The end of your marriage is the start of a whole new chapter in your life, one that will hopefully be full of exciting new experiences, such as getting back into the dating game. It's natural to feel apprehensive about dating after divorce. After focusing your attention solely on your spouse, it may feel unnatural to flirt with a new person. The only way to overcome these nerves is to practice, which can be a whole lot of fun in itself.
First of all, don't worry about your flirting skills, or lack thereof. Depending on how long you were married, it may have been years or even decades since you flirted with someone. See this stage in your life as what it is: a valuable learning experience, advises writer and divorcee Rebecca Lammersen in the article, "How to Find Love After Divorce" for "The Huffington Post." Embrace the emotions you experience when you speak to someone, such as anxiety, exhilaration and hope. Don't put too much pressure on yourself to make a great impression or bag a date. Just go with the flow, and ease yourself back into the world of flirting.
Connect With Your Eyes
Maintain good eye contact when you're chatting to someone to show you're interested. Add a flirtatious touch by breaking eye contact to glance at the person's mouth, before looking back at hi eyes. This signifies sexual approval, Judi James, author of "The Body Language Bible," tells "Cosmopolitan" in the article, "How To Get Hit On All the Time." James recommends combining this move with a subtle head tilt and coy smile.
Keep the Conversation Flowing
Sticking to simple conversational skills will take the pressure off when you see someone you like the look of. Pay him a compliment, ask his opinion or simply say "Hi," suggests dating and relationship coach Christine Baumgartner in the article, "Get His Attention: 12 Conversation Starters For Women," for "YourTango." When you start chatting, give him your full attention. Smile, laugh at his jokes and ask him questions about himself to help conversation flow and create a relaxed atmosphere. If you make him feel like he's the only person in the room, he'll know you're interested in him.
Back to Body Basics
Body language is a huge part of flirting. Over half of all communication comes from how you use your body, rather than what you say, explains body language expert Janine Driver to "Cosmopolitan." Fortunately, things are unlikely to have changed too much since the last time you tried your hand at flirting. Being aware of the basics will help keep you on track. During conversation, keep your body facing the other person in an open position, with your arms relaxed by your sides, not crossed over your body. Pointing your body parts, such as your hands and feet, toward a person shows that you're interested in him, says Judi James in the article, "The New Rules of Flirting." Mirroring his body language is another subtle flirting signal, says sex and relationships expert Tracey Cox in the article, "Decode his Body Language." For example, if he crosses his legs or decides to smooth his hand over his hair, you do the same. If you feel brave enough to make actual physical contact, go for an "accidental" touch, such as brushing your hand against his as you reach across the bar, or briefly touching his leg with your foot under the table. Even the slightest touch is enough to create a spark of sexual energy if both parties are receptive, says clinical psychologist Dennis Sugrue in "The New Rules of Flirting."
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C. Giles is a writer with an MA (Hons) in English literature and a post-graduate diploma in law. Her work has been published in several publications, both online and offline, including "The Herald," "The Big Issue" and "Daily Record."