Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Haven't a clue how to flirt

(38 Posts)
sleepygardens Thu 13-Nov-14 20:00:07

I'm 33 and I've never been in a relationship. I've never even come close to one. I realise that 'you never know what's around the corner' is true, but I've been hearing that for 15 years so don't hold out much hope anymore, especially if things stay as they are.

I don't need to be in a relationship at all, I manage perfectly fine on my own but i'd like to love someone and be loved, and deal with day to day stuff with. I have friends that care; they're busy with their own lives. I feel embarrassed a lot of the time my life bears so little resemblance to others and have even made stuff up in the past to stop colleagues offering to put me on match dot com. blush

I think one of the integral problems is not knowing how to flirt or to show a man i might be open to a relationship. But how? I have NO idea how people typically go about this!

getthefeckouttahere Thu 13-Nov-14 20:12:06

wow sleepy,

no relationships at your age is unusual. But i have to ask, do you really want a relationship? If you don't then no need to worry about the flirting nonsense.

If you think you might then my super simple abbreviated advice is,

Do things that are likely to bring you into contact with single men who are likely to be compatible. No point in signing up for the local needle point club, it aint gonna happen. pubs, clubs, groups, education etc etc etc etc, the list is endless, but if you choose ones that interest you thou are more likely to meet a compatible man.

Forget flirting, simply force yourself to chat to men who you like and find attractive. It really is as simple as that. There does not have to be this magic thing called flirting. Smile, talk and listen. You'll know if their interested, and if they are they may ask you out or (deep breath) you could ask them. For a coffee, pint, dog walk. Keep it simple.

If the thought of this terrifies you there is online dating, but it can be a nightmare and for someone in your position may be too much. If you are going to do this, find a friend who is an experienced OLD (you will have one!) and let them hold your hand.

Good luck.

MadeMan Thu 13-Nov-14 20:38:12

Flirting in my opinion is really just about being a bit playful with people, either through what you say or what you do; to me it's not about fluttering eyelashes and licking your lips.

It's better to flirt when you feel comfortable and relaxed as well, otherwise it might come across a bit forced like a nudge nudge wink wink sort of thing and people will think you're daft.

Pinklaydee1302 Thu 13-Nov-14 20:38:49

OLD does give a confidence boost too OP I'd definitely give it a go.

sleepygardens Thu 13-Nov-14 20:42:04

I absolutely do want a relationship hence asking on here for advice.

I do know it's unusual not to have had a relationship and I don't think it was necessary to point it out. Your point there upset me and made me feel abnormal and strange.

I have tried online dating and not got anywhere. I'm looking for more conventional routes as a result but I just don't know how to flirt so even f I do meet men they won't know I am there to meet them.

FolkGirl Thu 13-Nov-14 21:00:07

MadeMan is absolutely right. 'Flirting' is not about stroking the stems of wine glasses or exposing your inner wrist.

When you are genuinely attracted to someone, you won't be able to help yourself being a little more playful. But as you've been single for so long, it might be worth 'practising'.

Do you 'see' men when you go out? Whether it's to the supermarket or whatever? Even just practising noticing men you find attractive or smiling if you catch someone's eye or whatever.

I've never thought of myself as able to flirt, and I certainly don't actively flirt. But I did do online dating for a bit and went on dates and just practised.

sleepygardens Thu 13-Nov-14 21:15:29

I think this is the problem, that I genuinely don't notice men. I suppose I must subconsciously put walls up but I don't know how?

MadeMan Thu 13-Nov-14 21:20:44

"...or exposing your inner wrist. "

Haha, I have never understood this one FolkGirl; if a woman showed me her inner wrist I'd probably naively reply, "The time? Yeah it's about half past eight ,luv!" grin

MiniTheMinx Thu 13-Nov-14 21:31:19

With very little experience of relationships and men I would avoid online dating. So many pitfalls.

I agree also, that if you do really like someone flirting happens naturally, its a sort of natural thing that animals do! we are after-all a special category of animal.

Why not be honest with friends and people you work with. You don't have to tell them your life story, just that you are single and would like to meet someone. You never know, they might know some single guy who is just right for you.

Do you have many hobbies and interests that being you into contact with other people?

I know what you mean though about not noticing men, I only pay attention if I am with a friend, because she will say "oh did you see that guy" I also don't read signals that well and friends tell me "he was flirting with you" but then I am a bit odd (aspie, INTP kind of odd)

Lioninthesun Thu 13-Nov-14 21:33:22

I think the point above about making time to notice men walking by in the street is a good place to start. I used to walk about looking at my shoes and never thought to catch the eye of anyone - especially men - walking about. I noticed one day that I looked away almost shamefully when I noticed a good looking guy staring at me as he walked up to go past me. I had a bit of a light bulb moment and thought how I must look. I realised that I probably looked scared, sheepish, unapproachable and guarded. None of those things is going to get a smile! If that sounds like you try to walk with your chin up. I try to look a little cocky now, a bit like looking down through your eyelids if that makes sense, and always try to think of something that makes me smile. You'll be surprised how quickly that makes you feel smiley inside too. The old adge is true - if you smile at the world it smiles back. Personally I think that is one of the most attractive things you can do, and a very good way to flirt without saying a word.

Rioux Thu 13-Nov-14 21:38:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Catsmamma Thu 13-Nov-14 21:39:10

better no relationships and at ease with yourself than joining any number of other women who seem unable to exist without the validation of a "boyfriend" no matter what. ... and do not let anyone make you feel bad or sad for any reason.

You do need to get out there and be proactive though, asking about, joining clubs, even online sites for interests. Get chatting to people, give and take information, make some common ground, go for coffees, challenge yourself to do something

sleepygardens Thu 13-Nov-14 21:46:51

I don't know my work colleagues well - not been there long.

I don't notice men in the sense I don't notice men really ... Not bothered by looks. But I suppose I don't consider men as people I might want to be with. It does depress me at times.

Lioninthesun Thu 13-Nov-14 22:00:09

I hear you about the menfolk (over rated IMO) but your post made me wonder if you have considered your sexuality? Another point is that some people need a lot less sex in a relationship than others and there are lots of people who don't actually want to have sex at all (having a brain melt atm but there is a whole spectrum). I'd guess you have a fantasy of being intimate with someone, but if not then you may fall into that category?

MiniTheMinx Thu 13-Nov-14 22:05:49

Have you met or seen any men you thought looked attractive, at school, college, work, out socialising, anywhere, even on tv or in a film?

sleepygardens Thu 13-Nov-14 22:06:01

I don't understand you lion - that's the second post on here that to be honest has made me feel really strange and akin to a bizarre circus attraction.

I realise my circumstances are unusual, but they are understandable I think if I had time to explain them here or particularly wanted to. In short I had to become very old before my time in a lot of ways due to premature deaths of parents, sibling who is disabled ... I've just never had time to be young and fancy free. But that doesn't mean I'm asexual: if I was I wouldn't crave a relationship which as I said on here, I do confused

But to be honest if it's viewed so strangely it does make me think that perhaps I have missed the boat and I will just be single forever (and I'm not being dramatic there, I genuinely think there is a very good chance of this.) But I would like to try to meet someone and for people to realise I'm not an oddity or a freak! I just haven't been lucky in this area.

sleepygardens Thu 13-Nov-14 22:07:02

Mini I suppose so, I genuinely haven't given it much thought. I notice nice looking men in the same way I notice beautiful landscapes or gardens I suppose smile I'm generally more drawn to personality - cliche but true in my case.

MiniTheMinx Thu 13-Nov-14 22:09:35

I don't think its odd. I have a friend who cared for her elderly parents living with them until they died. She never had a social life, never met a man. After they died she started going out, joining clubs and making more friends, she now has a lovely husband and is happy. So, no don't give up, especially not at 33!

sleepygardens Thu 13-Nov-14 22:15:30

Thanks Mini smile

Lioninthesun Thu 13-Nov-14 22:15:33

Sorry sleepy I didn't want to make you feel strange, merely responding to your post I don't consider men as people I might want to be with and wondered if subconciously you had perhaps made a choice not to be intimate because you had no real desire to. Obviously not! FWIW I am also 33 and haven't met any decent men yet, so you aren't alone, although I am now in the situation where I can't go out (single mum to dd) and it is unlikely i'll meet anyone because of that. If I could I'd do a hobby I enjoyed - archery or biology probably - and focus on having fun. If a guy happens to be there to talk to then all the better.

sleepygardens Thu 13-Nov-14 22:33:18

Sorry Lion I probably was feeling very defensive due to the "wow" in the first answer I got!

I've no real idea how it is for most people but I just don't notice men in the sense that I don't lust or 'perv' over them - I know that's a very clumsy expression! I do crave a relationship and intimacy though but my default stance, if I see a man I think is good looking is to assume he's with somebody and that he wouldn't be interested in me anyway - sadly I am generally correct on both counts.

I'm finding it tough at the moment as I recognise my chances of meeting somebody are small but just the same I don't want to be gawped at and gaped at when I calmly state my situation - I can't pretend that doesn't upset me, as yes it's unusual of course but circumstantial rather than due to horrendous halitosis or repressed lesbianism.

fairylightsintheloft Thu 13-Nov-14 23:08:08

Lovey, what you seem to be describing does sound a bit as though you aren't really emotionally invested. In all your adult life, regardless of your ability to actively pursue a relationship, have you never seen a man and thought "woah!" or physically felt that little pull in your gut when your saw him? Or looked forward to an opportunity to spend time with a male friend or colleague? All of these are things I have done in my 20 odd years of dating / relationships / marriage (s)! It seems from your posts as though you have an intellectual / rational desire to have that coupledom of sharing the mundane and minutiae of life but you need to find emotional space for a relationship too. Its not a job vacancy you are looking to fill. If you'd said "I have no history of relationships but I know this guy through work who'd I'd like to know better" I would get it. Forget flirting - I am an amazing, renowned for it, flirt but it comes from really liking the "target" - its not a random thing. Put yourself in the position to meet some men that you may find you have some common ground with- then you might just find that everything else falls into place - best of luck x

sleepygardens Thu 13-Nov-14 23:12:46

Ok but I don't think that's quite the case - I'm just not really bothered by appearances and I don't know any men well enough to be attracted to them (I work in a predominantly female environment) yet from what people seem to be saying I should have noticed and been attracted to men?

But some of the early posts indicated OD was the way forwards and surely that does have similarities to a job vacancy you want to fill? I don't think OD is for me but the principle is still the same.

fairylightsintheloft Thu 13-Nov-14 23:41:11

I was in a relationship and then married to a man I met on basically a one night stand. (it was great, for ten years, just ran its course) Its not about being bothered by appearances, but you will find some men attractive and some not, on a fairly superficial level initially but the idea that you have to know someone incredibly well to be attracted to them is not that common. I don't wish to offend or alienate you in any way but if you are genuinely wanting to know why you are not having any success thus far, it just does seem to me odd that you haven't experienced this sort of attraction(fulfilled or not) at any point in your adolescent or adult life. OD is only the start of a process which might be a little like job hunting at the start but needs all that other stuff to get you beyond the first date. My ex is now married and had a child with someone he met OD so it can happen, but its not about just matching up criteria, you have to feel it.

OsloGin Thu 13-Nov-14 23:49:59

I was in a similar position to you: premature death of parents and 2 younger siblings to consider. I think you are completely normal. flowers I think you do need to allow yourself some fun. Find out what you enjoy. And allow your broader emotional life to grow from there. Start to imagine the characteristics of the kind of man you'd like to be with. What kind of character etc.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: