February 2008

Are You Flirting with Me?

Author: Keith Kelson

If you really want to start a lively debate at your next cocktail party or any social gathering, just bring up the subject of flirting. Ask someone to demonstrate how to flirt with the opposite sex and you’ll get the standard “I don’t know exactly how to do it, but I know it when I see it” response from the men. They will then say that more women need to approach men.

Most of the women, on the other hand, will be shaking their heads.

Women will say that men just don’t get it. They’ll say that most men are totally clueless and don’t pick up on the subtle messages and signals that women send them. “You guys want us to hold up large flashing neon signs,” my friend Jackie says. “What’s wrong with you guys anyway? Those signs are heavy, and they make a girl look desperate.”

For some men, it can be quite a challenge to read the signals of a woman who might be flirting with them. Women, on average, send five times more body language cues, messages and gestures than men do in the same time period. Will Smith’s character in The Hitch correctly pointed out that 90 percent of communication is non-verbal. That means you, as a man, have to get familiar with a woman’s body language. If you want to meet women who aren’t going to hit you over the head with a large flashing neon sign, that is.

I know, I know. Some of you guys are saying that reading a woman’s body language is too much work. But if you think of flirting as work, you’re missing out. Flirting is supposed to be FUN. Think of it as a dance.

Never forget that, as a man, you’re job is to approach the woman. Her job is to accept or reject your advances. Sure it sounds harsh, but what are you going to do? Be that weird guy with the dead-end delivery job, a basement full of Star Wars action figures and no girlfriend? Fortune favors the bold, so cowboy up, dude.

Researchers point out that women have been sending virtually the same almost universal signals since the Stone Age with some slight variations. The ability to decipher a woman’s signals isn’t rocket science. With that being said, let’s get to work, shall we?

Look for these cues to tell if a lady is flirting with you or wants you to approach her:

1) She makes and holds eye contact with you, also known as the come hither look. You must understand that a woman will not get into a staring contest with you. Not if she’s sane, anyway. She will look at you, coyly and then(this is super important) look down. If she looks away to the left or right, she is not interested and you can and should move on.

2) She smiles when she looks at you. Usually this happens during the extended eye contact. She may also smile at you just before she looks down.

3) Her body language is relaxed and inviting. If her arms are crossed and she’s wearing a “Do Not Disturb” kind of look on her face, do not approach her. You can but don’t go to the jukebox and start playing Michael Bolton songs when she says thanks but no thanks.

4) If you’ve approached her, the two of you are having a decent time and she breaks the personal space barrier. There are two levels of touching—the playful touch and the gentle touch. The gentle touch says that she will be gentle with you and she wants you to be gentle with her. If she lightly touches your arm during the conversation, say after you’ve told a joke or made a witty comment or observation, take it as a sign of definite interest and consider it a gentle touch.

If she hits your arm playfully after you’ve done or said something kind of “naughty”, consider it a playful touch. She’s saying that she wants you to get closer to her and she’s wants you to be playful with her and have fun.

You should return the favor and touch her within a reasonable amount of time. If you don’t, the woman will think you’re just another clueless cat who’s too dense to properly play the dating game. Worse, she could believe that you’re afraid of her and women don’t usually like timid, scary men.

The four cues listed above are the basics. Consider them the opening act to a concert by The Stones or Bruce Springsteen.

Look for at least three of them to tell if a woman is indeed flirting with you. There are more advanced techinques that women use: Slowly stroking the rim of the glass her drink is in while talking to a man(my personal favorite); Crossing and uncrossing her legs; Eating food slowly with obvious great pleasure.

When you get right down to it, when women flirt with a man, subtle or obvious, she’s saying that she wants you to come closer and that she won’t hurt you. To enhance your dating experience learn them and use them to make friends or find that special someone.

Next month, how to flirt with women to get the best results. Stay tuned.

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