9 Steps to Flirting Success

Resident dating blogger, Maura Kelly interviews pick-up artist and bestselling author of The Game Neil Strauss. Find out how to become an expert flirt in nine steps.

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Flirting 101

STEP 1: Learn the Art of Eye Contact
Don't shy away from staring him down, but do it the right way. Ease into it by practicing triangular gazing, where you look at one eye, then the other, then at their mouth. Strauss says practicing this for just a day will get you ready to start learning to interact with guys you’re attracted to.

Once you've locked eyes, keep looking: one study showed that it takes about thirteen glances before the average guy approaches a woman!

Flirting 101

STEP 2: Practice Small Talk
Before you approach a guy you're into, make sure you've got the basics of small talk down. "Challenge yourself to go out and make small talk with five strangers today," advises Strauss. "Don’t worry about whether they’re people you want to date. Approach grandfathers, other women, someone who’s not your type, whomever you come across. It’ll help you adjust to stepping out of your comfort zone."

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Chris Militscher

Flirting 101

STEP 3: Perfect Your Body Language
Want to get under his skin? "Get just a centimeter into a guy’s comfort zone, and look up at him with big eyes," says Strauss. The no-fail move? "Put your chest out, chin down, eyes high in the socket, head slightly tilted, and your weight on one foot. That’s important. If your feet are planted, they feel the resistance, just as much as they would if you had your arms crossed." Practice makes perfect--you might look like a cross-eyed chicken at first, but get it down right and it’ll make him crazy.

If a person positions his or her body at a ninety-degree angle from you when being face- to-face is just as easy, that doesn’t bode well, says Jena Pincott, author of Do Gentlemen Really Prefer Blondes?: Bodies, Behavior, and Brains--The Science Behind Sex, Love, and Attraction. Keep reading for more body-language cues that he's just not that into you.
Philip Gay

Flirting 101

STEP 4: Don't Think Before You Speak
Don’t think too long before you open your mouth--it'll come off unnatural and awkward. "People sense it when something sounds too pre-meditated; that makes them uncomfortable," Strauss says.

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Flirting 101

STEP 5: Ask for Help
When it comes to conversation starts, asking for his help or opinion is a sure thing, says Strauss. "Maybe it’s some article from a women’s magazine that offers some kind of advice and you want to know if he agrees with it or not. Or maybe it’s: "It’s my cousin’s birthday and I want to buy him a CD—but his taste hasn’t evolved since the 80's. Any suggestions?" Or maybe your friend just got a three-legged cat and you need a name for it."

Single and looking? Neil Strauss offers his tips on how to dress the part.
Valentin Casarsa/iStock

Flirting 101

STEP 6: Set a Time Limit Within the first 60 seconds of your conversation, Strauss says, immediately mention that you have some kind of time constraint, whether or not you do.

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Greg Delves

Flirting 101

STEP 7: Neg Him
The trick when you’re flirting, Strauss says, is "figuring how to keep a balance between being engaging enough to retain someone’s attention and not seeming overly available." Tease him a little and call him out by saying something like, "Oh sure you do..."

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Chris Militscher

Flirting 101

STEP 8: Lower Your Expectations
Flirt for the sake of flirting. "If you meet a really high-quality guy and you’re really attached to the idea of him being your boyfriend, that pressure—that neediness—is something he’ll sense," Strauss warns.

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Chris Militscher

Flirting 101

STEP 9: Make It Fun—For You
Make it about you, not about him. "If it seems like you're trying too hard, whatever you're doing will come across as desperate," Strauss says. His advice? "Think: "I'm fun. I'm cool. I radiate charisma, I am free to do whatever the hell I want." The most important thing to remember while you’re doing all this flirting is to make it fun for yourself—because then it will be fun for the other person."

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Paul Kline/iStock
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