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Flirting 101


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Some people are natural flirts; they're born with the gift of gab and a megawatt smile that send hearts a-flutterin'. Then there are the rest of us. While not hopeless, we could certainly fine-tune our game. How, you ask? University of Hawai'i Department of Speech professors (and husband and wife), Krystyna and R. Kelly Aune, share these tried-and-true tips.

    Flirtatious eye contact is maintained seconds longer than the average, I-work-with-that-guy gaze. "Go ahead and violate that social norm; stare a bit," says Kelly.

    • If you decide to stroll over and say hello, keep the cheesy pick-up lines to yourself. Krystyna points to research that shows a simple, "Hi, I'm (insert name here)" rated highest with the majority of women.

    • Krystyna also suggests that women avoid using a high-pitched, look-at-me-I'm-cute voice. Instead, lower your pitch, which can "evoke strength, confidence and even sensuality."

    • Touch plays a large role in flirtation. But this not-so-subtle tactic should be used with caution, says Kelly. "Casual touching doesn't carry the same significance for women as it does for men. Men have trouble seeing any touch as casual."

    • Guys can offer her a hand when she gets up from her seat or out of the car, which is a socially appropriate, gentlemanly gesture.

    • Ladies, if you're seriously into this guy (and only if you're serious), try the "invisible lint" fix–reaching up and removing lint or something else from his shoulder. "Most guys think any form of contact from a woman constitutes flirting," says Kelly. "Removing the invisible lint ... is [an] obvious signal in men's communication code book. You're grooming him after all, and, for the most part, he can think of only one reason you would be grooming him."

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