To learn more about the intricacies of flirting we turned to Dana B. Myers, a relationship expert, author of The Official Booty Parlor Mojo Makeover: Four Weeks to a Sexier You (Harper Perennial, 2011) and founder of Booty Parlor, a line of sexy lifestyle products. She shares her insights into the four most common types of flirting and how to make each style work for you. No matter your favoured flirting style, Myers recommends practising. "Practise your flirting moves in a mirror and on a friend to see what feels natural, and then try them out for real," she says.
1. Bold and brash
Being bold and brash isn't for the faint of heart -- it's for those who know what they want and know how to get it. If you're looking for something short-term, this is the flirting technique for you. Myers stresses that this is not the way to let someone know you're interested in commitment; rather it lets him know you're looking for frivolous fun.
"If you're feeling frisky, lay on the physical flirting," she says. Bold, physical flirting means acting in a way where your intentions are overt. Touch his arms, chest and shoulders as you talk, and lean in close whenever he says something interesting. "He'll be sure to get the message," Myers says.
2. Playful and teasing
This form of flirting is less obvious, but it still manages to get the point across in a way that works for women who aren't comfortable being too forward. Myers suggests being playful and teasing by whispering something in your target's ear, such as "I bet I can beat you at a game of darts. Let's play." Then, take him by the hand and lead him right to the dartboard.
"This approach is fun and fresh, and immediately gives you the opportunity to chat and check out the chemistry," she explains. "It shows the person you're flirting with that you're friendly, social, forward and a little competitive, but in a non-threatening way." Doing something active, whether it's darts or a game of pool, also makes it easier to get to know someone since the activity removes some of the conversational pressure.
Page 1 of 2 -- Learn the advantages of being direct and upfront when it comes to flirting on page 2
3. Coy and quiet
Of all the flirting styles, Myers says this one ranks the lowest. "Flirting is about giving and getting positive energy, so if you're too shy and quiet you can't be an active, engaging participant in that exchange," she explains. With this type of flirting you risk being bypassed by someone you think you would like to get to know or coming across as aloof -- neither of which will net positive results.
"Even if you're naturally shy, work at mustering up some confidence and choosing subtle flirting techniques that still work, like adding a flirtatious, coy glance to the side as you're speaking," says Myers.
Forget the cheesy pickup lines and opt for honest, upfront flirting. The direct approach is the simplest and most clear. To make it work, Myers advises choosing some kind of outside topic, person or object to discuss instead of the typical small talk like the weather or what he does for a living.
"Those types of questions tend to bore people and make it hard to really get to know someone," she says. Bring up the new art exhibit in town, ask him for his opinion of the band that just got off the stage or find out what he's reading or where he's travelled. "Out of all of the flirting styles, being direct takes the cake. It's fresh, honest and engaging, which also makes it sexy and smart."
Flirting might seem like something you left behind in high school or university, but it remains an important tool for meeting new people -- and especially for making connections with people you have a romantic interest in.
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