Look, I don’t claim to be an expert on flirting. If you could be a fly on the wall during any one of my many humiliating semi-flirtatious experiences, you’d get a good laugh. However, I have picked up on a few things during my years of trying to impress guys by being cool, calm, sexy, fun, intelligent, and a bunch of other adjectives. I’ll dispense my terribly unqualified (but hopefully helpful) advice now.
- MAKE THE FIRST MOVE. This one is easier said than done… until you actually do it. Odds are that guy across the bar is just as afraid as you are to make the first move. Keep that in mind and confidently stroll over to the empty barstool next to him. Your boldness will be envied by any other ladies too scared to talk to the hunk you’re eyeing and appreciated by the guy himself. And, hey, if you’re still nervous, just picture him naked. That works, right?
- BE YOUR DAMN SELF. I know, I know—you hear this all the time, but it works! If you’re a cool, collected customer oozing confidence and sex appeal, that’s great. You should teach me your ways. If you’re not, don’t put on a facade. The person you’re talking to will likely see through the BS immediately. If he doesn’t, he’ll eventually realize the girl he fell in like with is just a character. I can promise you this: the person you actually are is so much more interesting and worthwhile than this imaginary woman you’ve created in your head.
- ASK QUESTIONS. If you’re a ball of nerves, put the ball in his court by asking about his life and interests. Don’t be a firing squad of questions—that’ll be exhausting for you and terrifying for him. Instead, ask about his hobbies. Find something relatable in his answer and contribute what you can to the conversation. Then, ask about his favorite childhood pet, his favorite movie, or his thoughts on Area 51—you catch my drift. People like to feel listened to and understood—and who doesn’t want to talk about aliens? It’s a win-win.
- KEEP EYE CONTACT BUT DON’T BE WEIRD ABOUT IT. Sometimes, when I’m especially nervous (or when I’m talking to a man so attractive it’s blinding), I catch myself looking everywhere except his eyes. Other times, I’m so intrigued by a person that I find myself staring into his eyes for a solid five minutes without blinking. Neither of these situations are ideal, believe me. However, eye contact can be a fun, easy tool in the flirting game. If I’ve learned anything from Tyra Banks (and I’ve learned a lot), it’s the power of smizing.
- TALK ABOUT SOMETHING YOU’RE PASSIONATE ABOUT. Everyone looks better when they’re talking about their passions. Their faces light up, their eyes get all wide and doe-like, and they can’t help but to have a big, stupid grin. Second of all, talking about your passion means you have a wealth of material at your disposal. If you’re anything like me, you could talk about your passion all night long without ever taking a moment to breathe. I wouldn’t recommend doing that, as breathing is very important and a conversation is a two-way street. However, if you’re not one to enjoy the silence, fill the air with your love of cheesy B-horror movies. By the end of the date, you’ll feel like old pals (who really want to kiss).
- USE YOUR NERVES TO YOUR ADVANTAGE. You’re a human, right? That’s what I thought. That means you get nervous. The last first date I went on, I was nothing but nerves. The first words out of the mouth of the guy I was meeting were, “Ugh, I’m really nervous.” It was adorable, relatable, and that guy is my boyfriend now. Be honest about your nervousness. Not only is it completely normal but your honesty will be endearing.
- LAUGH (BUT ONLY IF HE’S FUNNY). If he’s not funny, seriously, don’t laugh. Sure, you want to make him feel good about himself so he’s comfortable and thinks you’re cool but if you guys end up dating, he’s gonna tell that one joke over and over that you laughed so hard at on your first date. Ugh! On the other hand, laugh all you want at something he says that you happen to find hilarious. Don’t stifle your joy because you’re scared of coming on too strong. If he can’t handle your infamous snort-laugh, he doesn’t deserve you anyway.
- SEE THE SIGNS. It sucks, but he might not be into you. I mean, he’s definitely miss out, but c’est la vie. You’d be wasting your time by pulling out every trick in your book to change his mind. There are plenty of deserving guys who would LOVE to be the apple of your smize, okay? If it’s obvious that the dude you’re feeling isn’t feeling you, swallow your pride and move on to the next. There are plenty of fish in the sea and dudes in the dog park.
- KNOW YOUR WORTH. You’re a catch and the whole world knows it. Your badassery doesn’t diminish upon meeting some guy who may or may not have the body of one of those overtly sexual paintings of a Greek god. Sure, he’s great, but you are too. You don’t have time to sit and beat around the bush with this guy all night—you have stuff to do! The most attractive quality a person can have is confidence in who and what they are, so go for it. Tell him you’re interested. Give him your number. Go out and live your life the way you know and love. If he calls, great! If he doesn’t, even better—there’s more flirting to be done! Soon, you’ll be the one giving tips.