There have been a number of topics that have come up in the comments that warrant an entire post to themselves, but don’t necessarily fit in the flow of where the blook is going. So, from time to time, I’ll post an independent article that would otherwise appear in the appendix of the book for further reference. This is the first article. We’ll get back to chapter 2.6 in the next post.

If you’re single and interested in getting married some day, you’d better become a pretty good flirt.

The problem is, being a flirt these days is generally regarded as a negative quality. People who are dubbed ‘flirts’ are labeled as such because they are either sleazy or easy.  Some of them will flirt with anything that has a pulse. Others will turn on the charm just to enjoy the attention. In the meantime, the rest of us work hard to avoid such a label, but are left wondering in the meantime how we are supposed to put ourselves out there. So we say to ourselves, “People will be attracted to me for who I am,” as we sit at home alone on another Friday night.

Flirting isn’t as bad as people think it is when it’s done in a healthy way.  So, I’d like to help redeem the term. Perhaps one day it won’t be a term that describes only the self-indulgent, but could describe someone who knows how to politely express attraction in a way that is both healthy and fun. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Men generally fall into the sleazy category when it comes to flirting (for good reason!). Men seem to think that these tactics will somehow be romantic to the women they are interested in: bad pick up lines, honking car horns, winking followed quickly by a clicking sound and the pointing of the fingers and saying, “Heyyyy,” ambiguous wall-posts on Facebook, revving car engines and peeling out, obnoxious humor, flexing muscles,  and losing bets on purpose (just to name a few).

Let’s face it. Men are desperate.

Women aren’t doing too much better. For whatever reason, women seem to think that a man will be turned on by a woman who is clingy, laughs at everything he says (even when he knows it wasn’t that funny), goes overboard with her makeup/clothes/shoes/earrings/glitter (?!)/hairstyle and so on,  pretends to know more about a subject than she really does, or who only knows how to flirt with her body.

Women aren’t doing themselves any favors.

So, how can it be done well?

How to Flirt with a Woman: (my wife helped me with this one)

  • Show her special attention. Special attention can be verbal (talking to her more than any of the other girls), physical (touching her shoulder and not touching anyone else’s), in proximity (sitting near or next to her repeatedly), or thoughtful (remembering something you discussed and following up with it later). There is a delicate balance that must be maintained with this aspect of flirting, though. If the guy does any one or all of these things too often or too close together it can backfire and cause the opposite effect. If the guy is too afraid as he tries these things, the woman is liable to not notice him at all. Like I said, it’s an art.
  • Don’t treat her like one of the guys. Sometimes women are less intimidating to men if they are ‘buddies’ or just like one of the guys. So, guys make the grave mistake of making crass jokes around the woman they like, punching her in the shoulder, burping out loud to get a laugh and all other sorts of disgusting things.
  • Treat her like a woman. The guy should give the woman a casual compliment every once in a while: “I like that dress,” or “your hair looks nice, did you get it done?” If the woman walks into a room, the man should stand to his feet to greet her. If a guy is attracted to a girl, he should basically treat her as if she were a celebrity or princess and as if he were some stable boy (perhaps by the name of Wesley?). Again, there is a delicate balance here.
  • Don’t flirt with too much too soon. Guys will often make the mistake of over-flirting because they are either impatient and afraid another guy will beat them to the girl or they feel like their chances are so infinitely small of being noticed at all by her that they need to flirt twice as much. Whatever the case, flirting can be deadly in large quantities. Make sure to be small, slow and consistent with your flirting, guys.
  • Help her whenever you can. If there is ever an opportunity to help her with anything, the guy should be eager to do it! In fact, the more the guy goes out of his way to help her, the more flirtatious it can be. The idea here is that if you have an excuse to be in her presence – take it!
  • Allow yourself to get caught looking at her. This is the most dangerous one of them all. On the one hand, this can be a very effective way of flirting. If it’s done wrong in even the smallest of ways it will most certainly ruin all of the guy’s chances to ask the girl on a date. So, if the guy is daring, he should make sure he gets caught looking at her eyes or face. Anywhere else, and he’s busted. He should also only get caught looking at her once or twice. Any more than a few times and the guy will likely be classified in the creeper category and be, once again, busted.
  • [Updated]: Don’t tease her. Guys should not continue to flirt with a girl over a long period of time. If the guy likes the girl enough to flirt with her over more than a few occasions, he ought to be prepared to ask her on a date shortly thereafter. Any guy that continues to simply flirt will find himself sucked into the netherworld of becoming a back-door-boy. Guys should not strike a match if they have no intention of starting a fire.  (Thanks, Jacob, for reminding me about this.)

How to Flirt with a Man:

  • Show him special attention. This one is exactly the same for men as it is for women. The woman should put herself in the presence of a man as much as possible without making it obvious that she is doing so. Just like a man flirting with a woman, it is a delicate balance and needs to be handled carefully.
  • Flirt with more than just your physical appearance. Guys are certainly much more visually stimulated than girls are, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t attracted to other aspects of a woman’s personality. In fact, guys are paying attention to how she acts in a variety of scenarios. The best thing a woman can do while in the presence of a man is to flirt with all of who she is (her physical appearance included) by being herself. Women who flirt with their bodies get exactly what they go fishing for: men who are only interested in the woman’s body.
    • For example: If you are really good at hospitality, make sure a guy gets to see you in your element, enjoying making people feel at home and loved. If you are athletic, make sure he sees you playing the sport you love. If you enjoy being active in helping others, be sure he has the chance to observe you simply being yourself in areas you are comfortable in. Chances are you will not only catch his attention, but also inspire him as well.
    • Flirting with one’s character requires the woman to be secure in who she is to begin with. If a man notices that the woman is at all pretending to be something she is not just to get his attention – she’s busted.
  • Flirt with him as a response to his initiation – don’t  coax him into flirting.  When a woman initiates the flirting, it can often communicate, “Hey, I’m an easy victory for you. No risks here. I’ll say yes.” The man can easily see that she’s desperate. He’s left with two choices: do I take advantage of her because I know I can get what I want or do I ignore this pitiful woman’s begging for attention? Either way the woman loses. The easier the woman is to win over, the more quickly the man will become disinterested. A woman certainly wants to communicate to a man that she is interested, but that communication must come after he has initiated with her – not before. Even though some guys don’t know it yet, they really do want to fight for the women they are attracted to.
  • Play hard-to-get. This is the most difficult part of flirting for women. Some will over-do it and push guys away too strongly. Others will be afraid of pushing them away and be too quick to respond to a man’s initiation. Playing hard-to-get means the woman is giving the man the green light, but making the road to her house a steep and uphill climb. The woman should respond to a man’s flirting with some flirting of her own, but it should not be nearly as strong as the man’s – nor should it communicate that her heart will be easily won over. Instead it should communicate, “Okay, buddy, I see you. If you want access to my heart, you’re going to have to show me that you’re not a slap. You’re going to have to show me that I’m worth your best effort.” When women do this well, it scares off the boys and it emboldens the men. The kind of men women are looking for actually respond positively to the challenge.

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Alright, everyone. A post like this one needs some feedback. Do you have anything to add? What questions would you ask the opposite gender about flirting?

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