So you've managed to pick yourself up after the heartbreak of a divorce or a long-term relationship breakdown. And you've taken enough time to gather yourself and heal to the point where you're ready to dip your toe in the dating waters again.
So what are some of the key tips if you're a bit rusty on the flirting front?
1. Tend to your wardrobe and grooming
First impressions count so make sure you've done your prep work. A recent member survey showed that more than a quarter of RSVP members decide if they like their date in five or fewer minutes so proper preening will help you make the most of those crucial first minutes. Revamp your wardrobe, do your hair and nails, keep your breath fresh and present a great image when flirting with those around you. It might sound straightforward but many people underestimate the importance of this when they've been out of the game for a while.
2. Smile and make eye contact
You want to appear friendly and interested so look at the person and smile. Make them feel like they're special and interesting.
3. Initiate conversation and ask questions
Be the one to break the ice and start talking. Ask some general questions and avoid cheesy one-liners.
4. Be prepared to talk about yourself
Conversations go both ways so make sure you talk about yourself. Don't over share - but let them know something about you to keep them interested.
5. Respect personal space
Don't get in their personal space. Anything beyond a casual touch of the arm in conversation is inappropriate with someone you have just met - don't and start trying to touch them. There's plenty of time for doing this down the track - step back and let them breathe.
6. Keep the conversation light
No need to get into heavy conversations about feelings, commitments and nasty past relationship break-ups. Keep things light, casual and funny.
7. Don't drink too much
It's never a good idea to drink too much when you're trying to flirt. What may seem funny and cute in your mind usually comes out badly when you've got a lot of alcohol in you.
8. Put your phone away
It's a turn off to keep checking your phone while trying to attract the attention of a member of the opposite sex. It shows disinterest - simply put, you're not making them feel important.
9. Have a friend with you
If you are going out on the town, having a friend or wingman around can make things easier. They can give you confidence if you're making the first move.
10. Take it slow
There's no need to hurry things along. That means no one-night stands or pressuring them for a follow-up date the next day.
John Aiken, RSVP dating and relationship expert, as seen on Ch 9's series Married At First Sight, and the ABC doco Making Couples Happy. He is also the author of the book Making Couples Happy: How science can help get relationships back on track (www.johnaiken.com.au)
Image credit: @giphy.com