Dating can often feel like a giant game of chess, with the need to contemplate and reflect upon your moves before you take them if you have any hope of winning. Nobody wants to think about finding Mr. Right as all being part of a game, but sometimes it does take following a few discreet tactics to spark that initial interest.
Perfect “the look.” After catching his eye, look down and away for about 30 seconds or so before looking back and holding his stare. This will communicate to him that you're interested, as it is an unconscious move that people often use naturally when evaluating their own emotions, according to relationship expert Ali Campbell, author of "More than Just Sex."
Flash a big smile his way. Like "the look," this lets him know that you're interested as well, according to flirting and relationship expert Rachel Dealto.
Focus on getting to know who he is. Maintain eye contact as you talk and avoid looking as though you are bored or might have something better to do.
Mimic his body language. Also show your neck. And if you have red lipstick, on your next trip to the ladies room, you should consider putting it on if the setting is appropriate for a little glam, notes Jen Kim in a Psychology Today article. These are ways to flirt without necessarily seeming like you're flirting.
Keep your initial conversations light, sticking to topics about which you both might enjoy talking. Stay away from the subjects of exes and emotional turmoil. Also avoid delving into anything too personal too fast, according to Rori Raye, author of “Have the Relationship You Want,” writing for the eHarmony website.
Drop hints about activities the two of you might enjoy doing together. If he mentions the outdoors, ask if he ever hiked one of your favorite trails. Or, if he indicates an interest in the arts, ask if he heard about the new production coming into town. Seek out those shared interests and then exploit them by mentioning a few great date ideas without outright suggesting that the two of you go together.
Practice the art of being patient. Don’t call him or make contact at all yourself during the early stages of dating, even if you just want to be friendly. Men may put the brakes on a potential relationship if they feel you are taking on the role of the pursuer, according to Raye. Allow him to chase you for a little while.
Remain upbeat and happy in his presence, always letting him know how much fun you have when you are with him. Use those opportunities when you are together to express your interest in him and to get to know each other better.
- Glamour: You're Letting Guys Know You're Interested Within 45 Seconds of Meeting Them, and You Didn't Even Know It (Or Did You??)
- Eharmony: Are You Chasing Him And Don’t Even Know It?
- SheKnows: Flirting Do's and Don'ts
- Mail Online: The look of love? How a woman's glance can tell a man if she's interested (or whether to walk away now)
- Psychology Today: Valley Girl With a Brain
Living in Alaska, Leah Campbell has traveled the world and written extensively on topics relating to infertility, dating, adoption and parenting. She recently released her first book, and holds a psychology degree (with an emphasis in child development and abnormal child psychology) from San Diego State University.
Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images