Best Flirting Gestures
(Most communication is nonverbal, you know?) Before you even think about walking over to introduce yourself, make sure you have these little bits of body language in mind – it will help you get your point across while giving you the clues you need to see how receptive your potential boyfriend or girlfriend is.
Smiles Are the Gatekeepers Over millions of years, humans have evolved with a set of basic methods for communicating using just facial expressions. Regardless of culture, there are a handful of gestures everyone understands – and a wide grin is the one used most for flirting. Think about it, what do you do to make someone feel at ease when you first meet them? The only way you could keep from smiling is to have a poor opinion of them – otherwise it's an uncontrollable reaction!
Grooming Movements This isn't so much a gesture for flirting, but a sign of concern for the sake of vanity. Both men and women, when they are attempting to impress someone who had caught their fancy, will work to make sure their appearance is as refined as possible. There are a series of “self touches” psychologists have described which reflect a sense of insecurity in any given moment, like a guy running a couple of fingers over his ears to put every last hair in place, for example.
Suggestive Eye Contact Everyone knows the eyes are the windows to the soul – the saying is so true people can't help but live it out! When you find someone interesting, you naturally lock in to demonstrate how captive he or she has you. Every couple in history, no matter how long their relationship lasted, said far more about the desire to get together by looking across a room at each other than their lips could have.
Aiming Yourself Yes, this is an odd choice of words, but it is rather instructive: when flirting, people naturally adopt a reflective posture. Let's say you are standing in a circle of five friends, with one of them being the new guy you met and can't seem to look away from. Even though you turn to pay attention to someone else in the circle, your shoulders and hips will remain “open” towards the possible mate. When he talks, you might even do a full turn!
This is predominantly an unconscious gesture but, if you are subtle, you might be able to send the signals you want. And, if you see someone doing the same to you, it's a very good omen.
Checking to See What Lands Once again, this is a bit less of a consciously-controlled mechanism for flirting, but it will help you to pick up on whether or not someone is after you. In very basic terms, when we find someone attractive, we really want to be liked. One of the ways we attempt to ensure we are is by looking at the person we're hot for – little glances to see what he or she laughs at, disproves of, etc. Believe it or not, our facial expressions quickly change to match. (This is a more sophisticated form of reflection mentioned earlier.)
Invasions of Personal Space Everyone has a set of boundaries we like to keep and, for some people, the physical distance is very important – they have a large “bubble” around them at any one time. When you are flirting, however, most people allow the space to shrink substantially, yet the moment the barrier is officially broken allows the relationship to take a new turn. Even gently resting your hand on someone's elbow as you invite them to the bar for another drink can help soften up someone's defenses.
Fighting for Position Have you ever watched a basketball game? Do you notice how opposing players attempt to push each other aside in the hopes of grabbing a missed shot? It might seem an ungainly metaphor for dating, but there is a similar jockeying that goes on in groups of people engaged in conversation. In the circle of five friends mentioned earlier in the point about reflective postures, chances are the people who are flirting will attempt to stand as close together as possible. It's one of those gestures that is somewhat subconscious, but a natural extension of our desire for someone.
Pointing Like a Bloodhoud When someone is interested in what another person has to say, he or she will naturally lean towards that individual. It is as though you are hot on the scent of your potential new mate, inching ever closer by tilting your body toward them. No, you won't take on the exaggerated posture of a hunting dog that's located a hiding rabbit, but it will be difficult for you to avoid sliding your head and shoulders forward to shrink the gap.
One Arm Begets Two Much like breaking the touch barrier, the side hug is a way to move physical intimacy along in the early stages of a relationship. For the sake of argument, let's say you've just had a sparkling conversation with the person who has caught your eye. It's too early to move in for the kiss or even a full embrace, but slipping your arm around the shoulder is a perfect gesture to flirt with before going your separate ways. Benign as it may seem, it will put ideas in his or her head, which is exactly what you want to have happen.
Getting the Joke – Even When It's Bad Everyone likes to think they are funny. Enjoying a hearty laugh with a lover is a key part to any long-term relationship – it takes a lot of work to build something that lasts, so you have to have a sense of humor. Before you really get to know each other, though, one of the things you will do while flirting is laugh at any joke the person you are attracted to makes. Naturally, you want to impress and disarm them, which makes a giggle or chuckle your ally (even if you have to fake a few).
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