Turn your spectacular flirtation failures into frequent successes with these tips on ditching creepiness, and turning it into charm.
There is no hard and fast rule for seduction. You could read all the guides in the world on the subject and still be left entirely in the dark, if you aren’t willing or able to administer a little common sense to the proceedings – and in the field of seduction, nowhere should common sense be put to better use than in observing the established boundaries.
The boundaries of flirtation
Essentially, in any area of human interaction, there are social boundaries that we all need to observe in order to maintain the interactional status quo. These could relate to physical and/or spatial awareness, or an awareness of the right level of conversation, or even whether conversation is appropriate at any given time.
As human beings, we rely upon a number of socio-cultural cues and props, and by that latter term I mean specific environments and situations that allow levels of interaction that aren’t usual. This reliance allows you to get the interactions right. Getting them wrong can catapult you in people’s perceptions from harmless gent to potential sociopath, in a matter of seconds.
Obviously, when flirting, the potential for such mistakes is far greater, as it does involve a certain degree of sexual expression, and even if executed in a highly subtle manner, can all go awry when the time just isn’t right for it.
How to be charming, not creepy, when flirting
The following ten pointers then hopefully highlight some of the more salient areas to take note of before endeavoring to flirt your way into a woman’s sphere of attention, and to help you avoid being brushed off as yet another opportunistic creep.
#1 The right time and place. Potentially, if the signs are right, you can attempt flirting anywhere or any time. However, there are usually occasions when it really is better just to desist. An extreme example of this would be at a funeral. Has anyone ever done this? I bet some creep out there somewhere has. But can you imagine anything less appropriate or creepier than trying to get someone’s telephone number, as the dearly departed lies in a coffin only yards away?
Less extreme, but a more common faux pas, is trying to strongly flirt with a woman, when there are no other people around. In this situation, she’s more likely to reach for a can of mace than her telephone number! Being a charmer rather than a creep has a lot to do with approaching a woman who wants to be approached in an environment and manner that is absolutely non-threatening. Get that wrong and the creep label is all yours for the taking.
#2 Getting the signals right. There’s a bit of an art to interpreting the signals given off by a woman to indicate whether she is open to a bit of flirting, and we’re not going to get it right every time. However, there a few tried and tested ways to establish approachability, and body language especially can be a powerful indicator of this.
Positive signals: Turning her body towards you. Turning her feet towards you. Maintaining prolonged eye contact. Looking at your mouth occasionally. Flicking her hair. Licking her lips.
Negative signals: Turning away from you. Avoiding any kind of eye contact. Playing nervously with her hair. Establishing a sensory barrier such as putting headphones or sunglasses on.
#3 Don’t make assumptions. Body language and speech are the most feasible indicators of whether flirting is a realistically non-creepy option or not. Entirely unfeasible is the way a woman dresses or what make up she uses.
Get this straight: on the whole, women dress for themselves, NOT for men. Wearing a short skirt or red lipstick is a fashion choice and no more than that. Assuming that a woman is up for a bit of hanky-panky on the basis of her dress sense alone puts you firmly in creepy territory – if not beyond.
#4 Eye contact. Specifically, the eye contact that you, the gentleman, establishes has to be of the right caliber and by this I am referring to duration. Eye contact is essentially a good thing. It shows confidence and strength of character, as well as purpose. However, locking eye contact without pause or break is more reminiscent of Jack the Ripper than Jack the Lad.
If the sole purpose of your evening is to be carried away screaming with your two most valuable possessions taking up new residence somewhere in the vicinity of your larynx, then do please carry on. Otherwise, you might want to tone things down a little, and turn the staring competition into a gently insistent glance or two. Far less creepy.
#5 Opening lines. On the whole, premeditated chat up lines don’t tend to work. The advice here is ditch whatever you have in mind, because anything prepared, previously executed or generally well known comes across as decidedly creepy and, moreover, is simply handing over an opportunity to the object of your intentions to shoot you down in flames. Best reply to a creepy opening line ever heard:
Creepy man: How do you like your eggs in the morning?
Woman: Preferably unfertilized. Now f*ck off!
#6 Be natural. This follows on from number five. Rehearsed moves, an adopted swagger, cheesy one-liners, etc., are all things that should be consigned solely to the 1970s. We live in a different world nowadays. People are far more aware than they used to be, and women generally just don’t put up with that kind of behavior any more. Be yourself, react naturally and honestly, and resist the urge to be anything that you are not. Adopted personas are obvious, juvenile and downright creepy.
#7 Keep content appropriate. If you do manage to get yourself into a conversation with the woman you have been eyeing up all evening, then you can congratulate yourself on getting this far. What you don’t want to do at this stage is then spoil it all by launching upon a series of unadulterated sexual innuendos, and creep her out with immediate and irreversible effect. Keep your conversation polite and any innuendos, subtle and infrequent.
#8 Don’t block or tackle. You’re not a linebacker, and even if you are, don’t act like one! Probably the creepiest thing a guy can do, falling short of actually following her home and setting up camp in the bushes opposite her bedroom window, is to use his body physically to impede her progress.
Whether this is throwing an arm across a doorway to stop her getting through while he chats her up, and this is used a lot by charmers in movies but a real no-go in real life, blocking her exit with the whole body or actually using physical force to hold her back is not just creepy, it’s practically assault. Avoid at all costs.
#9 Listen. Your ears are the best weapons you have in your flirting armory after your ability to interpret body language. Don’t exactly follow her lead, as that might look a bit weak-willed, but do listen carefully to what she has to say, not just the content, but the manner in which she delivers it.
Take your cues from her conversation to step it up a little, and go in with some slightly heavier flirting. Just remember not to go in too hard or too fast, and if she doesn’t seem keen to take the conversation to the next level, then take it down a notch for the meantime, and try again later. Failure to listen to the direction of the conversation can swiftly leave you stranded in creep territory.
#10 Move on. If, despite your best efforts, she still doesn’t seem interested, then move on. Persistence is a virtue of sorts, but being too persistent can swiftly appear somewhat stalker-esque, and lessen your chances not only with her, but also with any other women in the vicinity who’ve had the displeasure to witness your unwarranted display of creepiness. Leave it be, and move on to the next one. There are, after all, plenty more fish in the sea.
Remember that there is a fine line between flirting and sleazing. Follow the guide above to turn yourself into a flirting master and leave the creeps to their solo taxi rides back home.