I know, flirting has a bad connotation. I’m not talking about being a tease. I’m not talking about being that girl who is making herself so obvious—so sadly desperate–at the party and/or Bible study. I’m not talking about that guy who is the first to meet any and every women who are new to that Bible study. I’m not talking about playing the room so you can grab as much attention as you can so you feel better about yourself. I’m talking about flirting which is giving someone some clues to ask you out.
Because, listen up people, those cute others need those clues!
Some women and some guys need to give clues to those they are interested in. There is risk enough to do the brave thing and ask out that intriguing person who has your eye. It doesn’t matter who you are. There is risk. You can ease that risk just a little bit by giving some clues to that person that it would be okay to ask you out. Or to even talk to you to see if he/she may want to ask you out at some time in the future. That is flirting.
I’ve had this conversation too often with my grown teen men (who are great matches by the way). “Is it too much to ask that a girl return a friendly “hi” with a smile? Is it too much to ask that if she likes a guy and might be interested that she initiate the conversation and maybe act like she kinda sorta might want to get to know me better? Is it too much to ask that she act nicely and cordially to a man who seems to like her?
Women, is this a possibility?
Men, same goes to you. Do not be too overt about this (hint: see next week’s blog) but can you give a girl a clue or two?
Flirting is wisely giving clues.
Why is this okay? Because it has been scientifically proven to work.
Dr. Monica Moore, a psychologist at Webster University in St. Louis, has conducted research on the flirting techniques used in singles bars, shopping malls, and places young people go to meet each other. She concluded that it’s not the most physically appealing people who get approached, but the ones who signal their availability and confidence through basic flirting techniques like eye contact and smiles. Just signaling your interest in someone gets you halfway there, whether you’re a man or a woman. Source.
Did you catch that? Science has found that basic flirting helps people approach you over those drop-dead gorgeous people you are comparing yourself to.
I know, science is not reason enough to practice something as daring as flirting—and risking the wrath of some uptight Christians. Why else is flirting okay?
Because flirting is a social skill with the end goal of strengthening a relationship. You don’t believe me? Perhaps because you were taught that flirting does not guard your heart or someone other Christian protectionism cliché. Vulnerability is a part of dating. It is. Be brave. Be wise. Especially in how you use this social skill because it can be a good thing.
So here are some tips to help you build this social skill. Take notice to how many of these tips really are social skills.
- Smile. Not at the sky or the floor. Smile at that one who caught your attention. And just maybe he/she will smile back at you. This may or may not mean that you will be asked out by that someone. It does mean that someone saw you as nice and may approach you.
- Make good eye contact. Yes, look right into the eyes. It shows interest. It shows respect. It shows that you have confidence—and confidence is attractive.
- Show confidence. Confidence has a magnetizing effect not just on the someone you may be interested in but to everyone.
- Use your good posture. Because good posture increases confidence—including your confidence.
- Listen well and engage in meaningful conversation. You may start with small talk. Listen well during that small talk, which may give you some clues as to who this person is. Then maybe you can transition to some sort of deeper conversation than weather and sports. Then you will learn even more about this possibly very interesting person. Listening well is key to building a conversation. If you are lucky enough to get to have a conversation with this interesting person, build this conversation. Note: But if this conversation builds into the other telling you a terrible story about his/her ex, run. Run now. Not after the first coffee date. Now.
- Fill an awkward silence by asking the other a good question. Can’t think of one? Ask them about something they’re wearing or something in your environment like a painting on the wall or the music that’s playing. Note: Many people like talking about themselves and being heard.
- Notice everyone’s awkwardness with gentleness. You may do something awkward. The other may do something awkward. It’s all awkward—and vulnerable.
- Good humor. Did you know that humor is a sign of intelligence? Google it. I can’t tell a joke in any form. I’m unfunny that way. But I am funny when I preach and was known to be cute and funny back in the day. John often says I’m not funny as he laughs out loud with me—or is it at me? The point is good humor is not joke telling. It is being clever and funny—which shows intelligence.
- All of your behaviors should be towards treating people in a respectful and God-honoring way. This includes your flirting.
- Be your real personality always. Bad flirting can make you act differently than your real personality–until you don’t know how to be real anymore. This is not a good end game ever.
- At any point do not get carried away. And don’t over-think everything.
- Do not be a liar or a faker.
- Remember this: Flirting should not be the basis for love. Flirting is a risky thing to place your hopes in. If this is true for you, then you should be asking yourself how desperate are you appearing? These two go hand-in-hand.
- If you don’t know how to flirt, you likely don’t know how to make small talk, you’re probably not very funny, and/or you lack confidence. You need to then work on your social skills.
Another helpful read: Do You Want to be More Than That Nice Guy?