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How to Flirt When You’re Awkward

We've all been there: you bump into someone you think is cute at a party and have no idea what to do. Do you strike up a conversation? Do you drop your phone and do a bend-and-snap? Or do you walk away and admire from afar? 

For the flirting experts:

You probably don't need this article (or don't exist. Let's face it, flirting is tough at Brandeis). In case you've been out of your game for a while, refresh with the tips for newbies, and you should have no problem sauntering right over to your party of interest and going for it (whatever that may mean for you). 

For the newbies:

Seeing the person who makes you feel like a tween at a Justin Bieber concert, alone may cause heart palpitations. Despite these feelings, if you don't take a chance one day you may look back on your golden years and think about what might have happened. So, follow these steps if you need some guidance to speed up the romance process whether it's just a bud or nearly in full bloom. 

1) For the mysterious stranger: Take this opportunity to be whoever you want, but just know that chances are you'll probably see them in Sherman at some point waiting in line at the grill station. Bat your eyelashes, drop your phone, do what you need to do to start a conversation with this person. Once you've gotten over the long haul of getting to this point, there are a few topics that you should stick to initially, and a few that you should definitely steer clear of.

  • Safe topics:
  1. Majors/classes
  2. Music
  3. Movies/TV shows
  4. Housing options/ lottery numbers
  5. Mutual friends 
  6. Ask them questions about themselves. Listening to them is just as important, if not more important than talking about yourself!
  • Turn-offs:
  1. Exes
  2. How stressed/busy you are
  3. Grades
  4. Gossip
  5. Morbid/ emotionally charged topics 
  6. For the classmate you have been fawning over

2) For the classmate you have noticed: The best way to strike up a conversation is to sit next to them. That way, when you break up into groups or miss the last line of a slide and need to get notes from them, you can introduce yourself. The next step is to leave class together. This way, you can continue the conversation outside of the classroom and begin to see each other as friends rather than just classmates. Eventually, invite them to lunch or dinner in the dining hall with your friends so that it's not intimidating. Meals are a great way to bridge the in and out of class relationships that you have with them. 

3) For the close friend: Close friends can make the best kind of partners in a relationship. You already know each other well and have figured out that you 'work', the only hoop that you need to jump through is getting past the infamous friend zone. There are some telltale signs that can tell you if you should start operation flirt or keep your friendship as is. Ask yourselves the following questions before you consider making a move, which could end up making things weird for your friendship, which neither of you want.

  • Do they compliment me a lot?
  • Do we have deep conversations about our love lives?
  • Can I tell them anything, and are we emotionally connected?
  • Can I picture myself telling them that I have feelings for them?
  • Would it risk our friendship if I told them about my feelings, or would it be okay if they didn't feel the same way?

If you do decide to make the move, start with something casual like a movie night in your dorm and gradually lead up to cuddling or holding hands. It may take some time for both of you to get used to each other in a different light, so taking small steps is definitely key.

4) For the Hallmate: This can be a tricky one. Hall relationships have worked out for select couples; however, be cautioned that if the relationship or hookup takes a turn for the worst; you still have to see them nearly every day which doesn't help when you're getting over each other. 

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