Flirting is rooted in evolution as a means of communicating readiness for reproduction and interest in a potential relationship. Although this more scientific view can be dry, the reality is that flirting can and should be fun. If you’ve been spending time with your best guy friend, you may find that your feelings toward him have changed to make you wonder if something more also might be fun. Even with these feelings, you might also hesitate to say or do anything because you value your friendship and don’t want it to become awkward. Flirting with your best guy friend can give you the opportunity to test the waters in a subtle way while also giving him the opportunity to respond to your advances.
Use the power of touch, initially briefly but with increased frequency and duration over time. Touch is one of the best ways to communicate nonverbally that you like another person. Longer or more frequent touching correlates positively with the extent of your attraction to another person so don’t be afraid to touch your best guy friend more often and for longer periods. A simple touch of his arm can increase feelings of intimacy, explains the Social Issues Research Centre in its online publication “SIRC Guide to Flirting.” If you get positive feedback, such as a silly grin, or even better, he touches your arm or holds your hand, your flirting has been enthusiastically received. If however, your guy friend seems more guarded or less receptive to your touch, back up a bit, because you might be pushing for too much, too soon.
Compliment him. A compliment isn’t just an expression of appreciation for your guy friend, his taste in music or something else that defines him, it’s also a way of letting him know you feel like a kindred spirit. Like any form of communication, complimenting can be done in a way that is effective as well as ways that can be perceived as creepy. Ideally, compliments should be specific, infrequent, brief and appropriate, explains psychologist Susan Krauss Whitbourne in the online publication “9 Types of Compliments and Why They Work (Or Not).” Pick out something that you like about your guy friend that doesn’t go beyond the boundaries of good taste, summarize it briefly and say it just once. Avoid rapid-fire complimenting that can occur with the proverbial butterflies in the stomach you feel when you sense an attraction.
Engage in the universal nonverbal signals of attraction when flirting with your guy friend. Because you are already friends, it’s likely you already have fairly good eye contact, smile frequently and are comfortable spending time together. Take those behaviors to the next level by increasing their duration or frequency. Hold your eye contact with your guy friend just a bit longer than you normally would or touch him just a bit longer than you previously have. If you sit together, move closer, just slightly into his personal space.
Change up the parameters of your current relationship. You may be acting and feeling like a friend, so he may not know that you are considering more. Let him know you enjoy his company and that you look forward to spending time with him in your shared activities. He appreciates you for who you are, but it isn’t a bad thing to put on makeup or a different outfit to get more of his attention. Show a genuine interest in him, his family and his goals for the future. Don’t ask obvious questions such as “Do you think you’ll ever get married?” which can cause him to become defensive or distant.
Maura Banar has been a professional writer since 2001 and is a psychotherapist. Her work has appeared in "Imagination, Cognition and Personality" and "Dreaming: The Journal of the International Association for the Study of Dreams." Banar received her Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Buffalo State College and her Master of Arts in mental health counseling from Medaille College.
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