Is anyone qualified to give flirting advice? Maybe people in relationships who have presumably successfully flirted at least once, but when’s the last time they were on the spot to make the eye contact they’ve established with the man at the smoothie machine last longer than two seconds? A disclaimer: I’ve never hit on a boy without being weird about it. The upside—I’ve accumulated enough awkward flirting tales through both personal experience and friends to make the list below—list that, if anything, definitely can’t make you more single than you already are.
Make Sure You’re Not Bleeding
A lesson learned my first week of high school: Check your body to make sure that blood—or any other bodily fluid—is not visible. This came after a summer of staring at the tall, hot, blonde kid in marching band camp who I had finally worked up the courage to approach. After a few moments he looked down at me and said, “Your feet are bleeding.” And they were. My sandals had rubbed into my toes, which were then lined with blood. In case it wasn’t already obvious enough, we did not date.
Don’t Make Yourself the Fallback Girl
Sometimes the cutie you’re stalking already has a girlfriend, and you want to throw yourself into the ring just in case something goes wrong. Contingency plans are great, but you are not one. This tip came from a bank teller friend who had to turn down a flirty woman who apparently also has her finances in order. After learning that he had a girlfriend, she still gave him her number and told him to call her if he was “single by the time she would come back to Florida the next winter.” He threw out the number because he’s not a horrible person.
Avoid the Little Sister
We’ve all at some point woven together an intricate web of social connections to reach our crush, through mutual friends that you may not even like that much or, more desperately, their sibling. For two years, the same girl would go out of her way to chat me up about my older, potato-faced brother. It was obvious, and even though I appreciated her dedication to being completely out there with it, my brother was a little weirded out.
Massage Chair Do’s and Don’ts
When a stranger’s hands are caressing and rubbing your crush’s body for money while he sits in a backwards leather chair in the middle of a shopping mall, know that it is not the time for you to approach. Even if he likes you back, you’re stressing out his stranger-hands time. The friend who went through this massage-turned-attempted-flirt was also faced with the awkwardness of having to walk out of the store with the flirter, trapping him and her in small talk.
The secret to flirting is to not think about how embarrassing and horrible even the best attempts are. Try to make yourself and your intended recipient as comfortable as possible then let loose. Valentine’s Day is over and boys are aware of how single they are. Like a bird waiting for the worms to come up after the rain, you can strike now while they’re vulnerable.