So much of our contact with other people these days is completely virtual. Text messaging, instant messaging, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, e-mail, and the list goes on. There are an infinite number of ways to communicate in the virtual world. Most of us are pretty good at it. However, face-to-face, girl meets boy flirting is getting to be a lost art. I recently had a client tell me she'd forgotten how to actually flirt, and I believe it. I think most people feel awkward flirting. That said, practice makes perfect.
The top five steps to being a master flirt are:
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1. Make eye contact. Smile. Hold that eye contact just a little longer than you normally would. I'm not suggesting a full on stare. Just maintain that eye contact a few seconds longer then is normally comfortable.
2. Give an honest compliment. Everyone—man or woman—likes to hear they have beautiful eyes. That kind of a compliment takes guts to give, but pays dividends big time. It lets someone know you actually noticed something about them.
3. Inquire about something that might start a brief conversation. For example, "What's your favorite restaurant in this neighborhood?" Don't press too hard for conversation. It's easy enough to open the door, especially if you've given them the appropriate amount of eye contact.
4. If you manage to get into a conversation, touch them on the arm or hand, in a warm way, and smile again.
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5. Then, be gone with your bad self. Leave them wanting just a little bit more, feeling noticed, and appreciated.
The whole exchange takes less than two minutes if you actually work through all five steps. The most important step, eye contact, takes less than 10 seconds. Like I said, practice makes perfect, so get out there and unleash your inner flirt on everyone. It's easier to practice when the pressure is off, like with the old man walking his dog in the park. So spread the love. You'll be an expert in no time.