You can’t take a class on it. There is no rulebook. It is a skill ubiquitously practiced, but few can call themselves masters. Attracting the object of our affections is a timeless tradition, an art practiced by our most ancient ancestors, but its nuances (especially while being brown in America) are evolving faster than even the 24 hours news cycle can report. Keeping that in mind, here are some evergreen basics to flirting.
1. Ask questions
People enjoy talking about themselves and asking questions shows you’re interested. Conversely, if you are uninterested and they won’t stop asking you questions, a grade A power move is to reciprocate with zero questions.
It’s subtle, non-confrontational, and hopefully effective with the 90 percent of the population that can take a hint.
2. Eye contact
Catch their eye. I know it can be a little awkward for those of us who tend to be introverted but you have to let them know you are interested, and this is a perfectly subtle signal in that direction. Note: there is a fine line between eye contact and staring. Don’t stare, that’s always creepy.
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3. Talk quietly
No, this isn’t playing into some stereotype of brown women being quiet or submissive. Talk quietly so the object of your affections has to lean in closer to hear you, setting the perfect stage for some romance.
Alternatively, stand farther away. People naturally lean in towards the person talking. Lure them in with your voice, hook them with your stimulatingly witty and intellectual conversation.
4. Disappear for a while
This may seem counterintuitive, but hear me out. When flirting in a crowded place, odds are the recipient of your flirting may get distracted for a moment, whether by a friend, phone call, or more flirting. Know when to leave. Go to the bathroom, call up a friend, chat up another cutie, and then circle back and check in!!
This is key in making sure they know you are still interested, but also very busy and popular. Also the question “where were you?” sets up a new topic of conversation, in case it was waning, and makes you just a little bit mysterious. They’ll want to know more, and that means you successfully got yourself another date.
5. Confidence is KEY
Ladies, this is something we did learn in the classroom and should internalize in our personal lives. If you’re nervous, chances are, so are they. If you make a joke that falls flat, at some point they’ll probably make a crack at which you won’t laugh. Bollywood has its problematic moments when it comes to healthy romances, but take Sonam Kapoor’s character Mili Chakravarty in Khoobsurat.
She has her doubts and insecurities, as expressed through her internal monologue, but also she is a badass doctor for actual royalty and the Indian cricket team. We all have part of our lives that make us real hot shit. Channel that, always. Who knows when we’ll actually make it, so until then, just keep faking it.