By the time most people have seen their 50th birthday, they’ve also seen the majority of standard flirting techniques. This can lead a lot of people to think they know all about attracting someone special.
What many of us don’t realize, however, is that the way we flirted when we were last on the dating scene might not be as useful now that we’re older. If you’re considering mature dating but you’re not sure how to flirt, check out these age-appropriate tips to help yourself feel more confident.
- Focus on subtlety – When you’re younger, clear advances and blatant innuendo can be effective flirting techniques, but they often are unsuccessful in the mature dating scene. Avoid wearing clothes that are excessively tight or obviously sexual in favor of something a little classier. Don’t relying on innuendo, double entendres or risque jokes to make your point; you could end up seeming trashy or even predatory. Try implication instead of overt sexual flirtation; a well-placed pendant can draw attention to attractive decolletage just as well as leaning forward, but it won’t send the same signals. Keep your conversation respectful and classy and consider using a few honest compliments instead of sexual jokes.
- Benefit from etiquette – While society now allows a lot more freedom for both men and women, formal etiquette still has its benefits. You can use chivalrous manners as a form of flirtation. For instance, the male role allows you to pull out chairs, pay the bill, or offer your coat on a cold night. These are all ways to extend intimacy without violating any rules of politeness. In the female role, you choose whether to accept these gestures and how to react. You can also take a man’s arm while walking or engage in similar active behaviors. If your advances aren’t welcomed, you can pass them off as part of a traditional upbringing. Just leave room for the other person to express his or her opinion.
- Honesty is the best policy – The effectiveness of pick-up lines is highly debatable, even for the younger set, but they certainly don’t work for anyone over 50. Older people have heard these lines often enough that they’ve lost all their charm. By using lines, you come off as insecure or creepy. Instead of relying on this tired old technique, be honest. You might be surprised by your success in asking for a momentary conversation or a coffee date.
- Eye contact is important – Human beings learn a lot about each other from the first few moments of contact. You might be surprised at how much of flirting relies on well-timed eye contact and a friendly smile. Don’t hold the other person’s eyes for a long time; it can seem like a challenge or as though you’re staring. A few seconds is enough to let someone know that you see them. Take a little time to smile, then go back to your conversation, project or other activity. Repeat the process as you need to do so.
- Pay attention to body language – One of the biggest parts of learning how to flirt is paying attention to how you move and the signals you send out. Little things such as sitting so that you display your best features can be subtle but attractive. Many people flirt successfully by subtly imitating the posture of the person in whom they’re interested; it sends a subconscious cue that you’re aligned with that person.
- Be open minded – If you have a lot of preconceptions about who you’re willing to talk with or where flirting is appropriate, you may have more trouble finding a mate. Be willing to strike up a friendly conversation wherever you may be, even if you’re in line for coffee or waiting for the bus. If you see someone you find interesting, ask an open-ended question that allows the person to give his or her opinion. This could be something as simple as commenting on the décor in a restaurant. You can even offer a compliment, but make sure it’s honest and that it doesn’t imply any obligation. You’ll be surprised at what opening yourself up to conversation can do.
- Watch for cues – People communicate through a wide variety of signals. Pay attention to how people talk; someone who says “I see,” frequently may be watching for visual signals, while someone who tells you “I feel,” may be more in tune with their sense of touch. These signals can help you understand the best way to flirt successfully with that person. You should also pay attention to physical signs that tell you how well your advances are being received. Someone who is smiling and speaking in a friendly way may seem receptive, but if they cross their arms and keep their distance at the same time, they’re probably uncomfortable.
- Flirting can be fun – One big benefit of learning how to flirt over the age of 50 is that you don’t have to have serious intentions. You can even flirt just for the sake of enjoying it. Don’t take the situation too seriously and be sure to enjoy your flirtations. You’ll get a mood boost and could benefit even more in the future.