The Right and Wrong Way to Flirt

Flirting is the subtle dance of human interaction that may lead to romance, but like any nuanced skill, it's easy to step on someone's toes if you're not careful. Let's glide through the common missteps before twirling into the right moves that can enchant rather than discomfort the object of your admiration.

Overstepping boundaries

A major false step in flirting is the disregard for personal boundaries. Unsolicited physical contact or imposing yourself into someone's personal space can be overwhelming and is, frankly, unacceptable. Take, for instance, the clumsy approach of a flirtatious hand lingering too long on an arm—this is more likely to lead to alarm rather than allure. No one appreciates feeling cornered or touched without consent.

Respect and subtlety

The adroit flirter understands subtlety and the power of a glancing touch that's only invited when a comfort level has been established. It might come after a shared laugh or when you're both reaching for the nachos, but it must always be incidental and non-threatening. Respectful gestures paired with warm eye contact offer a respectful approach that considers the other's comfort above your own interest.

Overbearing compliments

Showering someone with compliments may seem like a fool proof way to express interest, but when it borders on incessant or focuses solely on physical appearance, it can feel superficial and tiresome. There's a thin line between being sweet and outright smothering—cross it and you risk turning a budding romance into a wilted interaction.

Meaningful praise

Instead, opt for meaningful and specific compliments that go beyond surface-level observations. Commenting favourably on someone's taste in music, their infectious laugh, or their insight on a topic, reflects genuine interest in them as an individual rather than just a physical entity. Sprinkle these remarks naturally into conversation without expectations of reciprocity.

Unyielding pursuit

Persistence can be a virtue, but in the realm of flirting, an unyielding chase only exudes desperation and may even be perceived as harassment. Bombarding someone with messages, not taking a hint, or trying to monopolise their time are all ways in which dogged determination can backfire spectacularly.

Attentive and patient

The secret here is active listening and patience. By paying close attention to verbal and non-verbal cues, you can gauge interest levels and proceed accordingly. Flirting should be a mutual exchange, an enticing give-and-take that unfolds naturally over time. If the interest seems unreciprocated, step back gracefully—you might find that your patience and understanding are precisely what piques someone's curiosity.

In the theatre of courtship, flirting can sometimes feel like navigating a tightrope. However, knowing what not to do is just as important as mastering the right moves. Keep your flirting feathery-light, respectful, and genuine, and you may just find yourself dancing to the rhythm of a new connection.