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MR RIGHT IS A FLIRT RAMESH SHARMA AWAY.

Learn the rules of the 'hooking' game &land the guy of your dreams

SINGLE and ready to mingle? If your New Year resolution is to find Mr Right, then it's about time you started treating every situation as a dating possibility. So says Elizabeth Clark, renowned flirting and charisma expert, in her book, Flirting for Dummies . According to her, everything in daily life provides a chance to flirt. Her easy- to- follow manual helps in mastering the art of flirting, offers invaluable advice on working the dating scene and reinvigorating a person's love life.

For Gurgaon- based BPO executive Renu Sinha, who has always had her fair share of hits and misses when it comes to men, the rules of flirting are now as easy to follow as batting an eyelid. But it didn't happen until she replied to a questionnaire on ' What kind of a flirt are you?', which came as an email forward. She then realised she was a flirt who could make men dance to her whims. Sinha is now juggling time between two guys, neither of whom are Mr Right, according to her. " But then I wouldn't mind holding my gaze a second longer to get a job done. And it helps a lot. I have an auto rickshaw driver who keeps himself free in the mornings to drop me to office and never haggles over the fare. My vegetable vendor gives me fresh greens and my senior gets food for me from his home," says Sinha.

Giving a thumbs- up to flirting, 24- year- old Mansi Tiwari, who works with Tata Communications, says, " I agree that one can meet Mr Right through flirting. It's a good way of understanding a person, but in my case I'm yet to meet Mr Right. If I am interested in someone, I will make the first move. Usually, the guy gets a shock when I start flirting with him. But then, they also start responding. My technique is rather simple, give him a long look and shower compliments as the conversation progresses."

LET YOUR EYES DO THE TALKING

Successful daters are usually outstanding flirts, but of course, the art can be mastered through practice. And for that one doesn't need to look stunning or wear a come- hither look. In fact, experts in the flirt game say that sometimes, all you may need is a quick up- down flash of both eyebrows before the customary ' hi!' as the best non- sexual ice- breaker.

" Oh yes! That's a classic and sure move to get him to break the ice. I tried that with a hunk I met in my office canteen. After that, he managed to ' get lost' in the twofloored office and ' accidentally' bumped into me on the second floor searching for his cabin in the basement. We were an item for six months until he got the pink slip for non- performance," laughs 24- year- old Meena Seghal, management trainee in a Noida- based MNC. But if you are too shy to wiggle your eyebrows, then flattery's the next best bet. Complimenting his tie, his baritone or the pleasant positive energy in his smile will ensure an almost 100 per cent strike rate. " I make it a point to tell my boss his collection of suits is the best I've seen and he always falls for it," says Seghal.

IT HELPS EVEN IF YOU'RE MARRIED

If you thought flirting should be reserved for singles, it's time you changed your views. Used in the correct proportion, it can also help marriages as it reinforces the need of feeling wanted. A chat with that sexy colleague of yours or a discussion about a book with a hottie at the book shop can help in overcoming monotony in marriage, say experts. Pitching for married people to flirt in his book, Mysteries of the Sexes, relationship expert Dave Zinczenko argues that flirting can be used as a kind of foreplay to drive home dividends. "The fun of flirting is that there are no strings attached. Just some good old banter with jokes, laughs and some well-timed sexual innuendo. Fun at first. But when you think of the long process that comes after, it makes you realise that what you've got at home is exactly what you want," says Zinczenko.

Nirmal Mathur, a senior executive with a cellular company, vouches that flirting helped in his family life. Married for five years, Mathur, who has nearly 30 girls in his team, says his wife knows about his flirting habits.

"She has immense faith in me, she knows I will never cross the line and maybe that's why I have never jeopardised my marriage by doing anything more than flirt," says Mathur. He recommends that a little bit of flirting is good for both husband and wife as it makes them more confident.

Flirting isn't only about the art of seduction, it also introduces a feel-good factor. As Clark says, "Flirting gives you a positive lift and it makes you feel good." A survey by a portal found that 85 per cent of respondents who participated felt fit and fantastic, thanks to flirting. According to Sue Ostler, author of Relationships That Rock!, flirting is a fantastic way to stay healthy, physically and mentally. "Flirting keeps you in a positive frame of mind. The more you flirt, the better you feel and that's a good thing for you and everyone around you."

SHAKE A LEG

In flirting, action may speak louder than words, as body language plays an important role in attracting attention. The most basic move is called "showing a limb or flaunting the neckline" -- and it needn't be brash or flashy or crying for attention.

Whether in office or on a date, dressing with a hint of mystery always helps. " I dress formal to office but keep the top button of my shirt open for attitude and style -- it's obvious that most of the balding, middle- aged bosses like my dressing style. Most of the other girls come to work in salwar suits with their necklines almost touching their throats," says Sinha.

Though many might not approve, Sonia Singh, an event manager prefers short formal skirts. " I have as many as 15 of them in my wardrobe -- it doesn't make sense wearing tacky outfits that attract unwanted attention, one has to look and feel confident in what they wear. I have seen men in my office going out of their way to help me at work -- you could say that I flirt, so what? I have no issues, neither do my colleagues," says Singh.

Body language of course plays an important role, agrees Sudarshana Sengupta, who works with a publishing house. " With some people, their body language is so good that they don't need to do anything.

Their body language speaks for them. I remember this guy in college who had excellent body language. Just talking to him, made me feel good," blushes Sengupta.

Sometimes, the best way to catch a man or woman's attention is to mirror their movements -- it could be as subtle as sipping your drink just when he sips his, or leaning forward together. These things catch a man's attention and you get a chance to make your move. " This is best used while having a cuppa or being together at a restaurant. Similar body language ensures the guy will give you undivided attention. It also gives out a positive signal. A guy who doesn't notice this isn't worth going out with the next time," says Geeta Malhotra, a fitness expert.

BE ALL EARS

The art of making good conversation while you flirt is to ensure it's a dialogue rather than a monologue. Flirting, after all, is a two- way process. " Some of the guys I have gone out were absolute hunks, but only until they opened their mouth! I have had to sit through a torturous date with the guy blabbering about how Sachin Tendulkar negotiated bouncers better than Sehwag!" says Akrithi Kumar, a Delhi University.

WORD OF ADVICE

Before we wind up, here's one word of advice -- don't throw caution to the wind, warns Tiwari. " Be careful about who you flirt with and always avoid total strangers. I am a successful flirt till now. I haven't had any mishaps yet," she says. Sengupta too agrees.

" I don't chat up with strangers. I need to know the person and if he is interesting, then I might tease him a bit. It again depends on the situation and the person. I think you can't have any rules on flirting. It changes from one person to other," she adds.

Flirting, if done with tact and grace, can help you get Mr Right. One has to be careful not to presume that innocent flirting is actually an overt sexual innuendo. The thin line that differentiates an ice- breaker from a desperate I- am- available move is to play the game with attitude, panache and charm. So, get going, have fun and you are sure to be a winner!

preetha. nair@ mailtoday. in

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Dec 23, 2009
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