FRIENDS. I realize that up till now I may have given the impression that I am more or less a misanthropic recluse who would rather chew my own leg off than spend time with other human people. This is mostly true. HOWEVER--as much as I fear and loathe social interaction, I do love watching other people interact with each other. In fact, through my observations, I've become something of an expert in the matter of flirting. The following represents the sum of my knowledge on the subject.
You are so very welcome.
Our scene is a party. Passed apps--something wrapped in rice paper, heavy on the cucumbers. Summer aperitifs--lightly fizzy, with a single red raspberry bobbing like a jewel among the bubbles. Human people--talking, laughing, mingling. The scene is ripe for romance.
You are there, a little sweaty, but not too sweaty, not like anyone will look you up and down and be like, "It wasn't supposed to rain today! I left the sunroof open on my Hyundai Sonata! Why does this always happen to me?" You're wearing that new outfit you bought the other day because the salesperson told you it made you look older. "Like twenty-five," she said. So, yeah, you're feeling pretty good. Your hair isn't doing that weird thing. You've managed not to drip any of the dipping sauce from those cucumber things on your shirt. AND, as if that's not enough, an exceedingly cute human person has made eye contact with you four times in the past seven minutes.
It's go time. This is your moment. Time to shine.
Remember: First impressions are EVERYTHING. And they happen before you say a single word to each other. So go ahead and give 'em The Look from across the room. You know the one:
Now that things are heating up, saunter on over and begin the flirting.
- There's no point in striking up a flirtation unless you have something to offer to the other person. Are you smart? Funny? Good-looking? If so, these tips are not for you. Surely you've got enough going on. You can go ahead and keep doing what you're doing, which I assume consists of leaning in doorways and looking aloof yet wry.
- The rest of us will need some interesting or valuable skills to snare the attention of that special someone. Can you do impressions? Or parallel park on the first try? Are you an accomplished bow hunter who could provide for them if you were stranded together in the wilderness? Do yourself a favor and drop your credentials into the conversation as soon as possible, e.g. "GOOD EVENING MY NAME IS MILTON HAVE I MENTIONED I HAVE A BLACK BELT IN THE DELICATE ART OF FOLDING TABLE NAPKINS?"
- Don't neglect your personality, though. If you have a good one, it'll shine right through and you have nothing else to worry about. Proceed to Step 5.
- If, however, you have a bad personality, you're gonna need to do some work (ask your friends if you're not sure, and if you don't have friends, there's your answer). If this is you, leave the party now. Go home and have a long think about your life. But save that outfit. You really do look great in it.
- Contrary to popular belief, you do not need a seek out a magic opening line. You don't have to engineer a meet cute or finagle a fake chance meeting. You don't need to do anything. If it's meant to be--and I think it is--you will simply find yourself, suddenly and mysteriously, in deep and scintillating conversation. There, wasn't that easy?
- Keep things playful. Creep up behind them, pull a burlap sack over their head, and whisper, "Guess who?" If they scream and elbow you in the gut, it just means they like you. Honestly.
- Mirror their body language. This tip is backed up by SCIENCE, which says that humans love looking at themselves, so the more you can trick them into thinking they're actually looking in a mirror, the more they'll like you. We're like birds that way. In fact, I see no reason not to follow that out to its logical conclusion: Go ahead and style your hair like theirs. Show up in the same outfit. Make a plaster mold of their face. Retreat to the bathroom to finish crafting your mask. They won't be able to resist you once you look exactly like them. Ignore the shouts of the other party-goers as they pound impatiently on the door. Their bladders will have to wait. Love is on the line.
- Speaking of body language, make sure yours is open, inviting, and confident. Like a starfish. Spread your limbs out to all sides so that you look like a giant X. If you feel comfortable taking it to the next level, dribble your drink into your mouth from high in the air, like you're a reverse fountain. Hey, look at you! You're flirting!
- Not sure what to talk about? Ask a question you can connect over, like, "Should I get bangs?" This is a great one because it makes the other person focus on your forehead, which we all know is the sexiest part of the human form.
- Excuse yourself to go to the restroom, and as you pass by them, slap 'em on the butt like a football player. If they protest, say, "Whoops! I thought that was my butt!"
- Actually, don't do that. It's weird. Keep your hands to yourself. Forever. In fact, stand way over on the other side of the room and do a little close-up magic. If that doesn't entice them over, then it's time to move on, friend.
- Some people will tell you that the ideal amount of eye contact in normal human conversations is 60/40; roughly, that translates to three seconds on, two seconds off (HOORAY FRACTIONS!). But I would posit a ratio of 100/0. I mean, can you really have too much eye contact? Caaan yooou?
- No. You cannot.
- If there's music playing, get that sucka out on the dance floor and bust every one of your very best moves. Really put on a show. You are a bird of paradise, flaunting your glorious plumage! You are a sage-grouse puffing your chest up with air until it pops! You are a hooded seal proudly inflating your face balloon! Communicate only with your body--your twirls and shimmies and shakes--that your entire life has been leading up to this moment, this one right now, with the flashing lights and the thundering bass and the sweat of a thousand strangers soaring through the air like so much confetti. OH, ISN'T IT MAGICAL!
- Before you part ways for the night, it's polite to offer your flirtee an offering of some sort. Sashay up to them, take their wrist gently, and drop the dead mouse you've been carrying in your mouth right into their palm. They will be overcome by your generosity, and from that moment on they will be yours.
Ah, well done. Congratulations, friend, on doing a flirt.