The origin of the word flirt is actually pretty obscure. It's been attributed to the French saying "conter fleurette", which basically means the attempt to seduce someone by the act of dropping flower petals much like the whispering of "sweet nothings".
More commonly, flirting is the use of stylized gestures, language, body language, postures, and uncontrolled physiological movements which signal your interest in another person.
Some of the most common signs of flirting (or flirting "dos") include:
1) eye contact, winking, batting eyelashes, etc.
2) preening oneself in front of another
3) giggling or laughing in an encouraging way
(think of the giggling Japanese school girl with her hand over her mouth)
4) casual light touching of another while engaging in a conversation
5) smiling suggestively
6) sending notes, writing poems, small gift gestures like flowers
7) casual playfulness with another
"But I already do all those Catherine!" you might be saying. Maybe you are and maybe you aren't. Some might think that what I am suggesting is simple common sense, and may even tend to get defensive when I make suggestions.
What I know is that the entire process of flirting and dating takes an emotional toll on many people. I see frustration, dejection, and sometimes an overall feeling of wanting to throw in the towel. I also see a lot of low self esteem, and interestingly enough, I see it a lot with men. Men will often tell me that they are saying and doing all the "right things" when it comes to relating to women. However, it is usually abundantly obvious that they are pretty uncomfortable being who they are. It becomes fairly clear after meeting them in person that they don't really like themselves. Think about it this way, if you don't even like yourself, how are you going to convince someone else that they should like you?
What can you do if you fall into this "disaster" category?
The first thing a person looking for a relationship needs to do is learn to like themselves. Something makes you unique and memorable, you just have to find it or give yourself permission to like yourself.
If you are single, learn to appreciate it! Take care of yourself and do things to make yourself happy. Try to treat yourself with the same love and compassion you would give your best friend.
Refuse to buy into the social stigma that tells you that being single = bad or incomplete!
Own your body! You are beautiful and unique no matter what shape, size, color, etc. you are.....embrace yourself and others will follow.
Put yourself out there and set the intention of connecting with others. Be willing to make the first move even if it means you may face rejection. Ok, I want you to say it with me "everyone has experienced rejection and has lived to tell the story!" Everyone has been rejected, and the chances are high you will be rejected again. If you are truly unwilling to take a risk when it comes to putting yourself out there, then you are not ready to be in a relationship.
Try to get to the point where you don't fear rejection. For many, love is a numbers game, and you have to face some amount of rejection before you get to someone who is a good personal match. If someone turns you down, imagine yourself saying in your head "no....ok, next."
Catherine Coaches is a unique consulting service offering workshops, dating coach services, and sex coaching services to help individuals living in Silicon Valley and San Francisco have a red-hot love life. Catherine has been conducting sex positive workshops through Good Vibrations and BAY Positives since 2002. She worked as the Program Director for the world's first peer based non-profit serving HIV positive youth from 2002 to 2008, and is uniquely tuned into the nuances of the San Francisco LBGTQIQ community. Find Catherine Coaches on Twitter, Meetup, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Typepad.