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Making the first move can be fun…and terrifying! But even if terrifying, it can be easy to make the first move on a guy if only you know some tips and tricks. It’s not as hard as it may seem. And if fear is holding you back when asking yourself, “Should I make the first move?” then let’s deal with that! Fear need not hold you back, because there are ways of making the first move in such a way that even if he turns you down it won’t make you look like a fool. Nor do you have to make the first move in a way that makes him uncomfortable.
First, let’s have a look at some social skills that will help get a guy’s attention, then tips for making the first move—whether you just saw someone at a bar, or have known them for ages!
How you assert yourself will largely determine what a guy thinks about you. 90% of communication is non-verbal. You can indicate that you’re a confident woman and that you are interested in a guy, just by the way you hold yourself in his presence!
First of all, standing straight, or sitting up straight, having a firm (but not absurdly hard) handshake, and looking someone in the eye most of the time when they are speaking (not staring obsessively but following the conversation by looking at their face as they speak), indicate that you are confident. Slouching, a limp handshake, and nervously looking around the room indicate the opposite—that you are nervous, or simply don’t believe in yourself.
When someone you’re interested in speaks, make sure you show that you want to hear what he’s saying. Uncross arms and legs, look him in the eye (again, without staring), and lean slightly forward if you’re sitting. You can also try to match and mirror some of his movements to establish rapport, though that tends to happen unconsciously (just observe your body language next time you speak to just about anyone whom you get along with).
Of course, you can’t always sit holding onto his every word or he will think it strange, but make an effort to pay attention.
Now, to peak his interest, you can, once you’re friendly with one another and you see he’s comfortable having you in his personal space, touch him to make a point. Slap him on the arm when making a joke. Grab hold of him to emphasis something. Touch him to get his attention when you want to point something out to him.
To provoke interest, you can also let your hand slide along your own thigh and if you’re wearing a dress, you can reach down to your ankle, as if to scratch it. Moreover, you can adjust your skirt. Play with a lock of your hair, or touch a finger to your mouth when showing you’re thinking about something. These subtle moves act as innuendo—they will move his mind to other things.
Obviously, you can’t sit and move your hands about your legs, hair and mouth constantly. Do it when you have his attention, but do it as if you’re thinking about something else. It may take some practice—try it out when speaking with a friend. If they notice something’s off, you need more practice. It should appear as if you’re doing it unconsciously. [Read: Funny And Flirty Questions You Can Ask Girls]
The thing with bringing attention to your body, is that you can check if his eyes are following your movements. If he gets caught up in staring at your legs, at least you know he finds you attractive! It’s also a way of getting out of the friend zone. He will realize that maybe, just maybe, he’s attracted to you!
If you can see he’s interested, try slapping his thigh to make a point next. Don’t keep your hand there, do it to literally to make a point about something you’re saying. You can move your hand to his arm immediately thereafter—grabbing it for effect, or simply moving your hand away. Afterwards, keep gesticulating about what you’re speaking about, so that the move doesn’t look planned. You’re just someone who uses hands for emphasis. Though really—this is you making a move!
If the two of you are really good friends, you can also slap his butt to tease him at some point. However, then it needs to be a clearly established friendship. This can be taken entirely the wrong way otherwise. Also, you have to be the kind of person who would do something like that when joking around. If you aren’t that person now, you can work up to becoming that person!
Basically, these kind of things will help build tension between the two of you, which will make it easier to move out of the friend zone and into something else.
A guy will beam when you listen to what he has to say—really listen. When you don’t think about what to say next, what he is thinking about you, or what what he’s saying means about him. Just study him as he speaks and repeat back things to clarify you understood what was said. Ask interesting follow-on questions, too. You can google “active listening” for more tips around this. [Read: What is a Mutually Beneficial Relationship]
While this isn’t outright making a move, chances are he will feel heard by you and be more open to you making the move. So, do this and use the above body language hacks to build some rapport and, hopefully, sexual tension. Attraction. Call it what you like. Then, make the move!
If you’re friends with the guy, you can make the first move on a guy and suggest the two of you do something together. Preferably after leading the conversation into something you both enjoy and that would naturally lead to a meeting.
This could mean talking about an upcoming baseball game, a movie that’s being released, or a new hike you’ve found. Something that leads to a, “Oh, you wanna do that too? Let’s go together! If you’re up for it, that is?” You can judge by his reaction if he’s really up to it, or not. Mind you, don’t think that because he’s surprised he’s not up to it.
When the two of you are alone, use the above tips about body language. See if he pays attention when you show off your legs. (There’s actually a funny scene in “Legally Blonde” where Reese Witherspoon drops a pen to show off how to pick it up to get a guy’s attention. Another classic is “spilling” something on your chest, or rubbing at an imaginary spot on your sweater…)
You want to find out if there’s that chemistry between the two of you. If you think so, try sitting down close to him to have a chat. Does he pull back? Or does he move closer?
By gauging where he’s at, you avoid putting him on the spot by outright asking him if he wants to date you.
Again, you want to gauge the situation. As with asking him out in person and making the first move, you can chat about something you wish to do and see if he wants to join—and see if he additionally suggests you bring a ton of mutual friends, or not.
You will also want to play with innuendo here, too. [Read: How to Talk to a Girl You Like Without Being Nervous]
“Gosh it’s hot. I need to jump into the shower, chat to you later.”
See if he spins off of it. Of course, you have to be comfortable putting something like that out there first!
You can also use terms of endearment for him. “Hey hun” can, once established, easily be exchanged for “Hello hot stuff.” If he’s cool with you calling him “darling” or “hun,” he’s not going to fall off a chair if you call him “hot stuff.”
If he calls you “sexy” in return, then game on. If he ignores it, hold off on more flirtation for a little while! He might not respond in turn because he’s confused, or because he’s not interested, so give him some time and then try again.
Be sure that when doing these kinds of things, you don’t do it incessantly. If he’s not interested, he won’t want to hear about your showers every day.
In real life, show you appreciate him by complimenting him when it’d be natural to do so. Start with compliments about his personality, or things he does, such as saying, “You handled that waitress brilliantly.” Also compliment him on random stuff like “I love your sweater.” Don’t go overboard—you don’t want to give twenty compliments in a day, but one every time you see each other (or one a day or every other day if you see each other often). [Read: Does He Still Love Me?]
Once you’ve established that you’re the kind of person who gives compliments and he’s comfortable with that, you can move onto the, “Wow, you look hot in ‘em jeans.” Or, “Hello sexy! Look at that outfit!”
Again, it has to be the right timing. If you shoot a comment like that out of the blue—especially if you’re not the kind of person who he associates with compliments, it will sound weird.
If you can joke around with him and he’s used to you handing out compliments, on the other hand, you can give him a “sexy” compliment without him reacting weirdly—even if he’s not into you. If he’s into you, chances are he will say something like, “You don’t look so bad yourself, that’s a killer dress you’ve got there.” Of course he might just be polite, but you’ll likely feel if he’s being flirtatious, or not.
Remember that you can send compliments over text, too.
You see a guy across the room (whether in a bar or somewhere else) and you want to speak with him, follow the two rules below.
Rule number one: Make it short. [Read: How To Ask A Girl Out On Tinder]
“Do you come here often? Any drinks recommendations? My friend’s gone to the ladies’s and I want to order her a fun drink before she comes back. And I’m terrible with drinks—I always drink the same thing.”
You’ve implied your time is limited. You won’t stick like glue for the rest of the night. However, if they’re interested and strike up a conversation you can’t keep talking to them when your friend comes back.
“I’ve lost my friend. Any of you see a brunette in a red dress walking by?”
You can go on to joking about asking directions from lots of tipsy people in a bar, while looking for a tipsy woman.
Once you’ve found your “lost” friend a little later, you can come by and start chatting for a while. If you walk by pointing her out, they may even initiate conversation themselves. Otherwise, just say thanks for the help earlier—here’s my friend. Chat for a while and see how it goes.
Rule number two: You can talk about almost anything, so long as it’s relevant.
“Wow this is my first time here, I’m loving the decor. You guys come here a lot?”
People good at striking up conversations will talk about almost anything. It’s just something to get the conversation going. However, you have to find some sort of common ground, and the most common one is being at the same place at the same time. Asking about your surroundings therefore helps.
Continue the conversation by asking fun questions—show you’re interested in chatting. And watch your own and their body language. Are they pulling away from you, or stepping closer? Are they asking you a ton of questions too, or do they seem eager to end the conversation?
If they seem like they want to keep chatting, you can even be frank and ask for their number—tell them you gotta go, but would love to chat to them some other time. [Read: Being the Third in a Polyamorous Relationship]
All of this and more can be learned by picking up some books on pickup skills. Yes, they are for men…but they work for women, too. There’s some incredible advice on starting conversations out there and how to flirt with people. However, note that some books are horrible—they’re all about getting someone in bed—but the original pickup skills are based in psychology and people skills.
You can also read books on people skills and conversational skills—even if you aren’t looking to make a move on someone, those books are great for becoming a better conversationalist.
If the guy is your friend, and you’ve been fooling around for a while with compliments, having him check out your legs and so forth, be frank.
“Listen, I love hanging out with you. Wanna go out some time? No stress if not, I know we’re friends first, but I thought it’d be fun to hang out some more.”
You’re not expressing your undying love for him. You’re simply asking for a date and showing you’re cool even if it doesn’t happen. And it’s the easiest way to figure things out if he’s sending mixed messages.
If you’ve really been flirting. “We’ve been playing around and flirting for some time…so can I entice you to go on a date with me? If not, forget this message. I don’t wanna lose having a friend who calls me sexy all the time. It’s a total ego booster ;)”
Usually things naturally develop without you having to ask them out directly, if the two of you already spend time together, that is. The important thing to remember is that some men mean nothing with flirting. They flirt with all their friends. It’s their personality. Likewise, some women flirt with everyone. Direct communication is always the easiest route to finding out where things are going. That said, developing a relationship where the two of you flirt first is usually a good way to establish if there’s something in the air and avoiding going from zero to hero and potentially scaring someone off, or destroying the friendship.