27 Nov 2012
Dating: When Is Flirting A Good Idea?
Day 1, Post-Lauren Frances* Man Magnet Weekend
As the work day winds to a close, I haven’t made plans for the evening, but I know that I can’t just stay in. I needed to get out, do a little “flirting in the field,” as Lauren calls it.
I don’t have much fear about sidling up to a bar all on my lonesome. This brand of bravery is a vestige, I think, of traveling alone quite a bit. Sitting at a wine bar in a country where you don’t speak the language while people stare at you like you are a pariah? That’s rough. But after experiences like that, walking down the street for a quick cocktail is a breeze.
So, a girl walks into a bar.
I’ve chosen this particular watering hole because, in no particular order, I know that I can get a decent glass of wine, it is well frequented by men, and it’s around the corner from my house.
I sit down. Wait patiently. It’s busy, but who am I to be in a hurry? When the bartender comes to me, he’s mildly contrite about keeping me waiting. He brings me a menu, gives me a moment (but not too many) and comes back to ask if I am ready.
Conjuring some man-handling hints that Lauren imparted over the weekend, I have questions for the bartender when he’s back with me – not because I can’t pick out a drink for myself, mind you, but because I want to practice, because I am interested in what his response will be . . . Because I am LISTENING. TO. HIM.
And at this point I am already off book because Lauren has not told me what to say or do. She is not HERE and I do not have her on auto-dial. Yet I feel like I am channeling her somehow as I flutter my eyes and give an approving “mmm” as he describes the wines by the glass.
And the wine is quite good. I am enjoying a riesling – not sweet, but not altogether dry – when an idea pops into my head about my wish list for a soulmate. I realize with sudden and emphatic (and probably drink-influenced) drive that I was all wrong about what I’ve been wishing for and MUST WRITE IT DOWN THIS VERY INSTANT. But I don’t have a pen in my purse and I’ve forgotten my phone in the car.
I’m in a hurry so that I don’t lose the thought. I sense opportunity. A female bartender is closest to me, and though I mean her no particular harm, she’s of no interest. I wait, repeating the thought in my head so it won’t dissipate into the ethers, until the gentleman bartender happens by.
I ask if I might borrow a pen – which I hope sounds to him like an intoxicating purr but probably just comes out like a girl saying, “Can I borrow a pen?”
He accommodates, I thank him with my eyes and begin pouring my thoughts quickly onto the page.
That, of course, catches the attention of the gentleman sitting next to me who has to ask about what I’m writing. I can’t tell him. Not exactly. But I give him hints, and when he asks if I’m a writer I feel obligated (though I suppose I’m not entirely obligated) to tell him about this very blog.
Now he is intrigued and scared and titillated and can’t, I think, decide whether he wants me to write about him or not.
We chat for a while, and I am having fun. I throw my head back in laughter several times. Our conversation is light and flirty, and I am somehow able to flatter him and tease him at the same time, and I can tell we are both enjoying ourselves.
And you know what is magical? Absolutely incredible? I am able to be this flirty because I know my limits. Beyond a casual conversation, this man is not for me. But I am unafraid because I know that I would, in all kindness, say no thank you if he asked to take me on a date. Simple. No, thank you.
I allow the idle flirtation to cede naturally after a bit, return to finishing my thought on paper, and soon after get the bill.
I go home alone, but I get the distinct sense that this now may be a temporary condition.
Until next time,
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* In addition to being this blogger’s love guru, Lauren Frances is an internationally acclaimed love and relationships expert, author and seminar leader. She is also the discreet “go-to” love expert for Hollywood’s A-list celebrities, and her love coaching practice spans the globe.