10 Key Flirting Tips

For many of you the act of flirting will come quite naturally. You can simply turn it on anywhere, any time and get the attention of others around you. Whether it's your eye contact, banter, body language, appearance and/or sense of humour - you've got it. And as a result, dating is a process that you enjoy and get really excited about.

For others however, flirting can be like a foreign language. A way of interacting with others that is very unnatural, it feels awkward and uncomfortable. A confusing process that usually ends with you feeling deflated and anxious about the future.

If you're in this camp, then help is on the way. Here are 10 key flirting tips to assist you in making a positive impact on other singles:

1. Make eye contact It all begins with the eyes. Getting someone's attention can be done by making eye contact and letting them know you're interested. Don't stare them down - that's going to make them run the other way! Instead, just do enough to let them know you're keen. And when you're with them, look them in the eye and show them that you're present and having a good time.

2. Smile When you smile at someone you're showing warmth and interest. It creates a great chemistry and lets the other person know that you're enjoying them and their company. It takes the nerves out of the situation and makes everything seem more relaxed.

3. Ask questions Everyone loves to talk about themselves. Rather than trying to carry the load of keeping a conversation going - ask questions. Let them contribute to the discussion. It shows them that you want to know more about them - and that you're curious. If also tells them you're not 'all about you'.

4. Listen It's a basic skill - but it's one that really has an impact. Forget about looking at your phone for texts, responding to calls or scanning the room for other attractive singles. Listen to the person standing in front of you and make them feel heard and important.

5. Use humour One great way to flirt with someone is to be humourous and show off your funny side. To tease a little and engage in some good-natured banter. I'm not talking about trying too hard to be the comedian in the room - just give them a glimpse of your lighter side and have some laughs.

6. Don't talk too much Avoid talking about yourself too much. Some self-disclosure is important so that you don't have a one-sided conversation - but don't make it all about you. Make sure you give them the space to get into the flow of the conversation and allow the spotlight to fall on them.

7. Pay compliments Everyone loves to receive a compliment. Be aware to play it safe and avoid getting creepy or too intense with your praise. Just drop in the odd bit of praise so that they feel special, attractive and gives them a sign that you're interested.

8. Avoid cheesy one-liners Never, ever, ever try to flirt by using cheesy one-liners. It will come off as being too practised, you'll appear desperate, and the exchange won't feel natural. You want to be yourself when flirting and show off your real personality rather than one that's insincere and needy.

9. Respect their personal space When you're flirting with someone let them breathe and have their own personal space. Don't get in their face and become smothering, intense and touchy-feely. They need to feel safe to engage with you and have some fun - crowding them is only going to push them away.

10. Be aware of your body language When your talking to another person be aware of your body language. Avoid crossing your arms and closing off to your potential love interest. Instead, be open in your stance, have a strong tall posture, and give off an appearance of confidence and poise.

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)

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