Over the pandemic, we’ve been introduced to social distancing dating, and know it can feel like you’re trying to go swimming while wearing a winter coat and ski boots. The two just don’t seem to work well together.
Coronavirus is still very much part of our lives and will be for the foreseeable future, but if finding romance is something on your mind, there’re still plenty of ways to jump back in. You can even use the lessons learned in social distancing and dating and make them work in your favor!
As a dating and relationship coach, over the last few months, I’ve seen many people make meaningful connections and start falling in love. They were able to do this by learning and mastering new dating skills and techniques, and one of those is reimaging the art of flirting.
Flirting is an important part of the dating and relationship-building process. The only problem now is that with social distancing having created more caution in our dating lives, flirting can have some limitations, and often starts at a distance, via the phone, or on video chats. So I’m here to break down the best and more effective ways to flirt in the time of a global pandemic.
Social Distancing Dating: 10 Ways to Keep It Fun
Try online before offline
If you feel a bit anxious about meeting in person first, why not try an online date. Over the last year, it has become an increasingly popular first date option. And when we feel relaxed, it’s easier to have fun and be flirty.
Trying out a platform like Zoosk Great Dates, for example, allows you to go on a virtual tour of exciting foreign cities together. From exploring the culture and history of Japan to taking a wine tour in Italy, connecting online first can be a great way to test out the chemistry. This lets you put yourself out there from the convenience and comfort of your own home, where you feel at ease to let yourself shine.
Make lingering eye contact
They say that the eyes are the window into the soul. If you want to flirt with someone and show that you’re interested, use your eyes! Flirty eye contact means looking directly into their eyes for periods of at least 3 seconds at a time. And it’s totally okay and recommended to lock eyes during conversation.
This is especially important during deep or titillating conversations. But always make sure you break away from gazing into their eyes by glancing away at times. The goal here is to get them to fall for you, not creep them out.
Smiling is sexy
Few things are as attractive to quality partners as positivity. And nothing tells someone you’re a positive person like a smile. We’re not talking a Joker-esque perma-smile here, rather just making sure to keep that frown upside-down, giving that prospective partner an understanding that you’re happy, open, and interested in getting to know them.
Smiling is inviting, flash those pearly whites to your advantage!
Let go and laugh
Countless studies have shown that humor and laughter bonds people and makes them more attracted to each other. By steering the conversations to comfortable topics that showcase your humor and/or theirs, you’re automatically setting yourself up to be a flirting master.
Don’t take it too seriously. Let your guard down and have a good time laughing together.
Mirror, mirror on the wall
This idea of mirroring doesn’t mean that you follow someone’s every move, but research suggests that when one person subtly copies the action of the person across from them, attraction tends to build. Again, subtlety is key here, by doing things like taking a drink when they drink or leaning in when they lean in, you’re flirting without saying a word.
If you’re making a good connection, you’ll probably find yourself unconsciously mirroring them anyway as it’s a natural physical reaction.
Let your body do the talking
Each of the above falls under body language, but there are so many additional ways to flirt with your body I think it needs its own category. Simple body movements like leg crossing, leaning forward, touching lips, chin, and face, and consistent nodding are all proven flirting cues to use.
Some of these are conscious things you can control and some may happen more subconsciously, but whatever you do with your body, reveal yourself as open, interested, and confident.
Use compliments generously
“I love your shirt, where did you get it?” or “Your hair looks really great today, did you just get it cut?” are two unassuming, flirty compliments that come to mind. Almost all of us love a good, unsolicited compliment when it comes from a place of authenticity. So as you’re talking to someone try to pepper in one or two compliments.
Only say what you mean, but don’t be afraid to let someone know what you like about them.
Try not to overshare
Being vulnerable and giving potential partners the feeling that you’re willing to share all of you is attractive but sometimes singles take this too far and overshare. Always leave them wanting more as this is an important part of the flirting process.
Arouse him or her by eliciting some curiosity and mystery about you and your life. This can be done by alluding to some cool parts of your life to gain interest but without providing too many details. This can be followed up at a later stage when you revisit the topic and continue to slowly reveal the more personal parts of your life.
ABC, aka always be cute
I first heard this fun, little acronym from a friend of mine who coined it because when it comes to going out in the business and social world, you need to always look your best. I think it directly applies to flirting and dating too, especially now.
Since so many people are forced to flirt via their computers or by meeting at casual outside locales like parks or beaches, it’s sometimes easy to think you don’t need to make much of an effort to look good.
This can be a mistake. Sure you want them to get to know you on the inside, but how you present yourself physically will go a long way to let them know your interest level. A great way to flirt before you even open your mouth is to present yourself well.
This could mean wearing a color that shows off your eyes or your most flattering jeans. If you look like you just came from the gym (even if you just have) you’re telling the person across from you or on the screen in front of you, they may not be worth the effort.
Do a kind gesture
Being kind and thoughtful is something we should all be making a conscious effort to do more of, but when it comes to flirting there’s no question that kindness is a welcomed friend. The act of being kind might come in the form of writing an unsolicited love note or even something more overt like sending a gift.
We’re not talking diamond earrings here, but some flowers or a craft project you did just for them goes a long way to show someone that you think they’re cute.
To me, a quality conversation should look and feel like a good tennis match where the ball bounces back and forth over the net. The best way to do this is to bring your conscious conversational skills to the date, don’t talk about yourself too much, and ask plenty of questions.
To be extra flirty arm yourself with questions that you know your prospective partner would like to talk about. This can be done by pulling out tidbits of information about what they enjoy in life from their dating profile or keeping details gleaned from your previous conversations. Then, naturally and surreptitiously, add in some open-ended questions that highlight these areas.
In the age of social distancing dating, it’s not time to give up on romance. In fact, more and more people are finding ways to make real connections in this unprecedented experience. Keep your heart open and explore new and different ways to get to know each other. Love can always find a way!
Amie Leadingham is a Master Certified Relationship Coach. Her greatest accomplishments come from seeing her clients find lasting love, and she offers a 30 minute Free Relationship Readiness Review. Amie has been named one of LA’s “Best Dating Coaches” by DatingAdvice and featured in a variety of media outlets including the CBS Network, Fox 5 News, People Entertainment Weekly Channel, HelloGiggles and Martha Stewart Weddings. Grab her free eBook, 5 Dating Traps Keeping You Single here.