Saturday, April 13, 2013

Patio Play: Flirting Al Fresco!

Patio Play: Flirting Al Fresco - group of people laughing dating friends
You’ll never be more brave, you’re at the top of your game with three-quarters of a margarita in you, but somehow you’re still sitting in your seat. Here’s where you need to remember three simple words: Nothing to lose!

The warm weather is finally here and you’ve got Spring fever! Instead of heading home from work to put on your sweatpants and examine the DVR, you’ve got a hankering to call your friends to find a rickety patio table somewhere to get the cocktails flowing! This season you’ve vowed to get ‘out there’ more, to be more approachable to the opposite sex, and get out of that ‘my friends are more interesting than the hot guy at the next table’ comfort zone you’ve been in all winter.

Good for you! And in case you’re feeling completely unarmed for the fight, here are a few tips and reminders for flirting al fresco.

Making Your Move
You and your friends have found the perfect rooftop patio for your after-work happy hour bonding session. There’s no particular agenda on the table, but you’re single and you’d love to meet someone special. You look around the bar and see a person you might be attracted to. What do you do next? Ignore him or her all night and pray they come over to talk to you? Wrong. Instead, make your move! You don’t have to go all cheeseball and have the waiter send over a drink. In fact, the easiest way to start a visual conversation is much simpler than that.

Eye Contact
The most important way to find out if someone is interested is to make eye contact. For women and men alike, a simple stare down will suffice, then when he or she looks your way, you smile and look away. It sounds like high school, but believe me, it works. Think of all the high schoolers finding dates while we adults over-polite ourselves into an empty bed every night. Besides, it’s not rude to look at someone for that length of time. Of course if there is no reciprocation, you have to have the sense to give up. Otherwise you actually are being a pest. Or a creep.

Body Language
So far, so good. She’s looked your way and smiled back. Now check out her body language. Is she facing you and looking over at you occasionally? This is a good sign. If a woman wants to ignore you, she will turn her back on you, or cover her face or eyes in some way to let you know that your gaze is unwanted. Learn how to read this sign correctly so you don’t waste your time and hers. Women who want to be approached have a tendency to tilt their heads to one side, or play with strands of hair to indicate being receptive, while for men it’s often a stiffer posture and ‘grooming’ such as picking lint off his T-shirt. Look for these signs as a signal to make your move.

You’ve made eye contact with your wanted man a few times now, and his body language is telling you that he’d like to meet. It’s time to make a move. You’ll never be more brave, you’re at the top of your game with three-quarters of a margarita in you, but somehow you’re still sitting in your seat. Here’s where you need to remember three simple words: Nothing to lose! If you can’t do it alone, get your girlfriend to come with you, but either way it’s time to physically drag yourself across the room. This advice goes for men and women, since the stereotypes have long been debunked about who should approach whom.

First Words
Keep checking body language as you approach. What you’re looking for is an instant ‘at attention’ pose from your would-be lover / date. The thing to remember at this point is that you are not the only nervous person in this scenario. You’re both excited by the opportunity and you’re both going to sweat and stammer a little bit, even with the margarita. Tell yourself to relax and start with a simple hello. Remember to smile and then let the conversation go naturally. Don’t bombard her with questions about where she’s from right away, and don’t ramble on about your workplace to him right off the bat. A safe topic is the music that’s playing, or the type of beer he drinks, or making fun of the parasol adorning your fruity drink. Small things that lead to other topics slowly are best. If you come on too strong with a line or a specific comment, often it’s a showstopper.

The bottom line is that if you see someone you’re interested in, you owe it to yourself to give it a try. If they aren’t reciprocating your interest, you move on, but at least you won’t go home regretting that you couldn’t screw up the courage just to smile and say hello.

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