Flirting at any age

mickey and minnie flirtingWhile on vacation recently, one afternoon my husband and I were in a brewery-restaurant. We sat at the bar enjoying a local craft beer and chatting with the bartender. He was a friendly young man about 27, recently had moved to the town, longish hair, tattoos on both arms, and very knowledgeable about beers. I was very friendly and we chatted and laughed about a variety of things, finding several topics of mutual interest. I was genuinely interested in him and his life and he knew it. After about an hour, a couple of beers and appetizers, we were ready to leave and pay our bill. Before he handed it to us, he said he’d comp’ed the beers for us both. Wow! Made my day! Of course, he got a very nice tip. What a wonderful gesture which I really appreciated. I haven’t had a drink paid by a stranger in a bar for years, and my inner 25 year old just giggled.

Awhile ago, Nancy loaned me a wonderful book I highly recommend, Ronda Rich’s What Southern Women Know About Flirting (favorite books) She does a great job of de-mystifying flirting, how it spices up our life and describes the effect it can have in our work lives, relationships, socially and enjoying a richer life. (Isn’t that what we all want?)

I’ve heard women of all ages tell me they either don’t flirt, don’t know how, think they are just too old to flirt or that it’s being dishonest. I take issue with each of these and here’s why. We are never too old to share a smile or laugh, small talk, or a compliment. It is not dishonest, it is kind, fun and a very human interaction. And no one is too old to flirt! (In Barbara Walters’ retirement tribute, there is a great clip watching her flirt with Clint Eastwood, and she still blushes when she sees it.)

What is flirting? It is a personal interaction that is fun, playful, lighthearted and helps to create or enhance relationships–all relationships. It simply makes others feel good about themselves and then about you. Flirting adds sparkle to a conversation, a party and one’s life. If you can play and smile, you can flirt.

I think people these days have become way too serious-minded about life, and forget to have fun and just enjoy one another. It’s not difficult and you don’t have to be young, beautiful or sexy. Just be yourself and connect with another person in a fun, kind, perhaps slightly sassy way if that feels right to you. I’ve known people in their 90’s who still flirt and have a sparkle in their eye.

In the book, the author describes three types of flirting—social, courtship and seductive. Her tips and descriptions are all very interesting if you need some guidelines. So, no excuses. It will definitely add some pizzazz to your life.

I encourage you to start by smiling more—at everyone all day. Put down your phone and actually make eye contact with anyone you see, confidently say hi and smile. Compliment the person, ask an intriguing question, smile and engage the person. I do this all the time. It makes for a more interesting day, and I’m encouraged by the response I get. So will you.

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