You know the routine: You stare deeply into his eyes, smile a lot and giggle when he says anything that's remotely funny. You appear warm and approachable, make witty comments and bat your eyelids just enough so he doesn't think you have a nervous twitch. However, if he doesn't seem to pick up on your cues or respond with a similar type of playful communication, perhaps you've found yourself a man who just isn't good at flirting. In that case, you'll need to change your flirting strategy to let him know you're interested.
While flirting typically should involve a lot of body language and minimal thinking, according to author and dating expert Tracey Steinberg, if you're taken with a guy who doesn't excel in the flirting department, showing a clear interest in him and in the things he likes is a good way to get things going. Ask him about his passions, as this gives you a chance to discover what you have in common. Make sure you ask open-ended questions that he can't answer with just a simple "yes" or "no." Then, when he does answer, you'll need to really listen and respond in such a way that you truly engage him in the conversation. For example, you might go back and forth telling each other about your most embarrassing moments in high school.
Compliments He Can’t Ignore
You'll also want to let him know what characteristics you find attractive in a man. Of course, it goes without saying that you should make specific references to him when describing the type of guy that appeals to you. Men enjoy being complimented as much as women do, according to the article, “How to Flirt: Nine Effortless Ways to Flirt With a Man” on YourTango.com. Keep in mind that compliments are what make conversations flirtatious.
The Power of Touch
Touching is part of the flirting game. People who are touched end up being more agreeable, relaxed and in better moods, notes Dr. Jeremy Nicholson in the Psychology Today article, “How to Influence and Persuade With Touch." Furthermore, a study conducted at the University of Alaska and published in the "Journal of Research in Personality" found that mutual touching, particularly when coupled with eye contact, increased sexual desire. So, take it slow, but when you make eye contact with the object of your flirting attention, casually touch him as you chat. If your guy seems to relax at your touch -- and should he respond by touching you back -- you'll know that you're making headway.
Give It a Go
If you feel like you've advanced in the flirting department, but the guy just seems too shy to ask you out, it's perfectly fine for you to ask him if he wants to get together. Go see a movie and then someplace where you can talk about the flick -- and also see if anything else clicks between the two of you. If someone isn't good at flirting, it doesn't mean that he's not good at dating or relationship material. You shouldn't have to carry the relationship or make all the moves, but you can certainly nudge a guy along if you think he's got possibilities.
- Journal of Research In Personality: Effects of Mutual Gaze and Touch on Attraction, Mood and Cardiovascular Reactivity
- Psychology Today: How to Influence and Persuade With Touch
- YourTango.com: How to Flirt: Nine Effortless Ways to Flirt With Any Man
- Dateologist: How can Dateologist Tracey Steinberg Help YOU?
Nina Edwards holds a doctorate in clinical psychology and has been writing about families and relationships since 2000. She has numerous publications in scholarly journals and often writes for relationship websites as well. Edwards is a university lecturer and practicing psychologist in New York City.
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