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Valentine’s Day may bring a negative awareness to singles, but International Flirting Week deters those negative feelings to jump start an ongoing positive streak of flirting. Robin Gorman Newman, The Love Coach and creator of International Flirting Week, gives the ins and outs of successful flirting, to help you meet your mensch—a decent, responsible person—and improve your social life.
Newman’s definition of flirting is simply capturing someone’s eye by glancing and looking back at them. For those experiencing anxiety about flirting, it only takes three glances to get someone’s attention. Newman says flirting should be “fun and playful, and innocent,” not to mention that it raises your endorphins. “It’s a feel good experience to the person flirting and the recipient,” she says.
While some people are natural flirts, without intent, and do it to feel good, others do it to keep the excitement within a relationship, or to network. When you are in a relationship it is important to flirt with your significant other “to remind them that you are still attracted to them and thinking of them romantically” she advises. While both have significance, Newman shares the difference between flirting with or without intent.
It all depends on your expectations, Newman says. Those who flirt naturally are not on a mission, unlike those who are flirting to get ahead at their job, or to network. Newman says that in this case, you want to do it for pure reasons. “If there’s a high level of expectations, that’s not a positive way to put flirting to the test,” she says. “It’s too premeditated.” A person should proceed with caution because you may not know, for example, your company’s policies on dating.
Newman informs that yes, flirting is meant to be playful and fun, but there is a fine line between flirting and sexual harassment. “There are people who don’t want to take ‘no’ for an answer,” she says. Some people may use flirting inappropriately, to get into someone else’s personal space, or the person may become too touchy-feely, which can become problematic. Approaches can be misinterpreted, so respect the other person she says. It’s also important to be astute when flirting and be akin to the other person’s body language. “Be aware if they don’t look like they want to be flirted with,” she says.
Another important aspect in flirting is location. The venue affects how you come across and whether or not the setting is appropriate. If you’re in a bar or a club, that is an appropriate setting for flirting, Newman enlightens. However, if you’re busy hanging out, but you just came for a girl’s night out, that may not be the appropriate situation, she adds. A group setting may come across as intimidating. “Be on the same page,” she said. “If it’s not the right place, the right attitude, or time, then it’s not going to work out and get that message.”
Newman wants potential flirters to keep in mind that some people won’t take “no” for an answer., Nevertheless, be prepared for rejection, in some instances, and move on. “If you pick up on signals and vibes that are not reciprocated, then move on,” she says.
As the old saying goes, “Practice makes perfect,” and surprisingly relevant in this case. The more you flirt, the better you become, Newman assures. Using props can potentially boost your flirting. “Props can be anything from walking a cute dog or if you’re at the gym, wearing a tee or a sweatshirt that captures their eye with your school logo on it or a vacation [spot],” Newman says. However, for a dressier event, wear a scarf, or for males, wear a tie, she adds.
Becoming involved in community events, can further help put flirts at more of an advantage. Joining an organization or volunteer work, gives you the chance to see people’s faces more than once. If you are not connecting the first time, then you have the opportunity the next time. “Flirting is easier if you put yourself in an environment where you are pursuing an activity with continuity.” You will already have a leg up on connecting with someone if your interests are the same. Newman adds that unlike for sports, you do not have to think of one-liners because you are talking about something you are both doing.
Since the electronic age, flirting has evolved and changed for the better, (or worse?). Newman says that it has provided singles the ability to connect via e-mail and text message. “People feel freer in writing,” she says. “Yet, it can be deceiving.” Because flirting over text message or e-mail lacks personal, face-to-face interaction, it can be difficult to know whether someone is flirting or not, and you can get a false sense that you’re involved with someone prematurely. Newman reassures us that less is more.
Just because the new digital age has made flirting easier, Newman prompts not to overdo it. You can meet on the Web, but it’s not for everyone. She says it depends on your comfort level, but always think safely and smartly. “Meet in a public place, drive yourself home and don’t give out personal information right away,” she warns. “Proceed with caution, trust your gut and take note of that.”
Robin Gorman Newman, The Love Coach, author, How to Marry a Mensch, is a popular figure on the singles scene. She has lectured extensively as a relationship expert, hosted singles theater nights, and appeared in films and on television and radio worldwide. She has been seen on CNN and The Today Show and has been featured in many newspapers and magazines. Robin is the founder of www.lovecoach.com. While following her own advice, she met and married her own mensch, and they have a 9-year-old son. She is also the creator of International Flirting Week, February 13 – 19, 2013.
Image Courtesy : Chris Sgaraglino