A woman's guide to flirting

A woman's guide to flirting

Author: Canadian Living


A woman's guide to flirting

We've all been there before. You see a man whose dashing good looks make your heart beat faster. There's so much excitement wrapped up in the chance meeting of someone new and handsome strangers hold the powerful and seductive allure of possibility. But as so many women will tell you (and you may be one of these women yourself), approaching a stranger, starting up conversation and sending the message that you're, you know … interested, can be a task of Titanic proportions, especially if you have a shy, introverted personality.

Well ladies, it's time to mix things up! If you're ready to meet someone new, here's how. We checked in with Lou Paget, AASECT certified sex educator and bestselling author of The Great Lover Playbook, to find out just how to set the wheels in motion when it comes to landing your man.

Getting comfortable with the opposite sex
First things first: Paget suggests you hang around male friends and get to know male behaviour. "Then when you approach men, it will be more as a friend and not as an unknown foreign creature," she says.

The scenario
OK, so you've identified the guy who's piqued your interest. You'd love to chat but don't know where to start. Now what?

"First, you have to do your observation homework," says Paget. She says to check out who he's with; you don't want to make your move on a man who's already with someone. If there's a woman friend with him, Paget says, this makes your approach easy. There's no approach! "There's no need to invoke bad date karma by trespassing on someone's man," she cautions.

Next, she suggests watching him from a distance and observing who his eyes follow. Women or men? Observe whether he's engrossed in something (think: sitting in a café working on his laptop) and decide whether he's open to chatting or whether he doesn't want to be interrupted. You may want to hold your fire if he keeps watching the door, indicating that he's waiting for someone.

Page 1 of 2 – Find Paget's best flirty body language moves on page 2.Three flirting techniques
If the coast is clear and all systems are go, consider Paget's three body language tips for catching his eye:

1. The extended look of interest. "This two- to three-second look establishes eye contact. Then look down and away, being sure to curve your neck. Sometimes men miss this one, so you may need to repeat!"

Cross and uncross your legs. The movement will catch his attention and, Paget says, is particularly effective with tanned legs.

3. "Smile shyly when he looks at you, like you've been caught doing something slightly naughty. Distractedly play with a strand of your hair."

According to Paget, all it takes is a look to communicate your interest.

Things NOT to do
"Don't play tonsil hockey with your swizzle stick or orally stir your drink," says Paget. "Unless, of course, you wish to evoke a different reaction." And beware relying too heavily on liquid courage before you make your approach. "One drink is fine but two may give you a false sense of courage. And no one (man or woman) wants to be approached by a drunk."

Communicating different levels of interest
If your approach is blatant (i.e. sexually explicit), Paget says you're likely to get a like response. Sitting back, relaxing in a chair, drinking a non-alcoholic drink communicates that you're just interested in chatting more than downing two chocolate martinis. Accepting a high-octane drink after just finishing one? Paget says that sends the message that you're interested in hooking up.

Flirting at work: Do or don't?
So many of us are so busy, we spend most of our waking hours at work. So, is on-the-job flirting a strict no-no? Paget advises that you check your company's HR policy and then proceed with caution. "You don't want to be the next gossip item," she says. "To be safe, always have someone else around if you're out for lunch or a drink. Make one overture, then let him respond. Don't be pushy. It makes for uncomfortable and isolating work environments." And, she says, avoid the company event, beer-goggle hook-ups!

Good news if you're shy
If approaching a man still makes you shiver in your stilettos, you may be happy to know that men still like to be the initiators. "Most men like to know you find them appealing, but they often like to make the moves," says Paget. "They want to know they aren't going to get killed off with a withering look, so knowing the opening is there makes it easier for them."

Phew! So, a sweet and sexy smile should still do the trick!

Natalie Bahadur is the Senior Editor of and is a regular contributor to

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A woman's guide to flirting