For some people flirting is as natural as walking. For others, whether online or in-person, they fumble and fall. A respondent I surveyed said she has spent hours (days even) writing and re-writing a response on a dating site painfully trying to be witty or flirty. Sometimes, taking so long to formulate a response that it became embarrassing to even respond and then she’d drop it altogether or would finally respond with something lame about being busy.
You’re not alone. Some weeks ago, I watched the ABC dating special Help! I Need Love with relationship coach Paul Carrick Brunson and it got ugly. The woman on the show was awkward, covered her nerves with sarcasm, and was so anxious it made her dates awkward and anxious and ready to bolt as well. Cringe-worthy and for so many people…
Courtney, the dater, admitted, “it’s nerve-wracking to go on a first date, it’s exposing and vulnerable.” Again, relatable.
However, Courtney had a dating coach to smooth the path and give her tips. Us real-worlders? Not so lucky.
WikiHow to do anything states (because naturally always Wiki first), that “it’s normal to be nervous around someone you really like, and there are ways to seem confident and pull off a successful flirtation. Whether you’re flirting over text, online, or in-person, it’s important to keep a balance between revealing your feelings and keeping the person you like intrigued.”
Ultimately, Brunson says, finding love is simply about building connections. “If you can’t make a connection, you’re not going to find love.” So with that in mind, for those of us in the trenches that don’t have their own personal cupid leading us to love, TriState Black Single, here are your seven tips to flirting successfully online and off.
How to build these great Dating Skills?
- In the art of flirting, online or in person, spontaneity is the name of the game. Relax! Be open to anything. And decide to have fun.
- Practice. Flirt whenever you get the chance, especially when the outcome is not important. Flirt with your friends, flirt with the cashier at the supermarket, flirt with your puppy, flirt with yourself in the mirror! Have flirt-offs with your friends—watch their techniques and then emulate. Again, have fun and practice makes perfect.
- Harmless teasing, whether online or in-person, can be fun. Watch your delivery though. On the show, Courtney thought she was teasing, but came off bitter and sarcastic. She was covering her nerves with very biting humor that was mean. Again, this is where practice and being relaxed comes in. Light teasing can be a great icebreaker, stimulating, and can lead to deeper conversation because your date knows they can relax and “play” with you.
- Pay close attention. Act as if every word is meaningful. Online: respond to e-convo as soon as possible. If too much time passes a dater can assume no interest.
- Online: leave them wanting more. When things are great and you both are on the edge of your seats, cut it short.
(Okay, pause! I don’t know about this one, but I asked several people and this technique kept coming up! What do you guys think?) The reasoning is to create anticipation for the next conversation and create intrigue.
- If you are already nervous about the upcoming date, then pick a meeting location that is comfortable and cozy. Pick a place where you can hear yourself think and where the conversation is a bit private. Nothing is more nerve-wracking than having others near you know that you’re on a first date…especially, if it’s not going so great.
- Log onto TSBS right now and start liking pictures, send cute messages, express interest in posts. A lot of people I surveyed said send emojis—lots of smiling, winking, or kissing faces. You will get a response!
In the show, Brunson has his client go on 20 dates in 20 days. Whoa! But he says if you want love you have to make it a priority as much as you make other important things in your life a priority and…
Be as intentional about your love life as you are about work. Choose who & what you want rather than making it work with whoever chooses you
By show’s end, Courtney was relaxed, flirting easily, having fun, and making real connections and ultimately, she did find love. So, my TriState Black Single friend, summer–the official start of the flirt season has begun–so get out there and get flirting!