Guest post by Debbie Anderson
One night in college at a late-night party, I was introduced to a man who said hi by touching my arm and looking directly into my eyes. It was unexpectedly intimate but somehow it worked, and I didn't come home until noon the next day.
A few nights later, a friend introduced me to another man in a bar who barely glanced my way, preferring to grunt a hello while not taking his eyes off my friend. Obviously he was interested in my girlfriend, but I remember thinking that if I were her, I'd take his rudeness as a red flag.
It all got me thinking about how men flirt. I've observed a lot of male flirting and been on the receiving end, and I can confidently tell you that only a handful of men got it right. Here's my two cents on what worked and what didn't:
1) If we catch your eye, smile at us (don't leer). A sincere smile does it every time; an up and down glance over our entire body is gross (at first; once you have us, an appreciative, lustful look works wonders).
2) Look at us when we talk and show you're really listening (don't interrupt, nod incessantly, or fidget). Body language tells us a lot about you.
3) Don't be a jerk to our friends, waitresses, bus boys, or receptionists. How you act with someone you're not interested in impressing shows us your true character.
4) Don't over compliment, but when you do something nice, make it authentic. Over complimenting is creepy.
5) Do not look at other women walking by. We don't expect you to never look at hot women, but if you're talking to us, TALK TO US. Otherwise leave us alone and go talk to the woman you just leered at from across the room.
6) Act interested in what we do for a living and who we are beyond the one-dimensional. Ask questions and not just ones like “Did you always have such long legs?”
7) Touch our arm occasionally, but don't try to hug or full frontal assault us. A casual caress on the arm shows us you're interested but not desperate.
8) Don't walk up to us on the dance floor and start dancing without properly asking first. Most women will tell you that if they're with their girlfriends dancing, they want to be with their girlfriends dancing. If you want to dance with us, ask us in between songs.
9) Don't be “that guy” who wouldn't leave. There are some nights when women want girl time and that's that. If we make clear we're not interested by responding to your questions with one-word answers or moving away from you, take that as a hint and please stop hanging around.
10) Be sincere. I've said this one way or another throughout this list, but it bears repeating. If you're full of pick-up lines and games, our radars go off. If you're sincerely interested in us, be sincere about it.
I don't claim to speak for all women of course, but I've been around the block a time or two, and can with near certainty tell you most women will respond to most of the above flirting techniques.