By Nick Anstett and Kaitlyn Fowler
Elm Staff Writers
Nick says…Between first making eye contact and the bedroom is the limbo of sexual fueled small talk called flirting. The interesting thing about flirting is that it’s a conversation that has multiple purposes but also no purpose at all. It’s idle conversation that at the same time is meant to act as a way to “sell” yourself to the person you are interested in and at the same time try to get to know them better. It’s also confusing in that flirting can me entirely different things to different people. What may be intended as flirting may be misconstrued as simple friendly conversation or vice versa. In short, when it comes to flirting the whole things just a little confusing.
If you’ve been reading my advice over the past few issues, than you probably know the gist of what I’m going to say about how to handle flirting. Despite what you may hear from most other guys or from frat movies, direct sexually charged conversations with a girl or guy is not going to work in most case scenarios. If you have a history of fun sexual banter with the person on the other side of the conversation, by all means continue, but introducing this sort of dialogue early into meeting someone will be seen as flirting and will likely just paint you as a unappealing jerk in their eyes.
Use flirting as a way to get to know the other party as well as talk about yourself. Ask them about interests, activities at school, favorite bands, etc. Showing a genuine interest in the other party outside of physical attraction is key to successful flirting. Tell jokes. Make each other laugh. If you want to compliment them keep it simple and fun and should arise out of the conversation naturally. Don’t get too earnest and don’t get too intense.
Flirting is a confusing venture. Each person has their own style and their own modes to success. Don’t use my suggestions as a rule book, build on them, and tweak them. The most important thing about flirting is that’s about you and the other person involved and that’s it.
Kaitlyn says…When it comes to flirting, I’m not the most experienced person in the world. I could hold up a sign that says “I’m interested in you” and that would be more subtle than me flirting with someone I like. Although, I do know good flirting when I see it and I’m going to try to give you some tips on how to flirt well. Maybe they’ll help me too.
1. Eye contact is key. If you are talking to someone you like, look them in their beautiful eyes. If you won’t make eye contact with someone, it’s not hard to mistake that shyness for annoyance or you just generally disliking them. I am not saying that you should stare at them, but find that balance. We’ve all made normal eye contact before, it shouldn’t be hugely different.
2. Smile. So many times people try to avoid smiling when flirting, as if they think that by smiling they are giving away that they are interested in the person. Why that’s such a terrible thing I don’t know, since flirting is supposed to be your way of expressing that interest, but I digress. Smile at them, many people suffered through braces and retainers and whatnot so show off those pearly whites you’ve got. Again, if you never smile at someone, they will probably think you aren’t interested.
3. Be yourself. For some reason lots of people try to act differently around the people they like. Maybe they want to impress them or seem more mature or sexy, who knows. However, if the person you are flirting with likes you, it’s probably the you they have seen before, not this new flirty, overly-mature person you are trying to be now. If they don’t know you well and this flirting leads somewhere, you are kind of stuck for a while acting however caught their interest. Be yourself, you are unique and cool and different and people are going to appreciate that.
Whether you are flirting to start a relationship or just for the fun of it, remember to enjoy the moment. People so often get nervous about flirting “properly” that they don’t even have a good time flirting. There’s always a fun spark that plays between two people when they are flirting, so just enjoy the moment and go with the flow. Don’t read into every single blink, chances are they aren’t trying to let you know something in Morse code. Just enjoy that spark and connection, and be yourself. Whatever comes of it, at least you’ll have some fun.