If you’re overbearing, you’ll probably just end up driving the other person away. It might be really hard to find the right balance, but that’s probably just something you’ll have to find out through trial and error. The little things count! According to professor of psychology Pamela Regan, “the available evidence suggests that men and women around the world use many of the same nonverbal behaviors to communicate romantic interest…. Smiling and eye contact does appear to be universal methods used by men and women to convey romantic interest.” Make sure to remember the small details, and you’ll be golden.

Take them on a date. Take them on a date. Take them on a date. It doesn’t matter who you are. Don’t wait for the other person to ask you. If you want to show someone you’re interested in them, asking them is a great idea because it (a) shows that you thought about them long enough to consider asking them out and (b) gives you time to spend with them to get to know one another. Make the date fun and spontaneous, but be sure to stay within both of your comfort zones. Don’t plan an activity that would be dangerous or undesirable. And remember: a good first date can often lead to a good second one.             At the end of the day: be yourself. That’s really what it all comes down to. As uncomfortable as you might be with this, sometimes just opening up to someone is the most attractive thing you can do. Even if you don’t expose all your deepest secrets to the person you’re attempting to flirt with, simply being yourself will give the person a good idea what to expect when they’re around you. If your flirtation style is really straightforward but you’re normally really reserved, the person will probably get really confused about the mixed signals. So make sure the person that your crush falls in love with is really you.

Again, there are no flawless answers when it comes to flirting. It’s really hard to generalize when it comes to things like this because everyone is so different. No matter what happens, just remember that it’ll all work out. This humble journalist has just one more thing to say to you in all your flirtatious endeavors: good luck.

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How to Flirt