Regardless of how old you are, the only way you can successfully connect with a man in the "I think you're hot and would be interested in going out with you" way is to flirt.
When I suggest that to the over-40 women in my dating workshops and coaching programs, I can see them cringe. Most of these otherwise outgoing women have no idea how to flirt, and many consider it childish and classless.
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I have news for you. Here is what you get when you don't flirt with nice men: a nice conversation. That's it. But you're not looking for a buddy, right? You want to be asked out.
Here are four ways to flirt with flair and get that date:
1. Compliment him
Have you ever noticed that we use compliments to connect with other women? “I love your purse!” “Your job sounds amazing!” “You crack me up!”
Why don't you do that with men? Granted, it takes a different approach, but everyone likes to be complimented. Men love to know that you think them to be smart, capable, fascinating and funny. A sincere compliment in those areas will take you a huge step forward toward connection. (Ahem: note the word "sincere.")
Tell him when you agree with something he says; ask his opinion; let him suggest a book or restaurant; laugh at his jokes or tell him his business sounds interesting.
You can tell him he has nice eyes, and he'll appreciate it. But that won't go so far as these more substantive compliments. The confident, grownup good guys need to hear more than you think he's cute.
2. Use your body, baby
Using your body to flirt does not have to be slutty or silly. Remember how you flirted when you were 22? Much of what attracted those boys in bars is still what attracts men in Starbucks.
Be subtle, not aggressive. Stand straight in front of him and make eye contact, be playful with a little teasing (stay away from sarcasm), brush your hand against his arm or shoulder, twirl or flip your hair, and use open hand gestures.
Responding to this type of behavior from a woman is instinctive, ladies. Men can't help themselves.
3. Show off
This may be the hardest part for you; it is for many women. We aren't used to talking about ourselves because we've been told it's selfish and braggadocios. (Yay! I get to use that word!)
You've got to get over this. You want to be memorable and enticing. He's only going to know how fabulous and confident you are if you get some of your shiny stuff out.
Squeeze in mentions of your unique or shared interests, accomplishments, interesting life experiences, kind heartedness or passions.
Don't tell him long stories. Keep it brief, and if he's a match for you, he will want more.
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4. Show clear interest
A simple: "I had a great time talking with you, Bob. It would be nice to do it again" is all it takes to let him know that you're open. Help him feel safe and appreciated, and if he's interested he will make a move.
Notice that I'm not suggesting you ask him out. Let him do that.