Flirting is an art. Properly done, the process provides just enough intrigue to interest another person. Done poorly, it is an instant turnoff. Individuals over 50, once called "over-the-hill," have found new strength in numbers as part of the Baby Boom generation. People over 50 make up over 27 percent of the U.S. population. Flirting, dating and social networking for the over-50 crowd are distinctly different than for those of younger generations.
How to Flirt Over 50
Select a location. Flirts should blend in with the general population. While the younger crowd may find what they're looking for in clubs and nightspots, that may not fit in with your over-50 lifestyle. Women flirts should select locations where numerous men are available. Hardware stores, home improvement stores and automotive departments work well. Men should consider locations where women are plentiful. The grocery store is a good choice. Sewing stores are excellent, because of the ratio of male to female shoppers. Select a site with a coffee shop, bar or small cafe within the shopping complex.
Develop a back story. It should not appear that the location was selected simply for flirting. Telling the truth is best. If a shirt button requires repair, or the flirter wants to cook a rutabaga, this creates a situation suitable for flirting, as well as an honest back story. Women handy in home improvement should select a job that is new to them, and scan the appropriate aisle looking for assistance and an opportunity to flirt.
Make eye contact. As the person offers assistance to the flirter, it is important to look into the other person's eyes. Nod as he offers suggestions. Smile at humor, but do not appear too eager. Just be yourself. People who are over 50 are often more comfortable with themselves than they were when they were younger. Let that show.
Draw out the conversation. The flirter should ask specific questions to show interest and illustrate good listening techniques. Draw the other person into the conversation by asking questions about the process. This will open the conversation up so that the person may offer more personal details, if she is interested. She may even offer to help the flirter with the activity. Ask intelligent questions. The "dumb blonde" routine doesn't work well in the over-50 dating field.
Use "open" body language. Do not stand with arms crossed or placed behind the back. Keep your gestures honest and appropriate. Tossing your hair and giggling may work for the 20-something crowd, but don't seem genuine past a certain age. If an appropriate opportunity arises, lightly touch the other person's arm or shoulder to indicate approval or interest. Lean slightly into the conversation when the other person speaks to show active interest.
Be prepared for anything. The flirting adventure should include an open period after the event, so if the other person is agreeable to the idea of going for coffee, a drink or dinner, it can be easily done. If the flirting location has been planned adequately, this activity may be done within a few steps of the main location.
Be open to flirting with all types of people. Age differences are less of a factor after 50, so be open to the possibilities of a fun adventure with mutual flirters of any age. Be willing to take a few chances.
There isn't one perfect way to flirt. It requires personal interpretation. With enough practice, a person develops a flirting style that fits. It just takes practice.
Ask a friend who is able to be objective to observe your flirting technique. Be open to any suggestions she may make about your gestures or mannerisms.
Select a few flirting locations. Mix up the times and days for the excursions, unless you meet someone that you wish to find again. A new friend just may be looking for you to show up again at the same day and time.
Use safety precautions, including limiting flirting to the designated meeting location until the background of the person is known. Never take risks with personal safety.
Use the "Rule of Three." If three individuals say the same negative thing about your flirting technique, change it. Even subtle suggestions are hints that something is not working and requires modification.