Become a Master of Flirting With These Scientifically Proven Techniques

By Jake Schroeder
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It's only natural to flirt with someone you’re attracted to. You might not even realize when you’re doing it. At the same time, society is a complicated place, and sometimes (often), the signs of romantic interest aren’t as clear as you might think.

Thankfully, there are some scientifically proven things you can do to make it apparent that you're flirting. Start applying these flirting tips, and you'll notice the difference in no time.

Make Eye Contact — It’s Crucial

Eye contact is necessary when flirting. It shows that your interest goes beyond friendliness and into romantic territory. Even more, it's a good idea to keep your gazes locked for longer than just a second. It starts a silent conversation between your hearts, literally, as they both will probably start to beat faster.

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Another great part about eye contact is that studies show it actually strengthens the attraction. One study had participants stare into strangers’ eyes for two minutes. At the end of the two minutes, both parties reported that they felt more attracted to the other person.

Let Them Know You’re Available

Making your availability known is an essential part of successful flirting. If they don't know whether or not you’re available, they might hold back their own flirtation (or never approach you in the first place). But it can seem awkward to come right out and say, "I'm available!"

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Luckily, there are multiple ways to get the message across that you're single and looking to mingle. Put your nonverbal cues in high drive. Sustain a glance at them across the room. Lick your lips when you look away. Those signals make it pretty clear that you're not taken.

Smile Like You Mean It

Smiling has a lot of functions where flirting is concerned. Smiling makes people appear happy, friendly and approachable. In fact, studies have revealed that perceived attractiveness tends to go way up when a person is smiling. For these reasons, smiling is essential when flirting.

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All of this is only true if the smile is genuine. A fake smile can be spotted from a mile away, and it ends up working against you rather than in your favor. It shouldn't be hard to put a bonafide grin on your face while you're flirting with the object of your affection.


Be Direct

It's okay to give subtle, non-verbal signals, but when you've gotten to the point of talking, that subtlety isn’t going to get you very far. Opening with a direct line when you begin flirting allows for a better conversation to ensue. The other person isn’t left wondering if you're interested or not.

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When a person is up-front, it makes it easier for the other party to reciprocate that directness. With both people on the same page, you'll end up having a conversation that goes much more smoothly. As it turns out, clear intentions go a long way.

Bring Your Confidence With You

Confidence is attractive. It's usually pretty obvious if a person feels confident or not, which can easily impact how successful they are at flirting. A confident person makes others feel good about themselves. They're easy to talk to, and they usually keep a conversation flowing.

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On the other hand, someone who clearly lacks confidence can quickly turn a conversation from lively to awkward in a matter of moments. Before you go into a flirting situation, build yourself up. Think about the beautiful qualities you have and allow those to shine through naturally so the other person can see them too.

Ask Them Questions

To be successful at flirting, it's important to make it a priority to ask the other person meaningful questions. Your curiosity in who they are is bound to keep them interested. It also gives you an opportunity to discover cool things about them that might lead to a more genuine connection.

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Rather than asking general questions that don't typically have interesting answers (like "Where do you live?"), consider more engaging questions that require a bit more detail and thought for their answers (like "What made you decide to study marine biology?"). Asking great questions is key to a memorable experience.


Don't Bring a Wingman

Here's a myth-buster: Bringing a wingman along when you're going out doesn’t bode well if you’re trying to find a date. It's nice to have some emotional support, but when you go out alone, the chances of finding love are much higher.

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Part of this has to do with the fact that people tend to have a hard time knowing if they're being flirted with. It's much easier to identify if a person is flirting with you when they’re alone. And if they don't know you're flirting with them, they're much less likely to flirt back.

A Little Teasing Can Go a Long Way

Teasing is a timeless method of flirtation at all ages. The right kind of teasing shows you’re interested. It can make the other person laugh or smile if the teasing turns into playful back-and-forth banter. When you're riffing off of each other's comments, that's even better.

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Make sure that, when you're teasing someone as a form of flirting, you don't end up accidentally saying something hurtful or offensive. The tone should always be light and fun, and it should always be clear that you're teasing. The goal of flirtatious teasing is to make the other person feel good.

Be Present

Being present means you’re focused on what’s going on in front of you. You’re not distracted or lost in your head somewhere. Being present while flirting shows the other person that you’re taking a genuine interest in them. It shows that you’re a kind and sincere person.

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It should come as no surprise that being present could be of valuable assistance when you're flirting. If the other person feels they have your complete and full attention, they’re more likely to feel good about the interaction and reciprocate that mindfulness right back at you.


Make Gentle Contact

Physical contact can be tricky when you're flirting. You don't want to make the other person feel trapped or uncomfortable. Never grab or grasp, and avoid touching areas that might be a little too close for comfort too soon. Flirty touching should always be light. It can be incredibly effective.

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A gentle touch on the arm often works well, especially if it comes across as a natural response to something they said. Another good one is to brush some (potentially imaginary) debris from their arm if you can't find a natural way to get the regular arm touch in.

Give Them a Compliment

A compliment is a sure way to get someone's attention and make a good impression. It makes the person feel good when you say something nice about them, especially if it’s genuine. Compliments get a successful flirtation session going.

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The best kind of compliment is something that doesn't have to do with their physical appearance because this tends to be more thoughtful. It shows that you notice something that it takes more than eyes to see. Still, if you genuinely do love their hairstyle, leather coat or bright blue eyes, a compliment of any kind is typically well-received.

Use Body Language to Your Advantage

Your body language can play a significant role in your flirting success if you do it right. Playing with your hair or touching your face or mouth are a few examples of flirty body language. Another way to show interest with body language is to move closer to the object of your affection.

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Keeping an open stance in general presents you as inviting while flirting. That means keeping your arms uncrossed and your legs in a wider position while standing or uncrossed while sitting. This can show the other person you're interested without even speaking.


Don't Bother With Small Talk

You won’t find a lasting connection this way. Rather than talking about the weather, use your flirting muscles by getting a bit more personal. The probable outcome is that you'll feel much closer to the person you're flirting with than if conversation remained shallow.

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If you have trouble thinking of more interesting things to talk about on the spot, it might be wise to prepare a little beforehand, especially for something like a first date. Consider natural things to ask that require more than a short response. An organic conversation makes flirting much easier to slip in, too.

Don't Forget to Introduce Yourself

Introducing yourself may not seem like an act of flirtation, but it turns out it can be. It shows that you want the other person to know, care about and remember who you are. Introducing yourself can go a long way and take your flirting game to the next level with one simple move.

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Introductions are also an easy way to start a conversation, particularly if you're at a party or gathering where talking to anyone and everyone is completely appropriate. You might even begin by prompting the other person to introduce themselves with a question like, "Who brought you here?"

Wear Red

You can enhance your flirting success when you're dressed to impress, but that's not all. Specifically, wearing red can positively impact how attractive you look to others. That doesn't mean you'll look friendlier by any means, but you'll be more likely to get the attention that you're looking for in your flirtation if you're donning red.

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Maybe it's because red is associated with power and intensity. Maybe it's because it's associated with romance, passion and love. No matter what, wearing red will up your flirting game more than it may seem.


Make Them Laugh

Who doesn't love laughing? It's one of the soul's greatest medicines. With that in mind, getting the other person to laugh during a flirt session can really make you look favorable in their eyes. They'll immediately begin to associate you with something positive and fun.

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You don't necessarily have to be the funniest person in the world to make a person laugh. All you need is a well-timed comment, or maybe you even have a good joke that you always keep around in the back of your mind. Whatever you can do to make them laugh, it'll be worth it.

Keep It Light

Flirting is often more successful when heavy topics are left out of it. This means that past relationships, money, religion and politics are pretty much off-limits. You don't want your flirtation to turn into a debate.

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Sticking to lighthearted topics as opposed to talking about something dark and debatable doesn't mean you have to dumb yourself down. You can talk about meaningful things without going in a dark direction. If you can keep it light but also make it meaningful at the same time, that's probably going to end up as a flirting win for you.

Avoid Pickup Lines

Avoid cheesy pickup lines if you want to be successful at flirting. Most people, while they may chuckle at a pickup line initially, tend to find them annoying. Their laughter isn't about the pickup line being funny. It's a way to diffuse some of the discomfort and awkwardness.

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Why don't pickup lines and other one-liners work? They present you as lacking creativity and can make it seem like you say that to everyone. This leaves the person you're flirting with feeling like one of many rather than special. Always choose a unique compliment over an overused pickup line.


Don't Come On Too Strong

Compliments are great when flirting, but if you come on too strong, that can turn into a red flag. Even if you genuinely feel like you love everything about them, saying it all at once can be a bit overwhelming and make you look desperate.

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Take a deep breath, relax and smile if you've run out of things to say instead of going in for yet another compliment about their amazing qualities. The mood while flirting should always be light and fun. Even making a joke about vacations together or wedding plans too early on can scare them off.

Offer Them a Hot Beverage

When you're on a date and you're going to a restaurant or bar, keep things hot — when it comes to liquids. You might want to consider this the next time you're flirting with someone: When a person has a hot drink, they tend to perceive others around them more favorably.

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Someone who’s holding a hot beverage is more likely to find a person they're sitting with to be more caring than they would if they’re holding a cold drink. So, the next time you ask someone out, going to a cafe might be a better idea than going to a bar.

Make Sure You're Taking Up Space

This one is more for a person flirting with a woman. Women associate taking up space with dominance, and biologically speaking, women like dominance. When a person "takes up space" during flirtation, the chances that it goes well end up being a lot higher.

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Taking up space includes doing things like resting an arm or your body on something nearby, moving around a bit as opposed to standing still or even stretching. Do these space-maximizing moves when you're flirting with a woman, and you'll be more likely to get her attention and keep it.


Initiate the Conversation

Initiating the conversation is about making the first move. It doesn't matter if you think it's your traditional role or not to be the one to approach the other. Do it anyway. Making the first move shows confidence. It also lets the other person know you’ve taken an interest.

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Aside from simply being the one to initiate the conversation, what you initiate with is also of importance. Skip the banal "How are you?" and instead flirt by asking them for some casual advice or what they think about something specific. This way, you give the conversation a real opportunity to flourish.

Tilt Your Head

A study at Australia's University of Newcastle discovered that a forward-tilted head makes a woman appear more attractive. That way, the woman has no choice but to look slightly upward as she's speaking. When flirting, this is a sneaky little move women can use to their advantage to create allure.

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Men, on the other hand, should do the opposite and angle their heads back ever so slightly. This makes them look more masculine, looking down their noses as they flirt. Keep in mind that a little tilt is enough. Too much backward tilt will end up making you look cross-eyed.

Maintain Good Posture

Posture is a type of non-verbal communication that you shouldn’t overlook. After all, how you hold yourself says a lot about you. While you don't want to look uncomfortable, it's best to avoid excessive slouching. That can easily impact how attractive you appear to the other person.

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Standing up straight projects confidence. It shows that you care about your appearance (without being narcissistic), which is an attractive quality. When it comes down to it, successful flirting is as much about what you do with your body as the words that come out of your mouth.


Use Their Name When You're Talking to Them

Using someone's name makes them feel closer to you and helps create a bond. It signifies that their name is important enough to remember, and that makes a great first impression. Subconsciously, they’ll feel that the interaction is more meaningful if you've used their name.

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Using a person's name is an excellent flirting tactic. When a person hears their name used, they’re more likely to turn toward whoever’s using it. You do want to be careful with your tone, however. Make sure you're not speaking authoritatively when using their name. Casually dropping it in is key.

Point Your Feet in Their Direction

Feet have more to do with flirting than just playing footsie. Some studies have found that women point or move their feet in the direction of a person they’re into. If you don't find yourself doing that naturally to flirt, it seems like a good idea to start doing so.

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While pointing your feet toward someone might be a way to show interest, if you're tucking your feet under you, you're doing the opposite. Moving your feet away from someone is a signal that you're not interested. Beware of accidentally doing that if you're trying to flirt.

Be Yourself

Don't pretend to be someone you're not. Even if it seems to work in the moment, the truth will come out sooner or later. Why not avoid that awkwardness altogether? If you have to be false to get someone to take an interest in you, they're not worth your time.

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It’s more attractive when a person is naturally being themselves. They give off a genuine vibe that makes the whole experience flow with comfort and ease. The best news is that you are you, so being yourself shouldn’t be too challenging. Maybe it's the easiest flirting move around.


Listen Earnestly

Never underestimate good listening skills to maximize your flirt sessions, no matter if it's when you first meet a person or when you’re on an early date. It feels good when someone is listening to you. Earnest listening is a sign of affection because it shows you actually care.

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If you want to make sure they notice that they've got your full attention, ask follow-up questions to get them to expand upon what they’re saying. You'll flatter them and provide positive reinforcement about spending time together. This helps ensure they'll want to spend more time with you in the future.

Leave Them Wanting More

Cut the conversation short before it grows tiresome. That's how you leave someone wanting more, and it's an incredibly effective flirting technique. Be the one to exit the interaction first, and you'll pique their curiosity. We always seem to want the things that are slightly unattainable the most, after all.

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Besides, being busy with other things casts you as a vibrant person — an attractive quality. The chances that they'll be the one to initiate contact next time will be much higher. You'll want to be natural when doing this, not rude or abrupt, which inevitably sends the wrong message.

Be Warm

Behaviors of warmth often happen naturally if you genuinely like someone. These include making eye contact, smiling and leaning in. Those things indicate that you're feeling something. Still, taking it to the next level of warmth is another step you can choose to be more successful at flirting.

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The fact that you're flirting because you're already attracted to them helps, so it likely won't be hard to start joking with them, pushing yourself toward their interests or offering to help them with something. This kind of warm behavior introduces a level of comfort that may not have been there otherwise.