Read these 9 Flirting Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Relationship tips and hundreds of other topics.
Flirting isn't obvious. If you're up-front about your desire to date or have sex with someone, you're not flirting. In a flirtatious interaction, the excitement comes from the hint at a possibility.
For many people, the thrill of flirting is simply receiving attention. To get that attention, you have to give it. Use nonverbal signals -- eye contact, standing just a little closer than normal, facing the person when he or she is speaking. There's no one magic pick-up line. Rather, it's up to you to figure out what kind of conversation the other person might enjoy. "Wow, I like your shirt" is perfectly OK in the right context, and much better than a line that sounds rehearsed.
Next, wait for a response before sending the next signal. If the person backs away, frowns, folds arms or starts flirting with someone else, don't make things worse by following him/her around. You've got your answer.
Flirting can be a great way to figure out whether you should ask someone out. If one or both of you is married and flirting, keep things strictly G-rated. Words and looks are probably OK; touching is not. If you feel like you can't help yourself, then you're in too deep and need to spend less time with this person.
Can you flirt with your own husband or wife? Yes -- in fact, you probably should!
Flirting is a way of noticing someone, of conveying the fact that you find that person interesting and attractive. When you've been together for a while, it's easy to take one another for granted and fail to send those signals. Flirting with your spouse is a kind of insurance against relationship problems like boredom and resentment.
Ideas for flirting with your spouse:
-- Let him catch you doing a household chore you know he hates.
-- At a party full of attractive people, scan the room, and let your eyes stop on her. Then don't look at anyone else.
-- Wear something you know he likes.
-- Look into her eyes when she's talking.
-- Tell him something you appreciate about him.
It's a common relationship problem -- a couple goes to a party, and one person has a delightful time talking and flirting, while the other seethes in the corner. The ride home is a familiar cycle of recriminations -- "you're overreacting!" "You're ignoring me!"
Many married people enjoy flirting at a party as a way of maintaining a connection to a side of themselves they gave up when they settled down.
If you're the flirtatious partner, remember to introduce your partner at social events, and make at least one appropriate gesture of couplehood -- putting your hand on a shoulder, for example -- early in the event. Try to include your partner in fun conversations or activities, and back off when the conversation gets risque.
If you're the non-flirting partner, don't indulge in "revenge flirting" -- you won't enjoy it and it won't get the response you want from your partner. Instead, introduce yourself to a few people who also seem to be on the sidelines, and see if you can have some fun at the event.
If flirting is a relationship problem -- or even if it isn't yet an issue -- it's a good idea to try together to set some ground rules. The important thing is to make these decisions together in consensus, as equal partners.
Some questions to consider: What does flirting mean to you? What needs are you looking to meet when you flirt, and are there ways to meet those needs inside the relationship?
Given that you can't isolate your partner from all members of the opposite sex, what behavior do you consider OK? What is unacceptable? What does your partner consider OK or unacceptable behavior for you?
Don't forget online flirting. Is it OK for your partner to have a profile on a social networking site? Is it OK for your partner to chat or e-mail with online acquaintances? What about meeting them in person?
For parties and other social events, choose a private signal for "you're going too far" and another for "I'd like to go home now."
One of the most common places for people to flirt is at work. There you are, surrounded by people with whom you have at least one thing in common, away from your partner, and probably bored or stressed at least some of the time.
Yet flirting at work can be a career-ending move, especially in the age of sexual harassment lawsuits.
-- Never, ever flirt with your boss or someone who reports to you.
-- Keep your flirting private, or confined to trusted people. Even those who aren't involved can claim that your behavior created a "hostile work environment."
-- Never, ever flirt with someone who has asked you to stop.
-- Don't flirt with the college-age interns. They may be cute, but they're there to learn, and your actions may hurt their future careers.
-- You're there to work, too. Don't flirt with someone who's obviously trying to get a job done, or when there's work piled up on your desk.
Flirting is a way of interacting in which the suggestion of attraction or sex is implied but not stated directly. "How are you today?" can be flirtatious depending on the way it's delivered.
If the participants are secure in their belief that nothing will come of it, it's possible to enjoy flirting as part of a harmless friendship.
The problem comes when one or both participants start to take it seriously. If you flirt with someone who's vulnerable, under stress, or impaired by alcohol or drugs, you run the risk that he or she will think you want something you don't. If you're the one whose judgment is a little off for any reason, you could imperil an otherwise solid relationship. If you're not sure it's safe, it's better to turn off the flirtatious talk.
Many people find friends can be members of the opposite sex without at all endangering their relationships. Yet it may be easy for a partner to get jealous.
Here's how to tell whether a friendship is a relationship problem. If your partner and the friend have a good time together, that's fine -- as long as they include you. If your partner is reluctant to invite the friend over, take you along on outings with the friend, or include you in their private jokes, then there may be a problem -- even if it's just an unacknowledge and never-acted-upon attraction.
A few tests to try:
-- Invite the friend for some one-on-one time without your partner present, doing something you both enjoy.
-- Suggest to your partner that the two of you fix the friend up with a new date.
You've seen someone you like. Maybe the woman in front of you in Starbucks is a knockout, or the new client rep from the printing company is smart and funny and flirtatious, or you spot a major hottie at the bar. It may seem like some people have no trouble striking up a conversation, but if you're shy, this first move can be a major one.
First, try to find out whether the person is single, and prefers your gender. A wedding ring is an obvious red flag, but you may catch references to "our" weekend or a restaurant "we" like. If you know people in common, you may be able to ask friends to play detective and find out if the other person is available.
Offer nonverbal signals -- looking the person in the eye, smiling, laughing. Watch for a reaction, and back off if the person's body language says "no." If you get encouraging signs, offer your phone number, or ask the other person to meet you for coffee. Don't go any further than this until you know for sure there isn't a jealous spouse or partner waiting in the wings.
Instead of dating or having exclusive relationships, many people (particularly younger ones) find it convenient to get their sexual needs met by hooking up with friends. Such "friends with benefits" relationships do not entitle either party to exclusivity or standard dating behaviors.
A "friends with benefits" relationship may be a convenient for the commitment-phobic, particularly if you're in a time of intense demands or rapid changes (such as college). At the same time, it requires both parties to know the difference between love and lust. If one or the other becomes emotionally invested in the relationship, it can easily destroy the friendship and the benefits.
The best way to enter into this relationship is to have a conversation in which you are very clear about what you want and what you're willing to offer. The most important this is that both parties agree on a level of involvement that will satisfy you both, and that honesty is apparent and expected.