Listen up, guys and girls: Whether you’re in the single boat, happily coupled up or somewhere in between your love life can benefit by one simple act: flirting. And with Valentine’s Day just a few short weeks away, we could all use a boost in our love lives.
But for a lot of people flirting isn’t a simple feat at all. It can be a confusing, messy and downright scary thing to do. Rachel DeAlto, flirt and communications expert and author of Flirt Fearlessly: The A to Z Guide to Getting Your Flirt On, understands that.
“Flirting is about using your natural charisma, and everyone has it” she says “but people lose their confidence in different situations and sometimes they need to get it rebuilt a little bit.”
To help, DeAlto spoke with us about the ins-and-outs of flirting and shared pointers on flirting using body language and conversation, as well as tips on how long-term couples can keep the spark alive.
Flirting is all about fun, and to flirt effectively you need to convey that feeling. When you’re first getting to know someone, DeAlto suggests talking about “things that you’ve done [and] things you want to do in the future.” Doing so will help portray you as the fun, involved and lively person that you are.
For topics, she suggests to either bring up a great restaurant you just visited, a recent or upcoming travel experience you had, or an event you want to go to in the future. All three topics reveal your interests and invite other people to open up about their own preferences and likes as well.
On the other hand, she warns against any subject matter that is too serious. At the start of any relationship, keep the conversations light-hearted and fun. Heavier topics can kill anything you might have going on if the foundation isn’t there yet. So that recent life-changing revelation you had with your shrink is best left for a much later conversation. Much later…
The other big thing to be aware of is your body language. You’re sending signals whether you realize it or not, and those signals might not be the ones you want to send. If you’re interested in someone, lean in as he talks, continually smile, make eye contact and mirror his movements. If it seems like he’s interested in you as well, make physical contact by touching his forearm a few times.
Reversely you can read other people’s body language to tell if they’re into you. If she has her arms crossed across her chest, is leaned back or keeps looking away, it’s a sign for you to dial it back. But if she’s laughing it up and breaking those physical barriers, then you’re probably doing the right thing.
What about long-term couples? The flirting aspect of a relationship doesn’t end once the deal is sealed. Even if you’re married or have been with your significant other for a long time, you can still have fun flirting.
One piece of advice DeAlto gives is for couples to reminisce about their earlier days — go back to your first date-spot and re-enact the whole thing, or pull out old pictures that show you in a sexier time in your relationship.
Another thing that DeAlto recommends: sexting.
“When you’re in a relationship, sexting is awesome!” she says. “Especially if you’re not with each other all the time, you can [use it to] build up that excitement and anticipation.” So send a really hot text or a picture that will get the other person going for the next time you see each other.
Out-of-the-ordinary things like leaving post-it notes in his wallet or her purse with a sweet message is also a good idea. To really spice things up, she suggests booking a hotel room and sending your partner the room key along with a note to meet up at a specific time.
Regardless of where you are on the relationship spectrum, DeAlto says your goal should be to make the other person feel good. When you make someone else feel good, it makes you feel good and that feel-good fest is what flirting ultimately boils down to.
To learn more about Rachel DeAlto and get more flirting tips, visit her site here.