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Flirting does not require you to bat your eyelashes and crack up at every joke the other person says, despite what some tv shows (*cough* The Bachelor *cough*) and cheesy romance movies would have you believe.
Tara Fields, PhD, author of “The Love Fix,” believes that flirting is a lot less complicated than people make it out to be. Fields clarifies that “it does not have to symbolize some kind of corny or dorky technique” in this context. Unless, of course, all you want is a one-night stand, in which case, she says, a few carefully positioned hair flips might be all that’s necessary to get the job done.
But if you’re flirting with someone in order to get to know them better, your goal shouldn’t be to win their favor; rather, it should be to let them recognize that you’re interested in them as a person. Saying to yourself, “I just want to let this person know that I’m fond,” is something that Fields recommends doing before going on your next virtual date or even just having a texting conversation with someone. According to the advice of the relationship specialist, putting your attention on that intention will help to relieve some of the stress caused by the situation. Remember, arousal is your goal, not stress. And I really hope that this will make it simpler for you to just be yourself.
It is perfectly normal to feel apprehensive about the idea of flirting even after some practice. When you are having a conversation with another person, so many thoughts can go through your head, ranging from “Am I cracking up too much?” to “Did they see the food in my teeth?” However, if you pay attention to the following eight pieces of advice from Fields, you won’t have to be concerned about the aforementioned issues. They will assist you in flirting with the necessary level of self-assurance.
Fields says, “Stay away from any of the tacky guidance that some so-called self-proclaimed dating consultants says you should do,” and he elaborates on this point by saying “keep clear from any of the cheesy advice.” Imagine leaning your head back and laughing uncontrollably whenever the other person says something entertaining or doing the bend and break. Instead, you should focus on being as genuine as possible and speaking in the same manner that you would normally have with a close friend. They will learn more about the real you if you let them in on this secret. And if the two of you just don’t get along, that’s perfectly fine. Fields explains that you and that person were simply not compatible in any way.
According to Fields, this method may appear straightforward, but it is actually one of the most critical. If you want to show someone that you are interested in both them and the conversation they bring to the table, a great way to do so is to look them directly in the eye. Having trouble figuring out what to do? “Just look at the person in a way that feels natural and organic,” Fields advises. “Not in some artificial goofy come hither way,” she clarifies. “Just look at the person.” Don’t give it too much thought.
If you are more of a numbers person, you can follow the 50/70 rule, which suggests that in a conversation you should maintain eye contact for 50 percent of the time while actually talking and 70 percent of the time while listening. This research was carried out in 2012 by the University of Michigan. If you are more of a numbers person, you can follow this rule. In the pauses that follow each of those times, you are free to either finish your drink or take a moment to look around the room. This equilibrium will show both confidence and interest in the subject.
If you happen to spill some wine on your shirt while out on a date, rather than wallowing in self-pity after you’ve cleaned it up, make an attempt to make light of the situation by saying something along the lines of “That’s what I get for trying to get dressed up for you.” Know that you do not need to worry about this person passing judgment on you because, in all honesty, at this point, “You don’t really know who this other person is, so why get anxious about it?” According to Fields. Additionally, there is a good possibility that they can be clumsy at times.
According to Fields, the act of giving someone a genuine compliment requires vulnerability on your part because it requires you to be honest about how you feel about the person’s appearance, personality, outfit, and so on. As a result, this can be a challenging task to complete. According to Fields, even if you feel a little anxious about telling them you love them when they scrunch up their nose when they are deep in thought, the likelihood is that they will appreciate the kind words and your authenticity even though you feel a little anxious about telling them.
According to Fields, one of the advantages of the proliferation of dating apps is that, in some ways, you can be more open virtually than you might be face-to-face when interacting with potential partners. During your virtual conversation, the other party will most likely catch a glimpse of your home on the screen, and you might catch a glimpse of their rescued dog walking around in the background. Take advantage of this fact to flirt with the other person and perhaps in the future to suggest that the two of you meet up in real life with your dogs.
This goes hand in hand with making use of your surroundings, and it doesn’t matter if you’re at a bar or getting to know each other over video chat; either way, this is important. Fields stresses the importance of making sure to take notes on certain aspects of the person and asking questions about them. If you’ve had a few conversations with someone and have noticed that they always wear the same necklace, you should inquire as to why it holds such significance for them. Or perhaps a distinctive painting on their wall drew your attention; if so, inquire about the backstory of the piece. This will demonstrate to them that you are interested in going beyond the surface level in terms of your relationship with them.
When you’ve known someone for a while, there will be more room in your interactions with them for you to inject some humor and lighten the mood. Fields recommends making as much of an effort as you can to do this. It is a foolproof method for determining the other person’s sense of humor and demonstrates how comfortable you and the other person have become with each other.
So, go ahead and make that joke about how their grays are coming in, but they still look wonderful, or make fun of the fact that you’re preparing the same boring bowl of pasta every evening when they call you. According to Fields, “if you’re looking for a relationship, what you want is somebody who’s going to love you for your authentic self,” and this is exactly what you should look for.
According to Fields, smiling is a sign of friendliness. It’s crazy how much of a difference it can make to someone you’re talking to if you just turn the corners of your mouth up slightly. The area of the brain that is responsible for processing sensory rewards was found to be stimulated when participants in a study published in 2003 in the journal Neuropsychologia were shown images of people smiling. When you smile at someone or when you see someone else smiling, the person actually feels special, as if they are doing something right, which can go a long way during an awkward first date (amiright?!).