Get Fluent in Flirtation With Five Tips From Ariel Kiley

Some people are naturals when it comes to flirting. They innately know what to say and do to land a love interest. But for most people, flirting is a high-anxiety cringefest filled with sweaty palms and awkward eye contact. If you’re more likely to pass out at her feet than sweep her off her feet, you may want to just skip this step. Unfortunately, you can’t. Flirting is critical for initiating contact with a potential mate. It is the foundation on which your connection is built.

So how do you flirt like a Don Juan, even when you’re feeling like an Average Joe? We asked Ariel Kiley, co-author of “Smitten: The Way of the Brilliant Flirt” (Chronicle Books, 2013), for some advice. Here are her top five tips for finding poise and, in turn, partners.

Live in the now

Too many people, according to Kiley, go out in search of love with huge expectations. They’re looking for happily ever after when they should be looking for happily right now. “Be honest with yourself from present moment to present moment,” Kiley says. Focus on having a good time and you’ll attract people who admire your authentic, low-key vibe. In other words, have so much fun that suitors will make the first move and come to you.

Stand tall

Literally. According to Kiley, you can project confidence with excellent posture. Keep your shoulders back, head level and look into the room like you own it. To up the vamp ante even more, “wear fabrics that feel good and colors that turn you on,” Kiley says. When you feel sexy, you exude sexy. When you exude sexy, you attract sexy. Stand tall and someone will want to stand next to you.

Keep it real

Kiley says that to be a great flirt, you must show who you are right upfront. She recommends letting your uniqueness—or even straight-up strangeness—shine. When getting to know a potential love interest, Kiley says to share an unexpected thought because “when you let someone in on your inner monologue, it creates intimacy.” If they roll their eyes and walk away, know that they simply weren’t the right one. A romantic match will lap up the secret and ask for another.

Take risks

One of the biggest mistakes people make, according to Kiley, is playing it safe. While taking a risk makes you more vulnerable to rejection, she believes it is essential. To flirt a little more dangerously, Kiley suggests asking a question that “sparks the other person’s imagination and brings them to life.” So instead of “Where do you work?” ask “What kind of cult would you like to start?” or “What 90s boy band is your favorite?”

Dust yourself off

Flirting takes practice. To become a brilliant flirt, you must be willing to fail and unwilling to wallow in that failure: “Eat some ice cream and get on with it,” Kiley says. “Even better, do some box jumps. Box jumps. Ice cream. Box jumps. Ice cream.” Once you’re full and tired, get back out there and swing for the flirting fences.

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