Relationship Advice

28 August 2012

What NOT to do when flirting

by Fran Creffield

Flirting is great fun and you don’t have to be dating someone to enjoy some banter with a handsome stranger or a pretty woman in the mall – it is all good practice. There are, however, common mistakes people make which you should watch out for.

Flirting is a subtle art and it is good to practice regularly as it will not only lift your spirits, and those of the person you are flirting with, but can also make you more confident when it comes to dating. Done badly, however, flirting can get you the very opposite of what you want so here are the things you really shouldn’t do while still having lots of fun.

Don’t be too pushy

The most effective flirting is subtle – so subtle in fact that it leaves the person you are flirting with unsure whether you are flirting at all or if you are just a really nice person. Avoid being overtly sexual or making lewd suggestions because that is likely to lead you into trouble rather than get you any fun.

You need to be aware of the other person’s response to you. If they are obviously not interested then back off rather than coming on even stronger. It is humiliating if someone has to actually ask you to leave them alone so learn to be sensitive to the cues they are giving you and if they aren’t interested, leave it. By far the most attractive aspect of someone is also one of the most effective flirting tactics you can use – a smile. Smile into their eyes and show you are pleased to see them.

Don’t step on someone else’s territory

If you meet someone by chance in a public place, before you start flirting make sure they don’t have a date with them. It doesn’t matter if it is their spouse or a casual date, they are taken and that means they are off limits for flirting.

How would you feel if you were out on a date and someone started hitting on your partner when you went to the bar?

Don’t get flirty in the workplace

Flirting at work can hold many dangers. It may seem innocent enough and will certainly make the hours at work pass a bit quicker but you need to be very careful. If you flirt with your boss other colleagues may begin to view you with suspicion thinking you are trying to get a wages increase or a promotion.

On a more serious note if you are flirting with a colleague and don’t pick up on the fact that your attention is not welcome,  you might find yourself with a sexual harassment charge. Be professional at work and keep your flirting confined to your private life.

Don’t play games with someone’s emotions

There is a fine line between flirting and giving someone the impression you want to take things further with them. If this is not your intention then you could find yourself on the receiving end of someone’s anger and frustration. Light flirting can quickly become serious and part of the art is knowing when to back off if you don’t want the situation to get too heavy.

Don’t take people flirting with you too seriously

If someone flirts with you try not to take it too seriously until you are sure that they are not like that with everyone they meet. Some people are natural charmers and leave everyone they meet a little bit in love with them. If you have been single for a long time and someone is very warm and attentive it can be easy to let your imagination run away with you and read more into it than there actually is.

If someone flirts with you by all means flirt back and see where it goes, just don’t be too disappointed if it is no more than a bit of friendly banter.

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John Carey

16 September 2012 00:35

Agree with the advice. You should be skilled at reading the signs – be perceptive and read what is happening. Don’t push and if its not working, its time to stop.

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Love Reform Group

16 September 2012 08:58

“The most effective flirting is subtle – so subtle in fact that it leaves the person you are flirting with unsure whether you are flirting at all or if you are just a really nice person. “: That causes problems not solves them. It isn’t good to keep people guessing and sort of contradicts the para about playing games with people’s emotions. Why does it have to be sneaky and why do people feel the need to talk in code??

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29 September 2012 22:08

I have been single for along time and whenever i have flirted with someone i liked, they seem to think that i am just conintuing to be my gentle warm self. How do i change this exterior look?

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Jo Doglover

3 November 2012 23:36

Great question. I think you have to ask a slightly more direct question, but then be prepared to fall back to flirting if they don’t take you up on it. I would be impressed if a guy said, “So if I told you I was single and looking for an interesting person to have coffee with, what would you think?” That’s subtle and non-threatening, and gives her the option to be more direct, or choose to keep flirting. The point of the first date is to be interesting enough to get a second date.

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1 December 2012 23:39

I completely disagree with “Love Reform Group”. Flirting can be done with positive results, such as giving someone a smile and give them a little lift for their day. I have found some rules that worked for me: 1) never flirt if you are with a girl. That is plain wrong and only serves to make her feel like crap. It can also infuriate her and aggravate any insecurity she has about not being good enough. If you are with a girl, make her the only girl in your field of view. No flirting with any other girl; 2) a subtle but very effective flirt technique is to simply look back after you passed a girl. Never fails to make her suddenly walk straight and proud. Women love to be noticed; 3) never push. Don’t be a pest; 4) play it at her level. If she is sharp and witty, try word games with double meanings. If she says she doesn’t get it, back off and decide whether the two of you are a match, or to play it at a different level; 5) if you use words with double meanings, make sure you practice at making out you did not realise the double menaing. Don’t wink afterwards. That makes you seem like an egomaniac or simply an idiot… I’d love to see what others have come up with, by way of dos and donts…

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6 December 2012 04:56

some of these comments are so true to the facts and its even harder when its the man who wont let a woman in as he has a brick wall up from a previous relationship; marriage or whatever and it wont come down for any female no matter how she feels about him

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11 December 2012 09:06

@John you where right on the money until you got to points 4 and 5 – I’ve been at the receiving end of so called witty word play and, yes whilst I got it my thought was “*anker” LOL

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16 December 2012 06:38

I find slight flirting a natural way to talk to people. But have noticed as I get older some people take it really seriously, not wanting to give the wrong impression I’ve toned it down to times when you know it’s a bit of banter, ie with a barman when he is making your drink or I tend to flirt more with guys where neither of us is interested to keep it safe, obvious tactical error as it is not going anywhere.

I think flirting in the workplace is ok, but you have to choose wisely. No boss, anyone in a relationship or someone easily offended and you should be ok.

I don’t think you really need rules, just common sense and some emotional intelligence.

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26 December 2012 12:05

Gee it is a difficult balancing act alright when a few jokes with someone can be so misunderstood by another and taken the wrong way even though nothing different is said in content.

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7 April 2013 10:17

I actually don’t mind the odd lewd suggestion. It can be quite cheeky at the right moment. Too much of it comes across as a little immature though.

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Patricia Lee

4 March 2014 03:19

I was very surprised to receive yr email as I have not had any matches from you for such a long time. I was wondering if you could tell me why. I changed the distance you requested me to do but to no avail. Please reply to this email.

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4 March 2014 05:15

Get real folks. If you’re looking for a partner….you want one with a sense of naughtiness and fun that matches your own. Get fishing and reel in some to nibble on….how else are you going to know whether they are the one you’re looking for! Yes I did! And I found a fabulous match to spend my third trimester of life with. I was widowed about nine months before I found my mojo again. Life is wonderful and full of possibilities. Live life folk!

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4 March 2014 10:00

I’ve been single for a while and have been flirting with an amazing man at my child’s school. He’s even asked me if I am over my ex??? Have I missed my cue…or not???

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14 March 2014 04:44

Hi Patricia, please give customer care a call on 1800 707 894. It’s a free call and they’ll be able to help you out. The eH team

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