In This Chapter
^ Working out what your next move should be ^ Making that next move ^ Considering seduction strategies friendly flirt sits well within most people's comfort zone, but the stumbling block for many is knowing when to turn up the temperature into a full-on flirt and how to get the end result you want, from a telephone number, to a kiss, to an invitation for coffee!
This chapter covers all the tips you need to develop a friendly flirtation into something more romantic.
Making the Next Move: The Logistics
You've been flirting for a while and everything's lovely, but when should you make the next move? Before you actually make the next move, you need to consider two things: whether you actually want to make the next move, and if you do, the venue.
If you're over your initial curiosity and you've decided that they're really not for you and you don't want to take things any further, don't string them along under the misapprehension that you're being kind to their feelings. Doing so only causes you more of a problem later when you can't shake them off because you left them with the impression that you wanted to see them again. Most people will think a lot more of you for being straight with them in the first place. Check out Chapter 18 for ways to ditch someone nicely.
Adam and Nancy worked for the same company, which employed over 1,000 people. They'd spotted each other going in and out of the building but had exchanged nothing more than glances. At a small function to celebrate the completion of a large project, the two literally bumped into each other. Adam apologised and went to get Nancy a drink. Now the ice was broken the two chatted animatedly together. When the event started to wind up, Adam and Nancy mirrored each other's body language as they shuffled from foot to foot wondering who was going to make the first move. Ultimately, an awkward silence ensued before they said goodbye and headed back to their respective offices. Adam kicked himself for not asking for her number and decided to track her down; hopefully not many Nancys worked in the building and he should be able to recognise her voice. Just as he was leaving the office, however, he received an email from Nancy asking him to join her for coffee, so all ended well.
Don't be afraid to take the initiative or you may not get the opportunity to ask again.
However, if you really like a person and you can see that the feeling is mutual, by them mirroring your words, gestures, and proximity and giving off preening signals, you're ready to make the next move. Whether you've been flirting with a new friend or a date, letting them slip away for the want of taking the initiative is a waste of all your hard work.
If you're wondering about who should make the next move, let's not be old-fashioned about it. Don't leave the guys to do all the running; being chased is flattering for men and women.
Deciding where to make the next move can sometimes be tricky. You want the setting to be right and to have a little flirting zone of your own to work within without any distracting interruptions. You may be tempted to wait to get them on their own, but this opportunity may pass you by if they wander off with friends.
You don't need to announce your desire to take things further in front of a group of people, you can create your own space within the group. Follow these steps:
1. Turn to face the person.
Not only does this move block their view of other people it also makes it very difficult for anyone to interrupt.
2. If the room is loud, touch them on the upper arm as you lean in to ask the question.
3. Pop your question, whether you're asking for a number, date, or invitation back for coffee.
ajftNG/ After you've popped your question, don't stand facing them for too long unless you're both comfortable with the position (that is, () you're in a full-on flirt). Otherwise, this stance can be intimidating. Find out more in the later section 'Going for the kiss'.
Asking them if you can have a quiet word can sometimes kill the moment, unless you've a strong indication that the feeling is mutual (for example, they're mirroring your body and facial language, moving closer in proximity to you, and exhibiting preening clues) in which case they'll welcome the opportunity to get a quiet conversation going. However, if you're in any doubt that things are more one-sided, wait until they leave for a comfort break and use the opportunity to have a quiet word on the way to or from the loo.
Making a move in the office is potentially problematic, particularly if the other person feels compromised or if they could interpret your advance as sexual harassment. If you're going to make your next move with someone in the office, you need to be aware of certain things:
✓ If you're not already speaking to the person, never approach them from behind because they won't be at their most receptive when surprised. In a survey of office behaviour, I found that being approached from behind, particularly if the person isn't aware you're behind them, ranked as one of the most irritating behaviours. So avoid doing it.
✓ Respect their right to keep their private life private and don't broadcast your move to the rest of the office and their colleagues by telling everyone that you're going to ask them or by asking in front of their colleagues.
✓ Be aware of your status in the company compared to theirs and don't make your move in a manner that could be construed as patronising or intimidating (for example sitting on their desk in front of them, leaning over their shoulder from behind and whispering in their ear, or cornering them in the lift).
Tim had been attracted to Jill, a personal assistant, for ages. He decided he was going to make the bold step of asking her out. Her desk faced the wall, so he walked up behind her, leant over her shoulder, and asked her in a whisper if he could have a word. Tim nonchalantly sat on her desk to face her, before asking in a very audible voice if she was available at the weekend. Jill flushed; she was attracted to Tim, but he'd taken her by surprise. Tim was a manager and he'd asked her in front of her colleagues. She could feel the office go quiet as they all listened in to their conversation, waiting to see if she'd say yes. Jill was in a difficult position; if she said no she'd embarrass him and he wouldn't ask her again, but if she said yes she might appear a pushover in front of her colleagues. Jill went very red, which didn't help the situation. Jill responded that she'd have to check her diary and she'd email him later. Tim had made several errors in judgement in his choice of where to make his move, but Jill rescued the situation nicely and got to make her response without the rest of the office being party to it.
To achieve the result you want, think about the points above before deciding on the best place to make your next move.
✓ Pick neutral zones like the cafeteria, kitchen, or anywhere outside the office setting.
The place that is least conducive towards making your next move is the lift. People find it difficult to talk and deliberately avoid making eye contact in lifts because the situation forces you to let people into your personal space who wouldn't normally be allowed. If you're too close when you make your move, it could be enough to put them off.
Read more about starting an office romance in Chapter 14.
Pick the right moment to make the next move. Don't wait for it to appear. The clue that tells you that one time may be better than another is when you feel an increase in their body language towards you. For example, they're smiling more at you, have increased their eye contact, are mirroring your body language, their proximity is closer, they're preening themselves or intentionally touching themselves or you, and they're giving you their full attention.
At certain times, making a move isn't advisable:
Michelle and Sarah met on a weekend residential course. They got on like a house on fire during the day and on the Saturday night they sat up until the early hours as Michelle regaled Sarah with funny story after funny story. Sarah thought she'd met her new best friend; she'd had the funniest life and they'd bonded so strongly. She invited Michelle to stay the following weekend. They sat up to the early hours again whilst Michelle repeated the stories she'd told the previous weekend. Sarah then realised that Michelle had related all her best anecdotes and had nothing left to tell. Her life had sounded amazing, because she'd basically described everything that had ever happened to her in the space of one evening; unfortunately, she was incapable of making any further conversation.
Michelle had tried so hard to win Sarah's friendship that she'd given too much away, too soon. She was devastated that she'd lost somebody else who could have been her friend. Michelle bought a book on how to build rapport with other people and be charismatic. She started to pace herself and to leave people wanting more. Hinting at having untold stories to reveal did wonders for both maintaining new friendships and her love life.
Always leave them wanting more to maximise the success of your flirtations.
✓ In an atmosphere where seeing or hearing the other person's reaction is difficult, such as a night club.
✓ When the other person has just had some devastating news and is using you as a shoulder to cry on. Don't confuse sharing a highly emotional moment as being anything more than solace; misreading the situation like this may lead to rejection if you make a pass.
✓ When you or the other person is tired or ill, because they may give a negative response that you could misinterpret as rejection, when actually they're just not up to accepting an advance.
✓ When the other person is in a rush, because they may not give your advance the consideration it deserves.
'Always leave them wanting more' is one of the fundamentals of flirting - it applies whether you're making a new friend or a new lover. Leaving them wanting more builds anticipation and makes the next meeting even better. There's really only one effective way of doing this and it's to end your date on a high rather than hanging on in there until the conversation runs dry.
If no natural break occurs in the conversation, make an excuse to leave. Doing so leaves them hungry to see more of you and moves you swiftly into the 'assessing what your next move should be' phase, as covered in the next section.
Assessing What the Next Move Should Be jk\ng/
No hard and fast rules exist about what the next move should be; just make sure you're comfortable with it and that events occur at your own pace. Don't be pushed into doing anything you're not ready for. Some people are happy to hit the hay on the first date; others are quite satisfied with swapping numbers. Personal preference is what matters; you're no more or less of a flirt judged by how far you do or don't get.
Alcohol suppresses inhibition and we tend to do silly things and things we may regret when we've had a drink. If you don't want to do anything on your date that you may regret, lay off the booze.
Whether you're enjoying a full-on flirtation with someone or just making a new friend, getting their number is a must if you're unlikely to bump into them again. You've already done the hard part; asking for their number is a piece of cake in comparison.
Don't hope that they're going to ask for your number and wait for them to do so; they could be waiting for you to ask.
When you sense that the conversation is coming to a close or you're ready to leave them wanting more:
1. Thank them for their company and say how much you've enjoyed being with them.
2. Tell them that seeing them again - for lunch, coffee, drinks, dinner, or whatever you feel is appropriate -would be good.
3. If they agree, organise a time and place to meet up there and then, or ask for their number and tell them roughly when you'll call, or give them your number and tell them the best time to call you.
Sometimes you just know when the time is right for a kiss, but if you're lacking in flirting confidence you may not be able to go for it. Recognising whether they're ready to kiss you can help. Following are some signals that the person you're flirting with would be happy with a kiss:
✓ Your heads have become noticeably closer together.
✓ They're looking at your mouth more.
✓ They're touching their mouth and lips more, for example brushing against them with a glass, fingers, straw, or their glasses.
✓ Their lips look fuller.
✓ Their pupils are dilated and their eyes are glassy.
✓ They're touching themselves or you more.
✓ They're licking or biting their lips.
✓ Their feet, hips, and shoulders are all directly aligned with yours. With the exception of full-on flirting, this pose is only adopted if you're about to confront, challenge, or attack someone.
If you can see three of these signs, or, even better, a cluster of four, then pucker up and get in there.
Heading back to theirs
Being caught up in the heat of the moment is delicious, but you should consider several things before heading back to someone else's place.
On a first meeting
You're experiencing love or lust at first sight, they've invited you back to theirs, and you're hot to trot.
Don't be naive or unprepared regarding what could lie in store. You may be enjoying the hottest flirtation you've ever had and, ( M|| j when the hormones kick in, stopping can be difficult. For many people, the thrill of the flirtation lies in the chase; if the chase is short-lived, so may be the relationship. Think twice about whether you want to go full steam ahead now or to build it into a fabulous seduction at a later date. See the safety tips in Chapter 19 before going back to anyone's place.
Wot, no emergency pants!
Dawn was staying with a friend and enjoying a night out on the town. Unfortunately, Dawn's friend vanished with a rugby player, never to return. Dawn stayed in the club waiting for her until last orders. She couldn't find her friend anywhere and didn't have her phone with her; she knew how to get to her house but didn't know the address or have a key to get in. Dawn decided to stay in town and find a hotel but they were all full. A guy she'd been flirting with earlier offered to help out a damsel in distress. He took her back to his hotel room and promised to be on his best behaviour. However, the minute the lights went out he was all over her. After fighting him off for the third time, she headed for the hotel lobby and stayed there until it was light enough to walk to her friend's house.
People don't always behave like they say they're going to, so make sure you have the number of a cab, a means to get in to where you're staying, and plenty of spare cash before you hit the town.
Once you're dating
When you're both ready and your hormones are at boiling point, this is the perfect time to be heading back to theirs. However, if either of you has any doubts, discuss them. Don't push for or be pushed into something that either you or they aren't ready for.
Always carry a condom.
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