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Flirting Without Frightening

Written By Alyssa D.
Image By shawnbot
Tags Flirting,

Intensity can be a good thing. It's good to be intense in the gym, at work, or during a competitive game with your friends. But sometimes a gentler touch is more appropriate. If you fear that you may come across as a bit heavy-handed or creepy when flirting with the ladies, or that your flirting may have even become borderline frightening, read on for some guidelines to moderate the expression of your affections.

Eye Contact
Maintaining eye contact is good and necessary to compliment any conversation. However, if you tend too much in one direction (e.g., too much eye contact or too little), then you might come across as frightening when you are trying to flirt. She shouldn't feel like she is in the middle of a staring show down or like she is on stage, her every move being accounted for, but she should also not feel like she is alone, talking to herself. Eye contact tells her 'I'm here with you,' and 'I'm listening to and understanding what you're saying.' Things that go well with eye contact: Blinking, nodding your head, smiling, laughing, etc. And remember, notably: Eye contact should be maintained with her eyes.

Physical Contact
She's beautiful: her hair looks nice, her clothing fits her perfectly, and she smells great! You've got her in conversation now, and her cashmere sweater looks so inviting-it's like a kitty cat! She probably wouldn't mind, you consider, if you reached out and sampled her touch-worthy feline-like sweater with a quick caress. You could execute said caress, you further consider, with a nearly imperceptible grazing of her hip. But you hear a little voice, a little, tiny voice that seems to be screaming: "STOP!" Listen to this voice; it is the Voice of Reason, the one that is preventing you from committing a frightening flirting faux-paus. Namely, too much touching. Generally speaking, if you are simply engaged in flirting, do not take it to the fondling stage without her consent. Touching should be kept to a minimum and only if it is natural, not planned, and only if it is local to places outside of areas that her bathing suit-a full bathing suit, not a bikini-would cover.

So you like her, and you may even suspect that she likes you back. In fact, you have exchanged email addresses. In fact, you have taken it upon yourself to email her 4 times a day to clarify if your feelings are mutual. But the reality is that, in fact, you may be frightening her. If you have exchanged email addresses, make sure that the electronic flirting is mutual and not just one-sided, and then consider the following guidelines for future emailing activities: Only email her once a day (even if she emails you more than once, just control yourself); if you receive more than one email from her, then you have a reason to call her to follow up the email; finally, make sure that your email could not be misinterpreted if another tone were superimposed over the writing. That is, not everyone reads an email with your sarcasm, humor, point-of-view, what have you; so verify that your email is more or less tone-proof, and then, and only then, click 'send.'

With rampant cell phone use and text messaging capabilities, we now have new and exciting options for flirting vehicles. You can now reach her whenever you would like just to say hi, compliment her, or to say 'I miss you.' If, however, you are a compulsive texter, this habit might have to be tempered in order to modify your flirting style from over-the-top to just enough. As with emailing, consider that the tone that you intend in a text is not necessarily what she reads. Thus, 'What are you doing?' might not be read as 'Hey, I'm bored, what're you up to?'; instead, she might interpret your text as 'I can see what you're doing; I am outside of your apartment complex, watching you bathe.' Ensure that your texts are absolutely tone-proof before sending a message. And, again, as with email, limit yourself to texting only once in a while and only after she initiates some texting as well. If texting is one-sided, this habit might cross over from the comfort zone into borderline frightening.

Phone calls
The most important rule of thumb regarding phone calls is that, unless someone is injured or in dire straits, never leave more than one message and never call more than once. If you are not familiar with the old adage 'A word to the wise is sufficient', familiarize yourself. If she wants to call you back, she will. Leaving 10 messages won't make her call you back any quicker; rather, this would have the opposite effect. Calling too often reeks of desperation, and nothing can make her run quicker than a guy with nothing better to do than fill her voice mailbox with nonsense. Again: No more than one message or phone call. Ever.

Generally speaking, if you can't picture the conversation that you are having in a black and white movie, save the subject for future use (when you know her a little better) or for the garbage (if the subject is just too much). Political or personal subjects should be avoided unless she broaches the subject. Similarly, overly sexual conversation is almost always off-putting, no matter how funny/clever/silly you think that you are being. Sometimes when she plays with her hair, this is a good thing, and it can mean that she's into you; however, sometimes hair-playing or other fidgeting is a sign that she's nervous and the conversation isn't a great one. Guidelines to live by: Follow her lead. If she brings up something touchy, it might be that she just wants you to listen to her opinion; again, follow her lead on this, too.

Her shirt looks amazing. It's just a plain white, v-neck t-shirt with a low neckline, but it looks perfect. So you tell her. Then, a little later, it occurs to you that the shirt looks just as perfect as it did only moments before. No, it looks better. You would like to share this with her, but, again, there's that little voice, urging you to 'STOP!' Please listen. Compliments should only be offered sparingly. One good, well-thought-out compliment is superior to 10 glib, spur-of-the-moment compliments. Thus, 'You look great with your hair up; it really emphasizes your high cheekbones' is far superior to 'You're hot! You're hot! You're hot!' etc. And, of course, (and especially early on), compliments should focus on areas of her body outside of the bathing suit region so that you don't frighten her off with your audacity/overt sexuality.

People can smell desperation from a mile away. And, actually, girls can smell desperation from 1,000 miles away. And, just as with texting, emailing, and phone calls, going overboard on dates, in particular a first date, can have the same fright-inspiring effect. Planning ahead is definitely a good thing-it shows thoughtfulness, consideration, foresight, care, etc. But if you have everything planned down to the last detail-having done research to determine her favorite color-and you are planning to spend a ton of money on your first date, you might want to back down just a tad. Keep things simple and traditional. The main thing that should be great on a date is the conversation and the company that she is keeping. Too much detail can be overwhelming, and if the date is too structured, it won't evolve naturally. Guideline for dating: First dates should be simple; second or third dates can be elaborate (if need be).

As with most other areas of one's life, when it comes to flirting, it is best managed with moderation. In most circumstances, in fact, the milder the touch, the better. If you have a message to communicate, it is always easiest to get the message across without any extremes, e.g., shouting or whispering. Just say something as mildly and as calmly as possible, in both actions and words-that is the best way to speak loudly and clearly when it comes to flirting.

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