A flirting expert reveals: It's more than twirling your hair

Catherine Conelly

By Catherine Conelly

Love & Sex | Oct 10, 2012 11:30 AM

Single girl's guide
Flirting it more than twirling your hair

Flirting dos and don'ts

Flirting expert Rachel Dealto promises that "if you feel like your dating life is akin to climbing Mount Everest in your four-inch Manolos, you're not alone."

So, we had her clear up some flirty dos and don'ts for even the most shy of us. Here are Rachel's tips to get an A+ on your next encounter with the hottie at the grocery store.

SheKnows: What’s the easiest way to give a guy the “it's OK to approach me” sign?

The Flirt Expert: Eye contact and a smile are all it takes! Three to four seconds of eye contact, plus a smile and you are golden. Most guys like to hedge their bets of being shot down, and those nonverbal cues let him know the odds are in his favor. If he is interested, he will approach!

SheKnows: Once he approaches, (a) if you like him, how do you keep his interest? (b) If you’re not feeling it, how do you break off the convo without being rude?

The Flirt Expert:

a) Once the guy has approached, ask him questions about himself, laugh at his jokes, smile and continue making eye contact. Flirting is all about making someone else feel good with attention, genuine compliments and just the right amount of touch.

Guys like and need to know you're interested.

b) If you aren't feeling it, break away by telling him "It's been nice chatting with you, but I need to get back to my friends" or "It was great meeting you, but I have to run!" Never feel like you have to give out your number.

SheKnows: What are some flirting no-nos?

The Flirt Expert: Overflirting! Flirting is a bit of a cat and mouse game. Give a little, and see what comes back at you before you give any more. Guys like (and need) to know you are interested, but they also love the chase.

SheKnows: What are some common mistakes girls make when it comes striking up a conversation?

First conversation questions you should always avoid:

  • Are you looking for a relationship?
  • Why are you single?
  • Do you want kids?
  • What kind of car do you drive?
  • How much do you make?

The Flirt Expert: The most common mistake I see? Not striking up a conversation at all! The fact of the matter is it can be completely nerve-wracking to start up a conversation or even let someone know you are interested. It feels vulnerable!

The biggest mistake women make during conversation is scaring the guy off by getting too personal too fast. A first conversation needs to be light.

Talk about the environment, a trip you went on, a concert you went to. Ask him about his favorite restaurant in the area, where he grew up, what his favorite sports team is. Anything but "How are you single? What's wrong with you?"

SheKnows: Are there different flirting tactics for different settings? (e.g. out at the bar vs. in a museum)

The Flirting Expert: Yes and no. There are certain tactics that are universal - smile, eye contact, conversation, body language and touch. The approach and level of flirtation is completely different depending on the setting.

In bars, it is typically easier to start conversations and flirt, because 1) alcohol is a social lubricant and 2) people are normally at bars because they are looking to socialize. Museums, grocery stores and coffee shops are a different animal. There is a different purpose for people to be there, and it means that your flirting needs to be slightly more covert.

SheKnows: For the shy girls, any tips for overcoming their fear of making the first flirt move?

When it comes down to it, flirting is a mindset.

The Flirt Expert: Grab a wing woman! The best asset for any shy girl is a partner in crime. Take along your flirtiest single friend to help you start conversations.

Also, fake it! Relax your nerves with a cocktail, just one or two. Pretend that you have all the confidence in the world, and go out there and practice making eye contact with a smile. Eventually your "fake" confidence will lead to real confidence.

SheKnows: Can flirting really be as simple as twirling your hair, touching his arm and talking in your sweet voice? Or is it much more complicated than we all like the think?

The Flirt Expert: When it comes down to it, flirting is a mindset. It is saying to yourself, "I like them! I want to make them feel good by being nice, complimenting and letting them know that I like them." You can twirl your hair, but if you are not projecting warmth or even looking at them in the eye, it doesn't count.

SheKnows: Is playing hard to get really effective? Or should we ward that off our list for good?

The Flirt Expert: Playing hard to get works in moderation. Never be so available to a guy that he takes you for granted. Flirting and dating is all about the give and take. Make him work for it and realize you are worth the effort, but reward him when he does.

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