Tips on Flirting Without Talking

One of the classic metaphors for the courting ritual is the tango, a romantically charged dance in which, of course, no one speaks. Nonverbal cues are powerful in the earliest flirtation and may be your best option for communicating with an attractive stranger across the room. Just remember that, no matter how well you flirt wordlessly, there may come a time when you will have to speak to the object of your affection.


Many people stand, either out of habit or nervousness, with their arms folded in front of them. This can be especially true in social situations; the place you might meet someone you're attracted to. Folded arms, even with a come-hither stare, are a flashing sign that says "I'm unapproachable." Keep your arms unfolded; if necessary keep them in motion by gesturing (not pointing) while speaking or by holding onto your drink. A simple hand motion might make someone notice you, but folded arms may infer "stay away."


Adopt a loose stance, shoulders relaxed, standing or sitting in a comfortable position that you can maintain for a while. According to Jeanne Segal, PhD, tension is easy to read and can make other people feel uncomfortable. Even if you do feel nervous, especially if someone has caught your gaze, try not to show it by tensing up your muscles or fidgeting. If you act composed, you just might find yourself becoming composed.


If eyes are the windows to the soul, you're going to need to keep yours in check once you spot someone special. Glance briefly her way from time to time, people seem to know when others are looking at them and your eyes just might meet. If they do, you're faced with a choice: pretend it didn't happen or let the gaze linger for a moment. A second or two is more than enough to signal interest.


Continuing to have fun once you've made eye contact is key. You want her to think that you're enjoying yourself with whatever you're already doing, but that catching her eye made the night a little extra special. People who are having a good time are inherently more attractive, so try not to let your nerves show.

Send a Drink

You've let down your shoulders, your hair and perhaps your guard and now it's time to make a move. Sending her a drink signals clear interest and puts the ball in her court. You could ask the bartender to send her another of what she's been drinking, but if you're feeling more creative, use this rule of thumb: don't send something you wouldn't drink.

Getting Closer

Now you've batted your eyelashes and sent a drink and she's approaching the table. It's time to talk, but also remember these nonverbal tips. Keep your voice even and warm. Face the object of your affection directly and remember to keep making eye contact. A light touch on the arm might be nice, but only if they seem interested, and don't linger there too long, as touch can also be read as possessive. Perhaps most importantly, make sure to listen, which means you're not talking at the moment; be sure to leave plenty of room in the conversation for the other person.

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About the Author

Erik Steel is a graduate of the University of Michigan, earning his bachelor's degree in Russian. Steel has worked as writer for more than four years and has contributed content to eHow and Pluck on Demand. His work recently appeared in the literary journal "Arsenic Lobster."

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